Field worker examining the sprinkler irrigation system on a pilot plantation of olive and fig trees. - - Preparation of a National Tree Planting and Development of Peri-Urban Forestry Plan: TCP/EGY/7821(A). The project is executed by the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation with the technical assistance of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Its aim is to improve tree planting and plantation management in desert lands using available sources of water (underground, sewage). It will also help specialists in Egypt in the development of technical and environmental guidelines in this area.
Egypt lies within the temperate zone; its climate varies from arid to extremely arid, and 96% of its territory is desert. With the exception of the Nile Delta area and the Red Sea coastal strips, the average rainfall in Egypt is a mere 10 mm per year. The country is devoid of natural forests and almost all standing trees are to be found on irrigated land and within urban areas in the form of windbreaks, shelterbelts, woodlots and road plantations. Millins of trees are planted as windbreaks, on the banks of irrigation and drainage canals or to protect highways.
The Ministry of Agriculture is establishing plantations in various governorates, some of them irrigated by treated sewage water or by underground water. Funds have been allocated to enhance tree planting, for windbreaks, for establishing and maintaining forest tree nurseries, as well as for sand dune fixation and combating desertification.
FAO's technical assistance will be directed towards consolidating irrigated tree planting techniques in several areas of Egypt and expanding scant knowledge of sewage water utilization after gathering information on tested technologies. The technologies assessed will lead to the development of afforestation around peri-urban areas.