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Second Matrouh Resource Management Project
PDF-B Proposal
1. Country and Location: Egypt, the North West Coast region (NWC).

2. GEF Focal Areas: Biodiversity & Climate Change

3. Operational Program: OP # 12 Integrated Ecosystem Management

4. Project Title: Second Matrouh Resource Management Project (MRMP II).

5. Total Cost: US$ 43 million

Financing plan

World bank ( IBRD Loan) : US$ 15 million

IFAD : US$ 10 million

AFSED ( Arab Fund) : US$ 10 million

GEF : US$ 5 million

Government ( GOE) : US$ 3 million

TOTAL : US$ 43 million

6. PDF-B request: US$ 300,000

7. In-Kind contributions: US$ 50,000; other cofinancing: $360,400 (PHRD grant)

8. Proposing GEF Implementing Agency: The World Bank

9. Executing Agency: Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation (MALR)

10. Country Eligibility: Egypt ratified the CBD in June 1994.

11. Duration: 12 months

12. Background:
Agricultural development implemented in the last few decades in the North West Coast (NWC) has transformed traditional, ecologically balanced, pastoral systems to sedentary agriculture. This transformation has increased man and animal pressures on the fragile resource base and ecosystems of arid environment, creating a cycle of resource degradation and human poverty, threatening biodiversity, and accelerating environmental harms. Degradation has been exacerbated by absence of strategic planning for sustainable resource management; lack of adaptive research effectively integrated with development; and limited experience of the Bedouins in sustainable resource management.

Matrouh Resource Management Project (MRMP), 1994-2001, has been implemented to break the degradation cycle and alleviate poverty in its mandated rainfed area in the NWC. The project, co-financed by the Government of Egypt (GOE) and the World Bank (WB), is a development project with a strong research/extension base and environmental conservation dimension. MRMP, in effective participation with Bedouin communities, has developed strategies and plans, and employed holistic approaches integrating themes of sustainable resource management, agricultural production improvement, and social development. Improved technologies tested and adopted; soil, water, and biodiversity conserved and utilized in a sustainable manner; new germplasms introduced, indigenous range species collected, and adaptable exotic species brought in, multiplied, and grown on vast areas. New economic activities availed, extensive training, literacy education, and a multiple of other social development programs conducted for Bedouin men and women.

Upon impressive achievements of MRMP, reversing partially the degradation trend and partially alleviating poverty, GOE and WB have contemplated extending the project for a “Follow up” phase. To strengthen the sustainability dimension of resource conservation and use, it has been visualized that the ‘follow up’ phase should assign a particular and stronger emphasis on environmental aspects, indirectly tackled in the first phase. Therefore, biodiversity and carbon sequestration related issues were considered as one of the five major components of the proposed project, for which GEF funding is being sought. New environment-related objectives were included, resources needed were assessed, and technical and socioeconomic activities were designed (at an initial cost estimate of US$ 6.5 millions) to achieve these objectives. Hence, this proposal provides a strong case of full mainstreaming between global objectives and national level development projects advocated by the different donor institutions and the GOE.

Project Area

The mandated area of MRMP extends over 320 km along the NWC, with about 60 km inland. A semi-desert environment prevails in this region, moderated however by maritime influence in the north where most people live. Agriculture is the main source of living for 70% of its Bedouin population. Rainfall, the main water source for all uses, is low and erratic. The long-term annual average is around 150 mm along the coast and for about 20 km inland, beyond that it drops drastically. The cultivated area is roughly 7% of the total area, fallow (9%), rangelands (48%), and barren lands (36%). Crops (mainly barley), horticulture (mainly fig and olive), and animal production (sheep and goats, and some camels) are practiced, but yields are generally low and highly variable.
Most of the Bedouin population is living in scattered settlements, where territorial tribal land is allocated to its members, and tribal traditions and customary laws organize the Bedouin community. Economic occupations and employment opportunities are thin Illiteracy is common, and public services are rare. The project area is the least developed in the NWC, having the most degraded natural resources, and the most impoverished population. However, its physiography and geo-hydrology are ideal for effective use of water harvesting systems. These, incorporated with improved resource management technologies promoted by efficient research for development programs, would allow for a sustainable resource development and production improvement.
13. Project Description

