Our pilot project in Egypt

Greening the desert

Arid areas are vast and projects making use of land and sewage water can be implemented and managed all over the world. One outstanding pilot project, combining all the scientific expertise in afforestation in arid regions, is the one established by the Desert Timber Company and the ForestFinance Group in Egypt from 2013-2016. The project is part of the program that Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) implements on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project serves as a showcase and best practice project. The site is easily accessible and can be visited at any time.

With 6.7 billion m³ annually, Egypt has a huge potential with regard to recycling sewage and waste water. Desert Timber offers an alternative to hazardous water and waste disposal measures by using pre-treated sewage water from municipal facilities in order to set up an irrigation system to grow trees.

Benefits for arid regions

Converting desert or arid land into a green and permanent forest has many advantages:

    • Carbon sequestration, positive impact on global warming
    • Protection against desertification and sand storms (“green belt”)
    • Improving the living conditions of local inhabitants
    • Improving attractiveness for tourist regions
    • Natural disposal of sewage water and coastal protection or coral reef protection by avoiding spillages of waste water into the sea
    • Cooling the surrounding atmosphere and creation of recreational zones
    • Generating natural rainfall due to the new green forest zones
    • Creation of many new long-term jobs in the forestry sector at local and national level.
    • Reducing wood and timber imports from foreign countries
    • Biomass for energy or heat production

The following services and expertise made it possible to successfully establish this project:

    • Development of an investment plan and calculation of possible returns
    • Development of a forest management plan (mixed tree species, among others mahogany and teak)
    • Recruitment of technical and scientific experts
    • Securing support from relevant players within the region, contract with relevant ministries and legal authorities
    • Selection of a feasible site that is easy to reach and that offers a huge potential
    • Partnership with scientific institutions and universities for an onsite monitoring
    • Contracting local experts and service providers
    • Establishment of an irrigation system
    • Selection of good-quality genetic seed materials for the production of seedlings
    • Establishment of a tree nursery
    • Knowledge transfer and capacity building hand in hand with local service providers

Please contact the Desert Timber team for more information.