Archive for the ‘Egyptian-Italian Environmental Cooperation Program (EIECP) – Siwa Environmental Amelioration Project’ Category

Egyptian-Italian Environmental Cooperation Program (EIECP) – Siwa Environmental Amelioration Project

February 13, 2011

The Siwa Environmental Amelioration Project (SEAP) has been implemented during the period May 1998 – May 2001, and it has subsequently extended, closing formally on October 2003. The objective of the project was to contribute to the economic development and environmental amelioration of Siwa by supporting community activities aimed at the sustainable development and at the conservation of natural resources. The working methodology has been based on participatory approach, seeking the full involvement of the local community, while respecting the Siwan tradition and culture, including the traditional power, and the administrative formal authorities in place. The project has substantially achieved its objectives. However, to ensure further sustainability to the results achieved and to widening its benefit to the area, a second phase has been financed. 

The architecture of SEAP-Phase II, implemented under the umbrella of the Egyptian Italian Environmental Cooperation Program-Phase II/ EIECP, is based on four components reflecting the proposed widening of the project’s scope. These components are: Development of Sustainable Agriculture; Strengthening the Siwa Community Development Environment Conservation  (SCDEC / Siwa Association); Strengthening the Protected Area; and Solid Waste Management.

The project is pursuing the following general objective: “to contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of natural and cultural resources in the Siwa region”. 

The followings are the specific development objectives of the four Project components:

The expected outputs/results are the followings:

Development  of sustainable agriculture 

Based on the sub-component’s six specific objectives, nine key outputs have been tentatively identified, each arising from a series of targeted activities.

Output 1. The production technologies introduced in respect to soil, water and crop management have been refined through the cropping, monitoring and follow-up of 188 plots (equivalent to 202 fed.) completed within the 3 years Project period, and 22 plots (22 fed) planned for the extension period, for a total of 210 plots covering 224 fed. With the establishment of a new area of 32 fed. put under adaptive research Modules, the total area cropped and monitored results of 256 fed..  

Output 2. Organic farming technology has been developed and at the end of the conversion period the harvests have been certified as organic over an area of 10 fed. Less known crops have been tested and monitored over an area of 20 fed. for their introduction in the cropping patterns.

Output 3. The changes of soil properties across the years have been monitored through 600 soil samples. The water management has been monitored through installation of about 230 piezometrs, 50 V-Notch and measurements taken from the micro irrigation system. Landscape changes have been monitored through photo-documentation. 

Output 4. The crop production has been evaluated in term of suitability of the crops in the prevailing conditions in term of some growth parameters. The development of crops in different modules (individual and intercropped) has been monitored. The cropping patterns in term of rotation/soil fertility/pest, diseases and weeds control have been assessed.

Output 5. The economics of various cropping patterns have been assessed through financial analysis of inputs/outputs ratio, taking into account marketing opportunities and prices throughout the year. These analyses have been compared with the traditional farming system. The socio-economic impact of the new cropping patterns/farming systems on family income and the changes likely taking place on family labour force and livelihood, market labour force, etc. has been assessed.  

Output 6. Income generating initiatives linked to sustainable agriculture have been developed: a Livestock Demonstration Farm for sheep and goat has been established, which also provides balanced rations and other services to local market; 100 sheep/goats and 40 buffalo/cows have been distributed to participating farmers, partly women; a nursery and 10 poles have been established for fish farming.  The existing animals from the first phase will be followed-up and monitored.  

Output 7. Women beneficiaries have been trained and provided with 10 spinning wheels to introduce the utilization of the wool by processing it into yarns and then into carpets. Equipment to better utilize the milk produced from buffalo, cows and goats for processing to products such as yogurt, cheese, and butter for household consumption and possibly for marketing has been distributed to 10 trained women. 

Output 8. The level of knowledge of local community members and Project staff, young generations and women has been enhanced through training done in the field, homes and demonstration farms giving high respect to local traditions and customary habits. The training has covered various Project activities. The participatory approach adopted has facilitated the effectiveness of the advices and recommendations given to beneficiaries and the transfer of his findings and problems to the specialists. 

Output 9. Collaborative agreements with specialized Institutions/Organizations have been signed and implemented. The specific scientific support has been provided to the Project, while the Institutions have been benefited from the fieldwork implemented with the participating community. Thus the findings are based on solid basis, more reliable and reflecting the prevailing conditions of the Siwa region. Siwan community has been provided with a well-equipped Laboratory, able to respond in time and reliably to all the needed information required for an effective sustainable management of natural resources.