The components of the overall MRMP II are:

  1. Integrated watershed management;

  2. Community-based and demand driven approaches to socioeconomic development;

  3. Biodiversity enrichment, environmental conservation, and carbon sequestration;

  4. Adaptive research and extension; and

  5. Project coordination unit, including monitoring and evaluation.

Major activities or implementation sub-projects have been identified, prioritized, and budgeted. The availability, conservation, and efficient use of water, soil, and biodiversity occupy particular priority in the proposed phase taking into consideration the integration between and within the activities. A particular focus has been given to crop/animal/ biodiversity interactions; and to integrating the human resource and social development with the environment and biodiversity, emphasizing the role of rural women in resource management sustainability.

Funds for financing the proposed Follow-up phase have already been solicited from, and initially negotiated with, the WB, IFAD, and other funding agencies. Initial approvals have already been obtained. Funding is sought from GEF to cover the incremental cost related to global benefits resulting from “Biodiversity and Carbon Sequestration” activities as an integrated and consolidated sub-project of the follow up phase.

Overall Goal:
The ultimate goal of the proposed project is to contribute to solving the biodiversity–agriculture dilemma through a variety of programs for resource conservation and improved management, and for production sustainability that integrate biodiversity and climate change considerations with other biophysical and socioeconomic dimensions.
Global Objectives:

  • Development of appropriate technologies and integrated systems for sustainable natural resource management and conservation to enhance and conserve globally significant biodiversity, and to ensure sustainable socio-economic development;

  • Quantify and monitor various aspects of carbon sequestration to establish mechanisms by which degraded lands in the arid/semi arid areas can retain productivity, and deteriorated systems are returned to sustainable productive systems that provide long-term benefits to the beneficiaries as well as contribute to the reduction of global atmospheric carbon dioxide.

14. Project Linkages to GEF, National Priorities, and Action Plans
The overall objective of the proposed project is the conservation, rehabilitation, and sustainable utilization of natural resources in marginal areas in NWC of Egypt. The environmental thematic objective emphasizes restoration of the degraded vast areas into production, improving natural vegetation, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration issues. In support of the objectives, the proposed MRMP II will build on the community-based participatory development approaches promoted through the first phase of MRMP.
Egypt has undertaken a number of steps and actions to ensure a proper conservation of the natural resources. Two major Laws have been passed governing the conservation of biodiversity, Law 102/83 for the Natural Protectorates, and Law 4/1994 for the Environment. Establishment of natural protectorates has been the primary conservation tool in the country. Biodiversity conservation and management on other areas outside the protectorates is achieved through adopting EIAs in all new development projects, and regulated hunting of protected species. Egypt is also a signatory to many international agreements for the conservation of nature, including the Biodiversity Convention (CBD). Concrete steps have been taken; the “National Study on Biological Diversity” was completed in 1996, followed by releasing the “National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan” in 1998. The principal strategic goal is proper management and protection of the natural resources and biodiversity. Institutional strengthening, capacity building, improving awareness, and fostering private sectors, NGOs, and research institutes have been considered to support the implementation of the strategy and action plan.
Objectives of MRMP II are directly linked to national environmental priorities, and to the Ministry of Agriculture’s strategies to increase productivity of rainfed areas. The Country Assistance Strategy (CAS), in accordance with national development policies for these areas, emphasized the objectives of (i) prevention of further environmental degradation; (ii) reconstruction of economic infrastructure to make use of local resources, experience, and traditions of the native population; (iii) creation of primary agro-processing industry; (iv) improvement of social infrastructure to improve living conditions and discourage rural migration to urban areas; and (v) promotion of private sector investment in these areas to strengthen its integration in the national economy.
MRMP II is in harmony with GEF’s OP # 12 on “Integrated Ecosystem Management”. The environmental impact of the project is expected to be strongly positive. The project would quantify and monitor carbon sequestration, and will establish mechanisms to enhance biodiversity and restore productivity of degraded soils, and improve prospects for sustainable natural resource management by capturing/retarding runoffs and enriching the vegetative cover. Restoration mechanisms will increase soil fertility by increasing soil organic matter. The promotion of efficient water conservation systems, and fruit tree planting in the coastal zone, would support the transition to an ecologically more balanced system of sedentary agriculture, reducing soil erosion meanwhile. The introduction of proper water conservation, shrubs planting and improved management of rangelands, and promotion of non-agricultural income-generating activities would effectively contribute to combating desertification, in the long run. The scope of the project would also justify the establishment of biodiversity-reserved areas.
With appropriate baseline and reference scenarios, the carbon accumulated and the appropriate verification can result in carbon credits being traded as Certified Emission Reduction Credits to Annex 1 Country, if the Kyoto Protocol is ratified and carbon sinks are accepted. An international trading program currently exists, even in the absence of the ratified treaty. An important component of the proposed project is to assess the total carbon to be sequestered, and the cost and potential benefits in economic terms. GEF could strongly support this activity, as well as other activities of relevance.

