Egypt lies at the northeast corner of Africa at the junction of four bio-geographical regions: Irano-Turanian, Mediterranean, Saharo-Sindian, and Afrotropical. It is at the center of the great Saharo-Sindian desert belt that runs from Morocco on the northwest corner of Africa to the high, cold deserts of central Asia. This unique position is enhanced by the Nile River, which cuts through the country. The fresh water habitats of the Nile River basin and 1,500 miles of coastline along the Mediterranean and Red Seas endow Egypt with a rich diversity of terrestrial habitats, flora, and fauna. The natural habitats include a variety of important wildlife, including 320 species of migratory bird, unique coral reefs, sensitive desert vegetation, and endangered species, such as the Dorcas gazelle (Gazella dorcas), the Indo-Pacific Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus), four species of sea turtle, and dugong (Dugong dugon, or sea cow).
International tourism, agriculture, and industry are major drivers of the Egyptian economy. Tourists flock to Egypt to enjoy the striking desert landscapes, beautiful coastlines, and unique cultural and historical antiquities. Consequently, the national protected areas and coastlines face increasing pressures from within and outside of its boundaries.
The U.S. Forest Service has worked in Egypt since 2006 to build capacity in protected area management and develop opportunities for young people and visitors to experience the country’s unique ecosystems and habitats. The International Programs office of the U.S. Forest Service works closely with the Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association, one of Egypt’s strongest environmental organizations, to integrate conservation themes and ethics in communities and visitors along Egypt’s Red Sea coast.
For more information on our work, click here.