November 22, 2022
Featured image: Renata Romeo
New MPA to protect more than 2000km of coral reef along Egypt’s Red Sea Coastline.
SHARM EL SHEIKH, EGYPT –
Yasmine Fouad, The Egyptian Minister of the Environment, has announced protection for the entire Great Fringing Reef in the Red Sea Hope Spot. The announcement of the new marine protected area occurred on Ocean Day at the United Nations Climate Conference (COP27) in Sharm el Sheikh immediately following the official announcement of The Great Fringing Reef of the Red Sea Hope Spot by Mission Blue, The Ocean Agency and HEPCA.
“The international recognition brought to the Great Fringing Reef by the declaration of a Mission Blue Hope Spot undoubtedly played a big part in securing the protection for the reef”, said Prof. Mahmoud Hanafy, Chief Scientist of HEPCA and Hope Spot Champion.
The new marine protected area will cover more than 2000km of coastline in Egypt, adding more than 1000km of new marine protection to the existing network of protected areas.
Although the full details of the level of protection the new MPA will provide for the Hope Spot, the announcement will immediately impact new development proposals to ensure the impact to the reef is minimized.
“We obviously want the maximum level of protection and sustainable use possible for such a globally important reef system. This MPA announcement is a major step towards achieving that”, said Richard Vevers, Founder of The Ocean Agency and Hope Spot Champion.
The Great Fringing Reef of the Red Sea in Egypt in the Northern Red Sea in Egypt is a particularly important reef system globally, having been identified as one of the most climate-tolerant in the world (as identified by the 50 Reefs scientific study among others). Scientists believe that the Great Fringing Reef of the Red Sea still has the potential to survive the currently projected ocean temperature rising and could be the key to repopulating surrounding reefs, with the possibility of eventually pulling corals from the edge of near-extinction.
The Hope Spot runs along the shoreline of the Gulfs of Aqaba and Suez, the shoreline of the mainland of the Red Sea Governorate, and the surrounding fringing reefs of nearly 44 islands. Approximately 50% of the fringing reef of Egypt is located within the boundary of declared protected areas (Abu-Gallum, Nabq, and Ras Mohamed on the Gulf of Aqaba, Northern Islands, Wadi Gimal and Gabal Alba Protected areas on the coast of the Red Sea).