St. Katherine’s Medicinal Plants Project Receives Equator Prize
The Medicinal Plants Association in St. Katherine, established by the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Medicinal Plants project, recently won the prestigious Equator Prize for its efforts to preserve the wild medicinal plants and rare and endangered species in the St. Katherine Protectorate, located in South Sinai.
The project, implemented by the Nature Conservation Sector of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency with funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility, will receive its award at the Earth Summit on Sustainable Development (Rio +20) taking place in Brazil in June 2012.
The project was selected from amongst 818 submissions from more than 100 countries. Selection was based on project’s effects, sustainability, innovativeness, and women’s empowerment, amongst other criteria.
The project is noted for having contributed to the effective involvement of the local community in operations related to the conservation of wild medicinal plants. This in turn resulted in raising the St. Katherine Bedouin community’s standard of living through job creation whilst conserving the unique species of medicinal plants, some of which face the threat of extinction.
Activities of the project include: cultivation of medicinal plants, provision of alternative energy sources from the use of wild plants as fuel, innovation and marketing of environ-mental products, and raising environmental awareness among the local Bedouin community to maintain biological diversity.