15. Global Significance

The NWC of Egypt, known since antiquity as “Marmarica”, and characterized by homogeneous natural features in terms of climate, soils, vegetation, and land-use, has historically been very rich in natural habitats and biodiversity (plant and animal), containing a substantial part of the Egyptian flora. The area constitutes a self-contained biographic entity within the North African portion of the Mediterranean region. The NWC has significant dryland areas that have been exposed to degradation as a result of the erratic rainfall patterns and unsustainable land use systems practiced in these marginal areas. Many rare species are now seriously endangered. Natural resource degradation has been reflected in reduced biodiversity, endangered species, low carbon sequestration low renewable energy production in the region, and declined income of the Bedouins.

15.1 Plant biodiversity

Plant biodiversity includes a multitude of domesticated (indigenous or exotic) agricultural germplasms, and wild plant species. Local old varieties of some field crops and horticulture are still grown, as well as new improved ones. Some wild species and wild relatives of some crop plants are also found, such as for the genera of Hordium, Vicia, Trifolium, Medicago, Allium, Solanum, Pheonix, Vigna, Gossypium, and Brassica.

Crops: Field crops species grown are barley, in the main, and some wheat. Other field crops recently introduced and grown on very small areas are lentil, chickpea, faba bean, clover, alfalfa, and peanut. Horticulture species are fig, olive, almond, grapes, date palm; and a variety of vegetables as onion, watermelon, muskmelon, cantaloupe, tomatoes, and mint. Other vegetables might be grown on very small plots for home consumption are cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, eggplant, pepper, garlic, peas, beans, turnip, beet, okra, lettuce, spinach, carrot, and others.

Natural flora: In a plant biodiversity study prepared by the project, 990 species of vascular plants were identified; based on field observations (some 250 species), the Students’ Flora of Egypt (Tacklom, 1974), the Flora of Egypt Checklist (Bolous, 1995), and over 145 publications. The 990 species are distributed in 444 genera and 90 families. In addition, there are 55 sub-species and 25 varieties, making the total number of epithets 1070 entities or taxons, representing almost half the flora of Egypt. A catalogue of these species with main ecological and distribution characteristics is provided in Appendix 1.

The plant biodiversity study revealed the following:

  • Some 90 % of the species are found within 25-km distance from the seashore while some 10 % are restricted to the desert (eremophytes);

  • Herbaceous species accounts for 84 %, shrubs for 13 %, and only 0.5 % trees;

  • Species from cultivated lands and fallow represent 45 % of the flora while wasteland species are 18 %, range plants 16 %, and those from wetland 18 %.

  • Species with any known utilization represent 43 % of the flora, while 36 % are usable for grazing, and 14 % for medicinal and herbal usage;

  • More than 58 % of the flora has no grazing value, 33 % rate as poor, 8 % as fair to good, 4 % are excellent, and 4 % toxic;

  • Some 43 % are classed weeds, 17 % are psammophytes, 14 % hygrophytes, 12 % halophytes, 4 % eremophytes and nitratiphytis, while 4 % belong to tachytherophytes (ephemerals), chasmophytes (rocks) and hydrophytes (free water).

