Under the Auspices of Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak
the International Conference
"The Role of the Media in Environmental Protection and
November 13-17, 2000 Cairo, Egypt
The Urban Management Programme
Arab States Region
Urban Management Programme, Regional Support Office for the Arab
States, 18 EI Mansour Mohamed St., Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt
Tel: (202) 7381326-7382643 Fax: (202)7355489
1. INTRODucTION 1
2. BACKGROUND 1
3. CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS 4
4. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE ACTIVITIES 7
Appendix 1: Conference Agenda
Appendix 2: Case Study Abstracts
Appendix 3: AMFED General Assembly Meeting
Appendix 4: New IFEJ Board
Appendix 5: Conference Participants List
On November 13, 2000, a five-day international conference was held in Cairo
under the auspices of Egypt's First Lady Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak. Organized by the
Urban Management Programme for the Arab States Region (UMP-ASR), in
coordination with the International Federation for Environmental Journalists (IFEJ)
and the Arab Media Forum for Environment and Development (AMFED), the
conference was designed to promote the exchange of knowledge between media
personnel, environment practitioners and cultural heritage specialists. Accordingly,
it focused on "The Role of the Media in Environmental Protection and Heritage
Preservation". Two parallel events were combined during that period: the 3rd UMP
Regional Consultation and the 8th IFEJ Annual Meeting.
This report examines some of the significant issues raised at the conference. It goes
beyond documenting conference activities and addresses an audience of local
authorities, and specialists on heritage and environmental issues. It will be
published as a special edition of the Urban Age magazine in both English and
Since its establishment in 1993, the UMP-ASR's approach has been to create an
effective and strong partnership between urban development experts and media
professionals. This has meant integrating the media into all UMP activities, in the
areas of gender, governance, poverty eradication and environmental management.
The success of this partnership between media and development specialists
encouraged the UMP to help set up NGOs in seven Arab countries, focusing on
environment, social development and the media. In a relatively short time, these
NGOs were able to create AMFED, (the Arab Media Forum for Environment and
Development), the first regional network of its kind. As a first step in its shift
toward structured information sharing and knowledge management activities, the
UMP-ASR organized the conference on the media's role in environmental
protection and heritage preservation, bringing together, for the first time in the
Arab region, environmental journalists from all over the world as well as heritage
protection specialists and environmental practitioners from the region.
The conference was designed to contribute to the overall ability of the media to
play a role in upgrading the urban environment, as well as to inform the public of
more efficient and "environmentally safe" urban practices to protect the
environment and urban heritage. One of the conference's main objectives was to
widen the scope of dialogue to include not only policy makers and development
specialists, but also the media, which has a critical role to play in advocacy,
education, communication, information dissemination, awareness raising, and
The conference's immediate objectives included the following:
1. Building a strong and active partnership between media personnel, represented
by IFEJ and AMFED, and urban development experts, represented by UMP.
2. Shedding light on best practices in the region in the field of environment and
3. Strengthening ties between Arab and international organizations concerned
with environment and heritage -related activities.
4. Exchanging information on environment preservation and heritage
Conservation issues, on a regional and international level.
5. Developing a set of recommendations and activities to support urban
development and heritage conservation, on the regional and international
levels using different knowledge management techniques.
Arrangements for the conference began twelve months prior to the conference.
This early preparation contributed to the conference's success. In choosing the
conference themes, three factors were involved, 1) IFEJ's interest in the region, 2)
Focus on UMP thematic areas, 3) UMP Knowledge Management Strategy
(currently being prepared for implementation). Accordingly, a concept paper on
the conference's main objectives and anticipated outputs was prepared and
circulated to all conference partners, The UMP Regional Office requested Its
national counterparts to select relevant case studies of successfully implemented
City Consultations for presentation during the event. Six months before the
conference. the completed case studies and accompanying abstracts were sent to
the UMP Regional Office in Cairo for review, translation, and dissemination The:
conference agenda was then designed, and the most appropriate conference panel
members were selected based on their experience and ability to enrich conference
deliberations, Two months before the conference, panel members were given case
study abstracts as well as guidelines for leading conference discussions. This
preparation helped panels highlight the main topics, giving conference participants
direction during discussions.