Strengthening the SCDEC/Siwan Association

Based on the sub-component’s five specific objectives, five key outputs have been tentatively identified, each arising from a series of targeted activities.

Output 1. SCDEC effectively manages and monitors the local credit scheme that supports socio-economic and environmental sustainable development initiatives. 

Output 2. Establishment of a well-functioning and self-sustaining micro-crediting mechanism managed by SCDEC

Output 3. The Window service has been established, delivering technical information, technical booklets and preparing feasibility studies.  There is also broad awareness within the community about the existence and the opportunities offered by the micro-crediting mechanism and the window for technical assistance.

Output 4.  Agro-industrial processing units (on its own or in partnership with the private sector) are established.  Marketing and sales opportunities for the Siwan community are enhanced in a coordinated manner.

Output 5. More social equity and empowerment of Siwan women and marginalized groups are pursued through their access to micro-crediting scheme. Women and marginalized groups become important actors, within Siwan association framework structure, of initiatives promoted by NGOs in cultural heritage preservation, handicraft production and ecotourism.

Strengthening Siwa – Protected Area

Output 1. Institutional capacity for field conservation enabled through legal, human resources and infrastructure development

Output 2. Collaborative management of the protected area is operational based on the    adaptive, equitable and sustainable use of biodiversity resources

Output 3. Monitoring and evaluation of biodiversity resources, their utilization and management has been tested, and a system is operational 

Output 4. Information Education Communication (IEC) efforts are building local and national constituencies for biodiversity conservation

Output 5. Ecotourism is managed to demonstrate innovative, environmentally-compatible, economic activities meeting sustainable livelihood needs 

Output 6. An overall biodiversity strategy and action plan for the Siwa region is developed and biodiversity conservation is firmly inscribed on the local development agenda

Output 7. The management capacity of the Environmental Management Unit of the Matrouh Governorate is enhanced


Solid Waste Management 

In order to achieve the objectives of the Project Task, the following outputs/results will be produced:

Output A-1:  An updated solid waste related database that will include general attributes of the Siwa Oasis and the solid waste specific attributes. It will also include a map of Siwa showing available routes and their traffic capacity, population concentration and growth trends, and the location of commercial and industrial activities.  

Output B-1: An executive, ready-for-implementation plan for the establishment of a comprehensive and sustainable SWM scheme for the entire Siwa Oasis. 

Output B-2: An improved and implemented SWM scheme. Depending on the outcome of B-1, this new scheme will improve the existing collection system and making it more comprehensive. Collection systems might include household and commercial waste containers, collection vehicles and equipment upgrade, and the organization and equipping of collection workers, (such as the provision of protective clothing). The scheme might also include the addition of temporary waste storage and transfer points, equipment for waste transfer, and the procedures for operating and maintaining these facilities and equipment. Furthermore, the SWM scheme will improve the operation of the existing dumpsite located 10 km north of the town of Siwa  (on Marsa Matrouh road).  

Output C-1:  A framework for an Operations Unit (OU), which will assume the responsibility of planning, managing and monitoring the execution of the SWM scheme. On the basis of this framework, the following will be set: job descriptions, training needs assessments, and work force development plans.

Output C-2: Operating the OU after being supported with qualified staff and workers. 

Output D-1: A set of documents and reports as a part of a mechanism that will assure the sustainability and functionality of the Siwa SWM Project. These documents will also emphasize the continuous updating of the data related to solid waste and the continuous measurement of the outputs of the Project task. 

Output D-2:  Bi-annual follow-up reports addressing the outputs of the task implementation and monitoring the sustainability of the operations. 

Moreover, two Italian NGOs (Ricerca & Cooperazione and COSPE) will integrate, in autonomous administrative structured organization, the activities undertaken by SEAP in the fields of cultural heritage, hand-crafts and ecotourism, aiming respectively to rehabilitate the local constructions, to revive the local traditions and to promote sustainable tourism, stimulating the overall development of income generating activities. A close coordination and collaboration with the NGOs will thus help the Project to enhance its level of effectiveness in addressing social development.

This piece is taken from the website of the Egyptian-Italian Environmental Cooperation Program (EIECP).

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