15.2 Animal biodiversity
Domesticated animals: Farm animals are the major group of domesticated animals. The Bedouin population in the NWC traditionally keeps local breeds of sheep, goats, camels, cows, horses, donkeys, mules, and rabbits. In addition to local breeds, MRMP has introduced new breeds of some of these species, as well as new species such as honeybee, enriching biodiversity and increasing farm income. Very few species of pet animals such as dogs and cats also inhabit the area.
Wildlife animals: Marmarica used to be famous of its rich wildlife habitats for a multitude of animal genera and species of mammals, local and migrating birds, rodents, reptiles, fish and other sea animals, and butterflies. Appendix 2 includes 33 species of birds, and 43 species of other wildlife animals. It should be noted, however, that Appendix 2 is not an inclusive list, and many other species were not listed.
15.3 Bird biodiversity
Avifauna is an important component of the biological resources in the NWC region. The Bedouins traditionally keep several domesticated bird (poultry) species such as chickens, pigeons, turkey, goose, and ducks. Many native wildlife bird species are known in the region, as well as many non-breeding migrant species of Pole-arctic origin that pass through, or spend the winter in the country. These transient bird populations, although not present in the region most of the time, are an important component of the country’s biodiversity. The region is situated on major flyways for birds migrating between breeding grounds in Europe and Asia and wintering quarters in Africa. Large numbers of migrant birds land to seed, rest, and roost in the natural and man-made habitats in the region. Sparrows, swallows, swifts, robins, doves, wheatears, martins, larks, owls, eagles vultures, shrikes, and gulls are just examples of Egypt avifauna (Appendix 2)
15.4 Major threatening factors
Encroachments on the fragile resource base and ecological systems are reflected in habitat damage, habitat loss, and pollution. Major factors threatening biodiversity in the project area are the following:

  • Mining, quarrying, and tourist development have destroyed an ever-increasing area in the desert landscape. One extreme example is the ooletic ridge, used to extend hundreds of kilometers along the coast, totally lost to quarrying and tourist villages;
  • Agricultural intrusions on natural habitats: clearing natural vegetations and shifting most of the biodiversity-richest areas to crop production;

  • Introduction of exotic/ alien species, including genetically modified organisms could probably have caused biodiversity degradation and environmental damage;

  • Animal encroachment: the ever increasing overgrazing is a widespread threat to biodiversity in project area of meager winter rainfall that support a scant plant cover.

  • Excessive firewood gathering, which is estimated for project area at more than 25,000 tons of dry matter/year;
  • Solid waste disposal: building debris, municipal wastes, and domestic wastes especially plastics are disposed off in the open, infesting desert habitat, and severely reducing the natural and wilderness values of vast areas.

  • Use of heavy agricultural machinery and inadequate equipment, disturbing badly the soil surface and structure and causing wind-induced erosion;

  • Unregulated use of off-road vehicles for recreation and hunting has degraded desert wildlife, disturbed topsoil, incited erosion, and long-term scarring of the landscape.

  • Ecologically unsound infrastructure development: as potential environmental harms are rarely considered in designing power lines, highways, tourist buildings, etc.
  • Pollution is relatively non significant on landscape due to scattered settlements, low urbanization, and no use of chemicals in agriculture. It is much more occurring to the marine environment by oil spills and waste disposal of ships and tourist villages.

  • Climatic factors: such as the low and erratic rainfall, stormy wind, and humidity and temperature that may favor some species and disfavor others.

15.5 Threatened Biodiversity Species

It is believed that a multitude of species has been totally vanished due to the complete damage of their natural habitat, and many other species are in danger of extinction. Although this is true for a considerable part of project area, but it applies, in particular, to the coastal zone from the seashore to some 20-30 km inland, where most of the population lives and most developments have taken place. However, more in-depth investigations based on field surveys and indigenous knowledge of the Bedouins are needed to assess degradation and threatened species more precisely, in quality and quantity.