Parallel to the conference's technical preparations, the UMP working team raised
necessary funds from both international and national organizations. Contributions
included both financial and in-kind support. Conference sponsors included the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs, Ministry
of Tourism, Ministry of Culture, the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, the
Ford Foundation, United States Agency for International Development (USAID),
United Bank of Egypt, Aboul Fotouh Establishment, German Arab Chamber of
Commerce, and AI Ahram Beverages.
The conference received extensive media coverage on both the local and
international levels. To facilitate accurate coverage the UMP Regional Office in
Cairo prepared and distributed a number of press releases on the themes, papers
presented and subjects discussed. National and international newspapers,
magazines, and television channels gave detailed reports on the conference's
proceedings and different events. In addition, all information was posted on the
IFEJ Web Site.
3. CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS
The conference was inaugurated by HE. Mrs. Nadia Makram Ebied, the Egyptian
Minister of State for Environmental Affairs, Ms. Samia Girguis Assistant Resident
Representative, United Nations Development Program in Egypt, Dr. Mounir
Neamatalla, President of Environmental Quality International and Regional
Coordinator for the Urban Management Programme in the Arab States; Mr. Jim
Detjen, President of the International Federation for Environmental Journalists;
Mr.Salama Ahmad Salama, President of the Arab Media Forum for Environment
and Development and President of the Egyptian Society of Writers on
Environment and Development, and Ms. Randa Fouad, Conference Coordinator
and Urban Management Programme Regional Information Advisor.
Conference participants included international, Arab and Egyptian journalists.
They were joined by environmental protection and cultural heritage experts from
the region. In addition, the ministries of Culture, Tourism, Foreign Affairs and
Environment were represented. Representatives of national NGOs and donor and
international organizations were also invited to attend.
Nine conference sessions were held over a two and-a-half-day period. This was
followed by a full-day field trip to different archeological and historical sites in
Cairo. In addition, two half-day IrEJ workshops were held for journalists on
environmental reporting, at the same time as AMFED members held their General
Assembly meeting. On the conference's fifth day, IFEJ elections took place and an
awards ceremony was held for the best media contribution in the fields of
biodiversity and industrial pollution.
The conference was marked by lively debate on the media's performance in the
Arab world, the constraints Arab media personnel work under and the need to
address cultural heritage issues accurately. Several presenters used audio-visual
aids, including slides, CD-Rom and PowerPoint presentations. A variety of topics
on heritage preservation, taking place in different Arab countries was covered in
the conference. Some of the most interesting issues raised during the conference
are mentioned below.
The opening session was presented by Dr. Gabala Aly Gabala, Secretary General
of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities'. Dr Gabala, speaking
extemporaneously stressed the importance of Man's harmony with his surrounding
environment , pointing to the creativity of the Ancient Egyptian civilization as
living proof of this harmony.
Seven case studies were then presented, documenting successfully implemented
city consultations and /or best practices in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria,
Palestine, Morocco, and Tunisia. (See Appendix 2: Case Study Abstracts). The
concluding session was chaired by Mr. Salama Ahmad Salama, columnist at Al
Ahram Newspaper, President of the Arab Media Forum for Environment and
Development and the Society of Writers for Environment and Development, who
presented an overview of the major challenges facing the media in the Arab World.
Christian Arandel presented a paper entitled: "Building on Natural Assets for
Sustainable Development in the Oasis of Siwa", shedding much needed
light on the importance of Siwa's unique but threatened cultural heritage. Today,
Siwa is poised on the brink of a tremendous transformation, socially,
economically, and environmentally. The oasis though unique in many respects
faces similar challenges to many other towns and small cities in the region,
including the negative impact of human behavior on the surrounding environment
and the lack of control over the nature and pace of development.
