The British University in Egypt and the United Nations Development Programme launch the largest climate marathon in Egypt “The Run for Climate” in the presence of the Minister of Youth and Sports

October 14, 2022


The United Nations Development Programme in Egypt and The British University in Egypt launched the largest university climate marathon for COP27, titled “The Run for the Climate”, organized by “Cairo Runners”, under the auspices of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS), the British Embassy in Egypt, and the Embassy of Japan in Egypt, The run aims to forward the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Egypt.

Minister of Youth and Sports Dr. Ashraf Sobhi, Chair of the BUE Board of Trustees; Mrs. Farida Khamis, Member of the BUE Board of Trustees; Mrs. Yasmine Khamis, the President of the BUE Prof. Mohamed Lotfy; UNDP Egypt Resident Representative Mr. Alessandro Fracassetti and the COP27 Youth Envoy Dr. Omnia El-Omrani, all participated in the marathon.

More than 7,000 participants aged 4-70 participated in the marathon, including children, women, men, and youth. After the marathon, the participants were able to participate in events held on the side-lines of the run at the university campus, such as the Green Bazaar, the open-air art exhibition to showcase climate artworks, and saving seats to provide the participants with solar-powered electricity, provided by "Infinity" Co.

At the launch, Minister of Youth and Sports Dr. Ashraf Sobhi highlighted the Ministry's keenness to cooperate with various concerned institutions to organize sports marathons at the level of all governorates, within the annual sports events’ agenda set by MoYS. The Minister also paid tribute to the high turnout of the run, whether from university students or citizens, pointing to MoYS' support for various sports marathons in light of the efforts to spread the culture of sports practice within society.

The president of the BUE Dr. Mohamed Lotfy, stressed that the University has a clear strategy of aligning all its activities with global efforts against climate change and implementing SDGs, in line with Egypt’s Vision 2030. Dr. Lutfi added that the BUE's plan is centred around students with a focus on their development. It is also built on linking students and the University with society considering the Decent Life initiative (Hayah Karima), in addition to organizing the largest marathon of its kind which is focused on climate, to raise awareness of climate change. He added that “This is not an issue faced solely by a single state, but a risk threatening the whole world. Hence, we must work together to reduce this threat.” The University is also working on more projects that would support the climate issue, and with youth participation in climate action as the leaders of tomorrow.

UNDP Egypt Resident Representative Mr. Alessandro Fracassetti highlighted that UNDP Egypt is proud to be collaborating with the BUE, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Government of Japan in organizing a marathon to raise awareness on climate change. He noted that this marathon is the largest in Egypt and is organized a few weeks prior to COP 27, which showcases the importance of concerted efforts to help strengthen measures combatting climate change and its consequences.

From his side, the Strategic Transformation Lead at the BUE and a Professor at the BUE’s Faculty of Business Administration, Economics & Political Science (BAEPS), Dr. Amr Seda, said “Many university students are unaware of climate change risks, and this was the main reason behind organizing this marathon, so that students realize these risks through a sporting and social event outside of traditional lectures. This enhances their understanding of the problem and feeds into their desire of giving proposals to resolve the issue.

It should be noted that the marathon was divided into three separate runs: 2 km, 5 km, and 10 km; to better fit all target groups.