Threatened plant species

Many evidences have indicated drastic losses in plant biodiversity, particularly of wild species in natural habitats. Range specialists and consultants in MRMP could not observe in the field more than roughly 250 species, out of more than 1070 referred to in literature. Most of those observed are unfortunately threatened species, and it is only in cliffy habitats of difficult access to animals a richness of these species can be found.
Some threatened range species are: Acacia radian; Artemisia judaica;Periploca anguistifolia; Panicum tutgicum; Oryzopsis miliacea; Moricandia nitens; Rhamnus oleoides; Helianthemum lippii; Gymenocarpos decantrus; Pituranthos tortusus; Stipa parviflora; Prasium majus; Salsola vermiculata; Salsola oppositifolia; Dactylis hispanica; Salvia verbenaca; Plantago albicans; Ephedra aphylla; Anabasis oropediorum; Globularia arabica; Lotus spp.; Phagnalon rupestre; Artemisia spp.; Micromeria nervosa; Varthemia candicans; Atriplex glauca; Medicago spp.; Trigonella spp.; Convolvulus oleifolius; Vicia spp.; Asparagus aphyllus; Pisum arvensis;
Some endangered medicinal and herbal species are the Chamomile Matricaria recutita, or Matricaria chamomilia; Harmal Peganum harmal; El-Sheih Artemisia judaica; Anise Pimpinella anisum; Sweet basil Ocimum basilicum; Marjoram Marjorana hortensis, or Origanum marjorana; Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis; Thyme Thymus capitatus; and Sage Salvia officinalis.
Threatened animal species
According to local Bedouins, most of the wildlife animals listed in Appendix 2 can be considered as threatened species, especially the mammals and some valuable birds. Examples of the threatened mammals are gazelles and antelopes Gazella dorcas dorcas, Gazella leptoceros leptoceros; Oryx dammah; Addax nasomaculatus; foxes Vulpes vulpes aeyptiaca; Vulpes ruepelli ruepelli; wild cat Felis chans nilotics; cougar Acinanyx jubatus; the wolf Canis aureus lupaster; and the hyena Hyaene hyaene dubbah. Examples of rodents are wild rabbit Lepus capensis rothschildi, hedgehog Hemicchinus auritus libycus, and several types of wild rats, moles, and genera Jaculus.

Threatened bird species

Wildlife species of birds have been subjected to cruel, unregulated hunting for decades. Many indigenous and migrant species can be considered as endangered. Examples of such birds are the Egyptian vulture, the Egyptian black kite, eagle owl, little owl, white owl, eagles, desert lark, crested lark, Calandra lark, the black bird, and many others.

16. Reasons for Proposed GEF Assistance

MRMP components have been designed to facilitate sustainability in the NWC region. Adequately manipulated agricultural development could be the key for saving biodiversity and minimizing environmental damage. Agriculture and biodiversity are interlinked and interacted. Biodiversity in both wild and managed habitats is a vital resource for crop, fodder, and livestock improvement; and without improved agriculture, most of the remaining habitats for wildlife will be destroyed to make room for farms, plantations, and ranches. Hence, the great challenge is how to cope with this kind of development-biodiversity dilemma.

There are a number of constraints facing the proper sustainable conservation of these fragile resources:

  • Poverty and lack of economic and employment opportunities which are reflected in increased pressures on the natural resource base;

  • Inadequate cultural practices reflected in biodiversity degradation and soil erosion;

  • Overgrazing of rangelands and lack of adequate grazing management reflected in loss of some species, deterioration of ecosystems and epidemic spread out and dominance of a few useless species such as thistles;

Unsuitability of climatic conditions and extreme scarcity of water resources, severely limiting crop diversity and reducing potentiality for introducing new germplasms;

  • Lack of local level expertise and awareness on proper biodiversity conservation and protected areas management;

  • Illegal hunting of wildlife animals (mammals, birds, and rodents);

Trends indicate that the pressure on environment and biodiversity would drastically be increased in the proposed project area with future increase in population, urbanization and modernization, and tourist industry. Higher rates of cropping intensity are targeted. More of marginal lands are being brought into farming, and much more is expected in the future. More construction of tourist villages is ongoing and more is planned for the future. The inevitable consequences, unless effective measures taken, will certainly be more and more of biodiversity eradication and environmental degradation.