It was pointed out that any intervention in Siwa -- whether in cultural activities,
architecture, or agriculture -- should be carried out with the utmost caution. Mr.
Arandel argued that the media has an important role to play in increasing
awareness at the local and national level on the importance of preserving Siwa's
natural assets, and in bridging the gap between local and national authorities.
During the subsequent discussion, the declaration of Siwa as a protected area to
prevent any further damage to its unique heritage was suggested. It was pointed
out, however, that this may undermine some of the development initiatives, which
could have a negative impact in meeting Siwans needs today.
Mr. Mohammed EI Machnouk spoke about: "The Role of the Media in
Environmental Protection and Heritage Preservation in Lebanon".
Mr. EI Machnouk focused on the demolition of buildings in downtown Beirut and
their replacement by new buildings. The current legal framework only protects
monuments built before 1800 (this the same in many Arab countries). The
limitations of existing laws and their lack of implementation are a great obstacle to
On a brighter note, Mr. EI Machnouk highlighted the important role NGOs can
play in disseminating information about heritage protection to the public. The
Lebanese Development and Environmental Media Association (DEMA) launched
a successful media campaign to raise public awareness about Beirut's endangered
urban heritage. The campaign was driven by the volunteer efforts of DEMA
members and included the following: guided walking tours, prints and postcards,
brochures and publications, and seminars and meetings.
A presentation from Jordan by Dr. Leen Fakhoury entitled "The Role of Local
Communities in the Cities of AI Salt, Petra Region and Umm
Sayhoun village in Jordan", focused on the different social and economic
consequences of tourism related activities and their negative impact on the local
inhabitants. The presentation discussed various methods for protecting such areas.
For instance, heritage preservation can be enhanced through upgrading tourist
services and increasing their efficiency.
Dr. Fakhoury stressed the importance of a participatory approach in heritage
protection using the UMP sponsored consultations in Petra and Salt as an example.
She advocated promoting participation and dialogue among community residents,
heritage professionals and local authorities to develop joint action plans that take
into account the interests of all stakeholders. In looking at heritage issues, she
pointed out the need for a comprehensive perspective that incorporates the socio-
economic and political context.
Eng. Lobna EI Gabi, gave a presentation on: "The Role of the Media in
Improving the Urban Environment and Developing Historical Areas
in Old Damascus ,Syria" that reviewed the status of monument restoration in
Old Damascus. Eng. EI Gabi pointed out that ten years after restoration, facades
have deteriorated to their former state and markets are beginning to disintegrate.
She added that any future intervention has to be based on a comprehensive study of
the city and that ensures sustainability through tackling the root causes of
deterioration providing regular maintenance for restored structures.
Eng. El Gabi explained how Old Damascus, like many cities around the world,
suffers from problems such as overpopulation and air pollution, which are
gradually threatening the city's historical and cultural heritage. She said that, to
make matters worse, local residents are incapable of protecting their heritage, due
to a lack of knowledge and a mistrust of professionals and government officials. El
Gabi added that, many residents of Old Damascus have begun to vandalize their
own dwellings to prevent the government from evicting them and taking over their
historically valuable houses.
The limited and inadequate role played by the media in raising local awareness was
raised . El Gabi's impression was that overall media coverage had been superficial
because media personnel were not technically well-informed. She warned that the
media could be a double-edged sword; informing and motivating people or
misleading and confusing them. She encouraged the idea of having media
personnel specializing in cultural heritage issues. She stressed, however, that the
media alone cannot be held responsible and that cooperation is required between
the media, planners, cultural heritage professionals, and local community residents,
pointing out that, in essence, planners themselves often ignore the specificity of old
cities. Finally, given that many areas in the region suffer from similar problems, it
was suggested that cooperation be encouraged at the regional level.
