Small farms and trees in Egypt’s urban sprawl (City Farmer News / Egypt Om El Donia)

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Shagara association sets up small farms and plants trees in Egypt’s urban sprawl

Egypt Independent, by Rana Khalid

With 35 million people in Egypt concentrated in urban centers and 32 percent of the overall population residing in Cairo, according to a 2012 World Bank report, it makes sense to rethink Egypt’s urban ecology and the role trees can play in reducing pollution and mitigating the impact of climate change.

The environmental association Shagara reflects this mindset. It considers trees lifesavers that could help the country overcome serious environmental issues while spreading green awareness among public school students.

Mohamed Ashraf Abdel Samad, the association’s founder, developed a profound interest in sustainable development and green economy while pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Norway and master’s degree in Belgium.

“These subjects teach you how to make a profit while having a positive impact on the environment,” says Abdel Samad.

Upon returning to Egypt, he decided to spread his newly found knowledge and create Shagara. “Shagara is a non-governmental association with three important objectives,” he says. “Our goals are threefold: reducing the amount of pollution, increasing environmental awareness among the public, especially children, and combating poverty,” he says.



Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.