The greatest challenge ahead of any developmental endeavor is how to cope with the development-biodiversity dilemma. How to undertake development and conserve biodiversity under an environment of unfavorable climate, scarcity of water and good soils, increased population and urbanization, and increased genetic erosion and desertification. How can lost biodiversity be retained, desertification halted, and the ecological balance maintained? How can agricultural biodiversity and other natural resources be utilized for agricultural development in a sustainable manner? These are only a part of the challenge.
Scientific investigations and indigenous knowledge are needed to meet the challenge of intensifying agriculture in an environment-friendly manner, and to understand how the landscape mosaic of cultural habitats could contribute to conservation of biodiversity. The strategic planning developed by MRMP has recognized well this dilemma and the challenge it entails. It has strongly emphasized the critically mutual interaction between development, agricultural biodiversity, and environment. It has, particularly, recognized biodiversity as a valuable natural resource that should be conserved and used in a balanced and sustainable manner. Hence, developmental interventions of the project have reflected positive impacts on the environment and biodiversity, and on the socioeconomic conditions of the Bedouin community.
To extend, institutionalize, and sustain the good impacts of the project, the GOE and the WB have contemplated continuing the project through a “Follow up” phase. Guided by the objectives of strategic planning, major outcomes, and lessons learned from MRMP, a proposal for a new phase was prepared accordingly. It has been learned from the first phase that to meet the challenge more effectively, the development-biodiversity dilemma requires a better understanding, and many interactions need to be assessed and quantified. Therefore, biodiversity and environmental issues have been emphasized as one of the major components of MRMP II.

Expected outcome and indicators

  • Institutionalization of the operational models, approaches, and practices for sustainable resource development and conservation with strong community participation;

  • Substantial increases in productivity and production of crops, fodders, and livestock;

  • Effective biodiversity enhancement and environment conservation including broadening genetic diversity in crop, range, and animal production by saving threatened species, and introducing adaptable new species; and farming systems offering higher degree of long-term sustainability will be developed

  • Local scientific capacity, experience, and the capabilities of staff, resource users, and institutions will be build up and upgraded in the areas of research, development, conservation, and monitoring and evaluation of biodiversity;

  • Legal instruments and economic and social incentives that support conservation and sustainable use of natural resources will be established.


Direct indicators: are these of relevance to direct impact on biodiversity, carbon sequestration, and the environment on general:

  • Vegetative cover and land use measured in changes of crop area; area or number of trees; range area reseeded; amount of carbon sequestered per unit area; and number or area of shrubs planted for range improvement and/or for soil conservation, or intercropped on barley plots.

  • Quality of vegetative cover, measured by number of indigenous plant species (range, medicinal, ornamental, etc) collected, conserved, multiplied, and area planted by these species; and, the number of exogenous adaptable species, as well.

  • Water conservation and use measured in numbers, volume, and area covered by cisterns, reservoirs, and dikes.

Some indicators of the impact on biodiversity conservation and environmental protection that will be emphasized are:

  • % Change in rate of deforestation and desertification;

  • % Change in preserved forestation areas and their ecosystem;

  • % Change in richness, population, and status of keystone and endangered species;

  • % Change in forest biomass and carbon sequestration;

  • % Change in area under effective watershed management;

  • % Adoption of national and international policies/conventions aimed at increasing environmental protection

Indirect indicators: are these related to poverty alleviation and improved awareness that will be reflected in enhancing biodiversity and improving the environment

  • Communication within and between local communities, and participation in all R&D interventions of the project, measured by number of meetings, visit exchange, and community members participants in different activities;

  • Family income (on-farm and off-farm), measured by improved farming activities, crop, fodder, and livestock productivity and income, establishment of new income-generating projects, food preparation, agro-processing, handicrafts, and creating new employment opportunities (agricultural and non-agricultural);

  • Adoption of cultural practices that protect the soil and conserve biodiversity, measured by number of suitable machinery introduced, crop rotations ;

  • Illiteracy eradication, and various indicators of improved health, nutritional, and environmental awareness, measured by number of participating men and women;

  • Use of household facilities that have positive consequences on biodiversity and the environment, such as numbers of modernized ovens, manual water pumps, and methods of home garbage and other wastes disposal, etc.