Dr. Shadia Touqan, gave a dynamic presentation on: "The Role of the Community
in the Preservation of Historic Monuments and Revitalization of Historic Centers,
Palestine". Dr. Touqan reviewed conditions in the Old City of Jerusalem and
described the particular political and socio-economic conditions that are affecting
housing and heritage protection. She argued that it is the responsibility of heritage
professionals to bridge the gaps among actors involved in the process of
Dr. Touqan posed the question of how the media can go beyond reporting events to
creating them. She also discussed the development of cultural heritage strategies
that acknowledge the diverging interests of residents of heritage areas and heritage
professionals. Dr. Touqan described how the volatile situation in Palestinian has
made housing in Jerusalem a political issue. Palestinians are crowding into the city,
now more populated than at any time in its history. The resulting housing shortage
is forcing people to crowd into old houses and to squat in monuments. The result is
irreparable but unavoidable damage to the city's cultural heritage. As a mitigating
measure, she suggested that loans be provided to low-income residents to enable
them to upgrade their housing in accordance with of traditional construction
Finally, an important shortcoming in Arab media coverage of the Palestinian issue
was highlighted, namely that it focused solely on the political situation -- in line
with the international press -- rather than paying equal importance to the cultural
heritage aspect of the problem.
Mr. Youssef Binzahra's presentation on "The Role of Community
Development Association in Environmental Improvement;
Marrakech, Tangiers, Fez, Sale" explored the increasingly important role of
Moroccan NGOs. NGOs and Community
Development Associations (CDAs) are playing in addressing urban management
issues such as inappropriate housing and environmental deterioration. They have
also improved their collaboration with the local councils to improve public
services. The increasingly active participation of NGOs and CDAs has resulted in
the emergence of a new culture among both government and citizens that is based
on interdependence, solidarity and participation. The Moroccan Media Society for
Environment and Development has supported this by preparing and publishing a
guide for CDA's in Morocco.
Highlighting the role the media and NGOs can play in protecting monuments, Ms.
Samia Yaiche from Tunis gave a presentation entitled "Heritage and Information:
the Experience of the Medina of Tunis". Mrs. Yaiche mentioned the significant
role of NGOs in Tunis and that monuments cannot be saved without setting
modalities of intervention in the economic and social fields. This was the case with
preserving the Old Medina of Tunis, where NGOs made it clear to the government
how unplanned tourism can have a deleterious effect on the preservation of any
historic monument. Ms. Yaiche provided an example of successful adaptive reuse
drawn from the experience of the Association Sauvegarde de la Medina.
In synthesizing panel and plenary discussion the following key issues were raised:
• It was acknowledged that the media have a vital role to play but that this has so
far been limited to covering political events and personalities. Media personnel
should be more proactive in selecting the stories they will pursue.
• Media personnel need to be better informed on technical issues, including
heritage and environment.
• The media should be encouraged to become more active in calling attention to
development issues, and to collaborate more closely with NGO representatives.
Nevertheless, the media must retain its impartiality. There must be a balance
between advocacy and objectivity.
• Although high rates of illiteracy in the Arab region mean that more focus
should be given to audio-visual media, print media are still extremely influential.
4. Recommendations for Future Activities:
In-depth discussions and lively debates took place among participants on the
crucial role that the media can play in advocating and promoting development
issues. The exchange of information and of experience among media personnel and
development experts attmepted to bridge any communication gap that may have
existed. This has contributed to the stream of knowledge that the media can make
use of in communicating to their target audiences.
A committee, composed of IFEJ, UMP, and AMFED representatives, was formed
to reflect on conference deliberations and to draft a series of recommendations for
future activities. These recommendations were presented to conference participants
during the final working session. Based on comments generated during
discussions, the recommendations were fine-tuned as follows:
Develop a clearer understanding of media needs to enhance the media's capacity to
act as a pressure group that effectively addresses urban management,
environmental protection, and cultural heritage preservation issues. To this end,
AMFED and IFEJ could undertake the activities suggested below.
a. Arab Environmental Journalists Needs' Assessment: Following the IFEJ
model, a comprehensive needs' assessment survey could be carried out by
AMFED to identify the needs of environmental journalists in the Arab
b. Arab Media Capacity Building Initiatives: Based on assessment results, a
range of capacity building activities could be offered that capitalize on
IFEJ/AMFED collaboration. For example, a core group of qualified
academicians and practitioners could be mobilized to help train media
personnel on methods of writing and reporting on urban management,
environmental protection, and cultural heritage preservation Issues.
