Egypt: The Minister of the Environment, Dr Yasmin Fouad, held a meeting with Mrs Carol Ann Stewart (President of Africa, Middle East and Asia Region) of Sanofi, Mr Mika Naidu (President of Africa Region), and their accompanying delegation. The meeting was held to discuss mechanisms for building productive cooperation in the past period and new areas for cooperation in the future.
During the meeting, Professor Samah Saleh, Head of the Ministry’s Sustainable Development Unit, also attended the meeting. At the beginning of the meeting, Yasmin Fouad, the Minister of the Environment, praised the fruitful cooperation with Sanofi Company, which is one of the first companies to realize the importance of participating in raising environmental awareness.
In her remarks, she noted that “Linking nature, health, and sustainable food habits are important areas of cooperation for a better future for generations to come.”
She also noted that, especially with Egypt’s keenness during its journey towards sustainable development to raise environmental awareness for all sectors, the Sanofi company would add an edge to the journey. She mentioned the sectors essential in raising awareness, such as society, from youth, women, children, civil society and sector.
Furthermore, Minister Fouad specially referred to the constructive cooperation between the Ministry and the company during the first stage of implementing the environmental competition.
It was also stated that the ties among both parties received a great response from citizens both in urban and rural areas and were pleased with the size of the environmental information and diversity that the public knows through the competition.
The Minister spoke about the current vision for developing Egypt’s environmental sector, which began by changing the language of dialogue on the environment and it’s linking it to the economy, turning environmental problems into economic, investment and job opportunities, such as biogas projects that utilize agricultural and animal waste in rural areas to produce biofuels, and also utilize rice straw In fertilizer and feed production.
The meeting also outlined the dealings with the industry sector from the mutual benefit by highlighting the number of benefits returning to it from guiding energy consumption and water management, sewage and industrial waste treatment.
Along with which, taking care of the tourism sector, preserving natural resources, including the Red Sea reefs, which are more capable of addressing the effects of climate change, encouraging environmental tourism, engaging local communities in managing reserves and preserving their heritage, traditions and cultural customs, and cooperating with the tourism sector which is the largest private sector.
The Minister of the Environment pointed out the possibility of future cooperation in a number of fields, including linking the environment and health through one health strategy launched by the Ministry of Health. The strategy links plant, animal and human health and preserving the health of our planet, said the Minister.
She also said that continuing cooperation in the field of improving air quality, especially through a behaviour change component among the projects, Egypt is implementing in cooperation with the World Bank to tackle air pollution and climate change in Greater Cairo. “The recently launched Integrated Air Quality Management work plan to link a local challenge is tackling air pollution and the global challenge of climate change,” said Yasmin Fouad.
The Minister of the Environment addressed the link between nature and health as an important area. She focused on the need to pay attention to the mental health of the citizen and the role of nature reserves in providing psychological support by living unique experiences in those reserves. The Ministry of Environment began implementing a program for mental health and nature, and a trip to the patients of Abbasiya Psychiatric Health Hospital was carried out to a sanctuary in Dagla Valley in cooperation with Fahm Mental Health Foundation.
The Minister of the Environment clarified that Egypt has 30 reserves in the Republic, and the Ministry of the Environment has launched a national campaign to promote 13 of them to implement the environmental tourism experience in partnership with its local communities and the private sector. The Ministry encouraged students and entrepreneurs to implement environmental projects in it, and among them are environmental resorts for entrepreneurs in Fayoum Reserves.
The Minister of the Environment also pointed out that she is looking forward to cooperation in a file that the Ministry of the Environment was interested in during Egypt’s hosting of the COP27 climate conference, in particular about food habits and their relationship to citizens’ health, low-carbon food, reducing food waste, to achieve sustainable eating habits and lower carbon emissions.
For her part, Ms Carol Ann Stewart, the President of Sanofi Africa, Middle East and Asia Region, has emphasized the similar views between the Ministry of the Environment and the company. She looks forward to building on the current fruitful partnership in new areas, such as the relationship between health, food and waste management, to reach a healthier society and a healthier planet, said reports.
Accordingly, as the company moves towards healthcare for customers to help them make sound choices and practices for better health, there are many activities that promote this trend. “The collaboration with the Ministry of the Environment in the environmental competition to raise awareness and tackle air pollution by handing out bicycles to the winners was outlined as a significant action,” noted Ministe Yasmin Fouad.
The company’s representative pointed out that they are looking forward to completing the partnership in fighting air pollution, working on mental health cooperation and linking it with nature.
Especially since the company is currently cooperating with the Egyptian Medicine Authority in the “Take Care of Yourself” initiative to support women’s health.
Whereas the Minister of the Environment, Yasmin Fouad pointed out the possibility of cooperation also through the Ministry of Environment initiative “Anti Initiation” to get rid of used cooking oil which helps housewives refrain from using cooking oils and dispose of them economically without spending them at the banks, to get new oil and use the used oils to produce biofuels.
While Professor Samah Saleh, Head of the Sustainable Development Unit of the Ministry of Environment, pointed out the possibility of collaborating with Sanofi to build capacity in the linkage of health, food and environment while building on the impact achieved by our cooperation in the past in combating air pollution and raising environmental awareness.
It is noteworthy that the Ministry of the Environment and Sanofi previously collaborated in implementing an environmental contest within the preparation activities for the COP27 Climate Conference.
As part of participating in the presidential campaign to raise environmental awareness, “Go Green” included the distribution of 1,000 bicycles to the winning contestants with the aim of raising environmental awareness about the effects of climate change through the company.