17. Proposed Activities

Major activities will include the following:

  • In-depth investigation and assessment of the biodiversity conservation measures and management including defining the problem more precisely in qualitative and quantitative terms, and identifying participatory new measures for improvement. This will be basically done through technical and socioeconomic field surveys, and auxiliary long-term monitoring;

  • Support augmenting the biodiversity and environmental dimension in current resource conservation and development programs, and implement new programs aiming at ensuring production sustainability and biodiversity conservation and enhancement;

  • Enhance activities as related to direct improvement of the vast rangeland area and biodiversity through planting perennials and annuals (local species, and exotic species of tested-proven adaptability), and improved management of rangeland grazing and other uses; implementation of the 9 sites already identified for reserving endangered species, and identify and implement new sites at different agroclimatic zones of variable ecological systems;

  • Enlarge number of species already grown in the project’s Botanical Garden so as to represent plant biodiversity in the project area, and establish new botanical gardens at different sites representing the agroclimatic diversity in project area. And, complete the already initiated program for reforestation of the 500 hectares, using the treated sewage water of Marsa Matrouh city, and identify and plant other reforestation sites.

  • Diversify income sources (agricultural and non-agricultural) through technical and financial support to establishing small income-generating projects to help reducing the pressure on the resource base. Emphasis will be given to rural women participation in managing such projects as home-gardening, medicinal and herbal plant, raising new species of poultry, beekeeping, and traditional handicrafts.

  • Support adoption of environment-friendly technologies and practices on-farm, in-house, in the open wilderness, and in the sea. Such on-farm technologies are cultural practices as organic farming, IPM, adequate cultivation equipments that conserve the soil, and appropriate handling of farm residues and wastes. For in-house, is to support providing rural women by modernized energy sources as alternatives to firewood cutting, and improved sanitary facilities. For the open wilderness and the sea is to improve and control grazing, hunting of migrated birds (especially the eagles and vultures) and other wildlife as the desert gazelles, rabbits and reptiles, and support legalized fishing practices;

  • Enhance activities as related to education, and improved awareness of nutrition, health, sanitary and living conditions, biodiversity and environment;

  • Support the involvement of relevant NGOs at the national and international levels, and the establishment of local NGOs, especially for rural women;

  • Training (in-house and overseas) and capacity building for project staff and beneficiaries on concepts and methodological approaches to sustainable resource management, biodiversity and environmental conservation and improvement.

18. Implementation Arrangements
The Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation (MALR), Project Coordination Unit (PCU), and donors will be responsible for the execution of the PDF-B grant. The PCU of MRMP has built the necessary experience through the preparation work for the current MRMP, and the implementation of internationally funded technical assistance component on several activities, over the last eight years. PCU is also familiar with Bank procedures and operational guidelines. It is further expected that MALR/PCU will be a responsible counterpart in the execution of the PDF-B, and will coordinate with other relevant institutions and agencies. This would ensure successful implementation during the short period remaining prior to the closure of current MRMP on December 2001.

19. Stakeholder participation
The primary stakeholders of the proposed Phase II of MRMP are the local Bedouin communities, including rural women and rural poor in its mandated area and other areas of similar environments in Egypt and elsewhere; Departments and units of the project (Soil and Water, Adaptive Research, Extension including Women in Development and Multi-media, Finance, and Monitoring & Evaluation). Other stakeholders at the local level in Matrouh are the Agricultural Directorate, Veterinary Directorate, local development agencies and projects; contractors, dealers, and suppliers of inputs and nurseries; local banks; and NGOs. At the national level, food consumers, the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Authority (EEAA), and other ministries of relevance, ARC, DRC, and other research institutes. At the international level, they are GEF, WB, IFAD and regional and international research and/or development institutes and donor agencies; and the world of knowledge in general.
Successful implementation of the diversified activities to achieve the ultimate goal of the project would necessitate enhancement of the already adopted local community-based participatory approaches to design, implement and monitor research and development activities. This requires maintaining the trust between the government officials and the local tribal population, and strengthening the linkages between the various components of the project, the local communities, and the different national, regional, and international institutions of relevance.