The key to improving the environmental conditions in Arab cities lies in enhancing
the capacity of local authorities to improve urban management, with particular
emphasis on upgrading low-income urban areas and on improved service extension
to the urban poor. To this end, the UMP / AMFED / IFEJ may undertake activities
a. UMP-ASR City Ranking: Comparing and ranking cities in the
Arab countries where the UMP operates could be a powerful tool
to raise awareness. This ranking could be carried out based on
various criteria dealing with social development, cultural heritage
protection and environment
b. Best Managed City Awards: The best urban management
achievements could be recognized with an award. This could
encourage competition between local authorities and help in
disseminating information about improved urban management.
c. Regional Media Competition: To encourage coverage of urban
management issues a competition could be organized among
regional media personnel. The competition will promote writing on
particular cities and comparison between Arab and non-Arab cities
to highlight best practices and lessons learnt.
A comprehensive knowledge management strategy is needed to make
information accessible to members of the Arab media and to promote
collaboration and the exchange of experience among them. To this
end, the UMP could undertake activities suggested below.
a. UMP-ASR and AMFED Internet Web Sites : Setting up
UMP-ASR and AMFED websites and providing for regular
updates enhance communication among UMP and AMFED
personnel. An online discussion forum and lists will help to
promote dialogue and intensify networking. At the same time,
websites could provide a readily available resource list with links,
names of experts, relevant institutions, best practice initiatives, and
b. Local Consultations, Regional & International Conferences
Continuing to organize local consultations and increasing the
number of regional and international events held will boost the
exchange of experience and knowledge among media and
c. Publications: The results of consultations and conferences should
be captured, documented and widely disseminated in a variety of
forms. In the case of the current conference on: "The Role of the
Media in Environmental Protection and Heritage Preservation" two
publications are proposed. A report summarizing conference
activities (to' be printed as a special issue of the Urban Age
Magazine) and a book compiling the case studies presented. Both
publications could become resource for media personnel.
November 13, 2000
08:00 a.m. Registration
09:00 - 10:00 a.m. OPENING SPEECHES
Mr. Mohamed Islam
09:00 a.m. Ms. Randa Fouad
UMP Regional Information Advisor
09:10 a.m. Mr. Salama Ahmed Salama
President, Arab Media Forum for Environment &
President, Society of Writers on Environment &
09:20 a.m. Mr. Jim Detjen
President, International Federation of Environmental
09:30 a.m. Ms. Samia Guirguis
Assistant Resident Representative - UNDP Egypt
09:40 a.m. Dr. Mounir Neamatalla
President, Environmental Quality International (EQI)
"Regional Coordinator, UMP Arab States"
09:50 a.m. HE Nadia Makram Ebeid
Minister of State for Environmental Affairs
10:00 - 10:15 a.m, Coffee-break
10:15 - 05:00 p.m, CASE STUDY PRESENTATIONS & DISCUSSIONS
10:15 - 10:45 a.m, Session I: "The Egyptian Civilization and Harmony
with the Environment" Egypt
* Dr. Gaballa Ali Gaballa 15 minutes
Secretary General, Egypt's Supreme
Council of Antiquities
* Dr. Ibrahim Abdel Gelil 15 minutes
CEO, Egyptian Environmental Affair
* Mr. Seif Coutry
Chairman, United Bank of Egypt
*Mr. Siefallah Hassanien
Egyptian Antiquities Fund -USAID
10:45 - 11:15 a.m, Discussion
11:30 - 12:00 p.m, Session II: "Building on Natural and Cultural Assets
For Sustainable Development in the Oasis ofSiwa"
* Mr. Christian Arandel 15 minutes
UMP Programme Manager- Arab States
* Dr. Adel Radi
Chairman, Tourism Development
(Chairman of Session)
* Dr. Carlo Dutto
Coordinator - Italian Embassy (IUCN)
* Mr. Abdallah Baghy and Mr. Omar
Rageh - Siwa Community Members
12:00 - 12:30 p.m, Discussion 15 minutes
12:45 - 01:15 p.m, Session III: "Role of Media in the Protection of
Environment and Preservation ofHeritage" -
* Mr. Mohammed El Machnouk 15 minutes
President, Development &
Media Association (DEMA)
Board Member of AMFED
*Mr. Wagdi Riyad 15 minutes
(Chairman of Session)
Assistant Editor-in-Chief: AI Ahram
Vice-President - SWED
Member of AMFED
* Mr. Darryl D'Monte
Board Member, IFEJ
* Ms. Afifa El Sayed
Head - Women's Coordination Unit
Beirut Society for Social Development
UMP Panel Member – Lebanon
01:15 - 01:45 p.m, Discussion
02:00 - 03:30 p.m., Lunch
03:45 - 04:15 p.m, Session IV: "Preserving Cultural Heritage:
The Role of Local Communities in Al Salt City
and the Petra Region - Umm Sayhoun
* Dr. Leen Fakhoury 15 minutes
Professor at Jordan University
President of Heritage Protection
Association UMP Panel Member
*Ms. Caroline Faraj 15 minutes
Journalist, El Rai Newspaper, Jordan
Member of AMFEDIMUDA
(Chairman of Session)
* Dr. Dina El Naggar
Policy Support Unit
Ministry of Environment
*Mr. Robert Thomas
Board Member, IFEJ
04:15 - 04:45 Discussion
November 14, 2000
09:00 - 09:15 a.rn, Recap of Day 1 Presentations
09:30 - 04:45 p.m, CASE STUDY PRESENTATIONS & DISCUSSIONS
09:30 - 10:00 a.m. Session V: "The Role of the Media in Improving the
Urban Environment and Developing Historical
Areas in Old Damascus " - Syria
* Eng. Lobna El Gabi 15 minutes
Head, Documentation Unit- Technical
Office for protection of Old Damascus
- Syria UMP Panel Member
Panel Members 15 minutes
*Ms. Afifa El Sayed
Head - Women's Coordination Unit
Beirut Society for Social
UMP Panel Member - Lebanon
(Chairman of Session)
* Mr. Mohammed Abd El Haq
Head, Media & Development
Syria's Ministry of Information
Board Member ofAMFED
* Mr. Dharman Wickremaratne
Board Member, IFEJ
10:00 - 10:30 a.m. Discussion
10:45 - 11:15 a.m, Session VI: "The Role of the Community in the
Preservation of Historic Monuments and evitalization
Of Historic Centers"- Palestine
* Dr. Shadia Touqan
Director, Technical Office, Old City
of Jerusalem Revitalization Program
* Mr. Steven Lawry 15 minutes
Resident Representative - Ford
(Chairman of Session)
* Ms. Caroline Faraj
Journalist, El Rai Newspaper, Jordan
Member of AMFEDIMUDA
* Mr. Mohammed Abd El Maksoud
Head of Environment Page - AI
Newspaper; Secretary of SWED
Member of AMFED
11:15 - 11:45 a.m, Discussion
12:00 - 12:30 p.m, Coffee-break
12:45 - 01:15 a.m, Session VII: "Role of Community Development