20. Estimated Project Cost and Indicative Financing Plan
The estimated budget for the 5-year program is US$ 43 million of which the GEF’s contribution will be US$5.0 million with the remainder coming from the IBRD loan, the expected IFAD loan, the AFSED loan, and the GOE’s own budget contribution including a share from the debt relief package agreed between the Government of Italy and Egypt. The proposed financing plan is as follows:
World bank ( IBRD Loan) : US$ 15 million

IFAD : US$ 10 million

AFSED ( Arab Fund) : US$ 10 million

GEF : US$ 5 million

Government ( GOE) : US$ 3 million

TOTAL : US$ 43 million

21. Description of PDF-B Activities and Timeframe

Preparation activities for the design of the large GEF project will go in parallel with an already approved PHRD (Japanese) Grant to allow for the overall preparation of MRMPII, which will allow for the utilization of some of the expertise under the above mentioned grant to complement work done under the GEF component. The PDF-B will cover the assessments, field studies and consultations required for the formulation of a comprehensive GEF Project Brief.

  1. Baseline Biodiversity & Socio-economic surveys

The first category of surveys will allow to fill knowledge gaps concerning the status of flora and fauna in the area, existing threats and root causes for these threats, assessment of current agricultural practices, rangeland management activities and overall environmental conditions. Socio-economic assessment will also be undertaken to verify the impacts of MRMP, and provide detailed information on current and potential off-farm incomes, alternate land use practices, input and output costs of production, poverty levels and living conditions.

  1. Carbon Flux Assessment

Will include the review of similar applications in carbon sequestration in dryland areas, the assessment of the potential for this region of Egypt, the effect of vegetation types, cropping patterns, and alternate land use practices on the sequestration capacity. The formulation of a methodology for the implementation of this component within the MRMP II project will be undertaken based on existing information and field reviews. Activities to ensure replicability for other similar regions in the world will also be designed and results will be disseminated to relevant national and international institutions.

  1. Incremental Cost Analysis

The benefits of the project can be divided into national and global benefits, many of which will accrue long after the project has terminated. The project has a large level of baseline activities as a result of the implementation of the MRMP over the past eight years, as well as other completed and on-going activities by the GOE and other donors in the project area. The incremental cost analysis will be undertaken to quantify the GEF share in terms of project outputs and costs based on the global benefits achieved.

  1. Stakeholder Participation & Capacity Building

It is important to involve all relevant stakeholders in the assessment of existing problems, alternative solutions and the overall design of the proposed project. Consultative meetings with local and national-level stakeholders will be held to obtain their inputs concerning proposed conservation measures, alternative livelihood options, and suggested policy level interventions, and incorporate those views into the project. LFA workshops will be held to structure feedback and results along a clear framework of objectives and outputs. Furthermore, training of personnel will be provided at the national and local level, focusing on issues of biodiversity conservation, carbon sequestration and other needed areas as identified by the project preparation team.

  1. Formulation of Project Appraisal Document and GEF Project Brief

A project brief and document will be produced as a main output of the PDF preparatory phase, including all background information, analysis of the options considered, total funding required and partners involved and a complete framework of the objectives, outputs and activities of the proposed project, and relevant annexes.

The project concept was approved by GEF for pipeline entry on 5 Feb. 2001. It is estimated that the PDF-B phase will be conducted over a 12-month period, following approval of the PDF-B resources:



Approval of PDF-B Proposal

May 2001

Project Identification Mission

May 2001

Results of field surveys/ assessments

October 2001

Project Preparation Mission

October 2001

Project Pre-Appraisal Mission

November 2001

Project Appraisal Mission

March 2002

Submission to GEF Council

April 2002

21. Estimated PDF-B Budget
The following is a breakdown of the activities, including cost estimates:





International/ Local consultants:

To undertake baseline surveys, home garden biodiversity, range management planning, environmental assessment and review, socio-economic assessment, formulation of carbon sequestration methodology, stakeholder participatory planning, incremental cost analysis and formulation of Project brief.




Local/ National Meetings & Workshops: to be held in project site and at National level to ensure that all relevant stakeholders are fully involved in the planning process.




Includes technical training of field level extension workers, and population on re-vegetation, grazing management, carbon flux measurement and analysis, and project-cycle management


Operating Costs:

To cover the expenses related to communication, utilities, project assistant, translation, office supplies and maintenance


Travel :

Local and international travel by experts to project site, per diem expenses, rent of vehicles and one study-visit to a similar on-going project in Kazakhstan






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