Associations in Environmental Improvement;
Marrakech, Tangiers, Fez, Sale" - Morocco
* Mr. Youssef Binzahra 15 minutes
Head of International Channel
President of the Moroccan Media
For Environment and Development
Board Member AMFED
* Mr. Christian Arandel 15 minutes
UMP Program Manager-Arab States
(Chairman of Session)
* Mr. Mahmoud Bakr
Journalist - AI Ahram Weekly
* Mr. Michael Schweres
Board Member, IFEJ
01:15 - 01:45 p.m. Discussion
02:00 - 03:30 p.m, Lunch
03:45 - 04:15 p.m, Session VIII: "Heritage and Information: The
Experience of the Medina of Tunis" - Tunisia
* Ms. Samia Yaeich 15 minutes
General Director, Tunisia's
Sauvegarde de la Medina
UMP Panel Member
- Ms. Hamida El Bour 15 minutes
Journalist UMP Panel Member
(Chairman of Session)
- Mr. Valentin Thurn
Board Member, IFEJ
- Mr. Christian Arandel
Programme Manager - UMP Arab States
04:15 - 04:45 p.m, Discussion
November 15, 2000
09:00 - 05:00 p.m, SIGHTSEEING TOUR OF CAIRO (Visit to the
Pyramids of Giza and Old Islamic & Coptic Cairo,
with a light lunch) Hosted by the Ministry of
November 16, 2000
09:00 - 11:00 p.m, Session IX: The Media in the Arab World
Synthesis of Case Studies, Lessons Learned and General Recommendations
* Mr. Salama Ahmed Salama
Columnist/Writer - AI Ahram
(Chairman of Session)
* Mr. Robert Thomas
Board Member, IFEJ
* Mr. Darryl D'Monte
Board Member, IFEJ
* Ms. Caroline Faraj
Journalist, El Rai Newspaper, Jordan
Member of AMFEDIMUDA
11:00 - 11:30 a.m, Coffee-break
Two parallel sessions:
11:30 - 02:00 p.m, *IFEJ training workshop on "Environmental Media"
5-min previously filmed interviews are analyzed and discussed.
Coordination: Jim Detjen
Freelance journalists specializing in environmental issues: how
to work together Coordination: Darryl D'Monte
*AMFED General Assembly Meeting
02:00 - 03:30 p.m, Lunch
03:30 - 06:00 p.m, *Resume IFEJ training workshop on "Environmental
Oil, oil prices, and climate. How the media treated these
November 17, 2000
09:00 - 02:00 p.m,
*Presentation of the IFEJ's moral and activity reports
Jim Detjen, Wolfgang Fruehuaf L. Gouverne and M.
*Presentation ofthe Media 2000 Investigation
*Presentation of the guidebook
"Giudadania planteria", commentary by
Victor Brachetta and Latin American
*Modification of the Statues and vote
*Meeting to fix IFEJ's year 2002-2001 objectives
02:00 - 03:30 p.m, Lunch
03:30 - 05:00 p.m, - Closing session
"Biodiversity Reporting Awards"
-SWED's Media Awards Ceremony
* Ms. Randa Fouad
UMP Regional Information Advisor
* Mr. Haroldo Castro
* Ms. Laila Marmoush
Editor in Chief - Medical Crescent Magazine
Board Member - The Society of Writers on Environment &
* Eng. Mohammad Kamal
Head of the Awareness and Training Department- Egyptian
Ministry of Environment
* Elected President ofIFEJ, Mr. Darryl D'Monte
*Mr. Salama Ahmed Salama
President, Arab Media Forum for Environment and
President, the Society of Writers on Environment and
05:00 - 05:15 p.m, Announcement of the 9th Annual meeting of the IFEJ
November 18 - 21, 2000
Post Congress Tour to Luxor and Hurghada for the foreign
journalists members of the IFEJ hosted by the Egyptian
Ministry of Tourism
Case Study Abstracts
Building on Natural and Cultural Assets for Sustainable Development in Oasis of
Prepared by : Mr. Christian Arandel, UMP Programme Manager.
Egypt possesses five major oases all located in the vast Western Desert, west of the
Nile River Valley. Siwa, perhaps the most beautiful and unusual of these oases, is a
fertile depression located 300 km south west of the Mediterranean and the port city
of Marsa Matroush, and around 70km east of the Libyan boarder. It possesses a
unique natural environment that combines lush cultivated areas, natural vegetation,
and stark desert landscapes. Siwa is also rich in its flowing springs of sweet
The population has multi-ethnic origins, reflecting the complicated history of Siwa
as a commercial entrepot and stop along he caravan trail. Siwans are divided into
eleven local tribe that are the descendants of Bedouins, native Egyptians, and
Berber migrants from the west and Sudanese migrants from the South. The local
heritage, represented in unique customs and traditions, decorative and folk arts,
architecture and language (Siwi), is an important cultural asset.
The total population of Siwa is 12,949 (47% women and 53% men). There are at
least an additional 2000 labor migrants from other parts of Egypt, brining the total
population to around 15,000. Nearly 46% of the population is under 15 years of
age, 75% of the population lives in areas defined as urban.
Income levels in Siwa tend to be low, and much of the local economy is still based
on in kind exchanges. Agriculture is the primary source of livelihood in Siwa. The
most important crops are date palms, olives, fruits, some vegetables and grains.
Agricultural practice in the oasis is characterized by the use of very
rudimentary/primitive methods, and the lack of machinery and tools. The
economic profile of the areas is changing as agricultural activities expand, new
industries are introduced, and as the growing urban population demands new
services and goods.
There are a number of indicators of the relative poverty of the inhabitants,
including the following:
• Only 1% of the population has a university education, and only 20.9 % of the
population hold intermediate degrees.
• Illiteracy among women is elevated, reaching nearly 75 %.
• 45% of dwellings do not have water and /or electricity connections.
• 24% of men are unemployed and only 2% of women hold formal jobs.
Siwa today is poised on the brink of tremendous transformation, socially,
economically, and environmentally. The oasis is unique in many respects, but it
faces similar challenges to many other towns and small cities in the region. These
are the transition from rural to urban patterns of settlement and social interaction;
changes in economic activities and transactions; challenges to traditional authority
structures; the negative impact of human behavior on the surrounding environment
and the lack of control over the nature and pace of development.
While many inhabitant of the oasis suffer from poverty, several factors are
currently energizing the local economy. Agricultural activities are expanding, and
new industries, including agribusiness, water bottling and tourism are being
introduced. Private investors are increasingly attracted by the opportunities offered
by the oasis. The population is growing, both due to natural increase and
migration, and is demanding new goods and services. These are indicators of
profound change in a traditional society. There is an urgent need to ensure that
these changes do not lead to greater impoverishment and further marginalization of
In order to address these challenges, the Urban Management Programme-Arab
States Region (UMO-ASR) held a City Consultation in Siwa in May 1998 on the
theme of sustainable development in the oasis. The City Consultation brought
together representatives from all the major stakeholders groups from within the
outside of the community, including the Governorate of Matroush, the General
Organization for Physical Planning, the Ministry of Public Works, the Ministry of
Irrigation, the Siwa City Council, representatives of the 11 Siwan tribes and local
opinion leaders, donors, consultants and academics.
Participants in the City Consultation concluded that Siwa's most precious assets are
its unique and rich natural environment, in particular its land and water, and its
people. They agreed that he uncontrolled pace of growth threatens these assets. It is
therefore imperative that the development process is managed to ensure
sustainability. One of the principal recommendations of the Consultation was the
creation of public private partnerships to consolidate investment, build on previous
experiences, and create a synergy for the sustainable development of Siwa. The
Consultation developed an Action Plan for the Sustainable Human Development of
Siwa Oasis, targeting four main overlapping sectors:
1. Natural Resource Management and Environmental Protection
2. Basic Infastructure Improvement
3. Socio-Economic Development
4. Cultural Heritage Preservation
The current paper will discuss the main elements of the strategy for the sustainable
development of Siwa reached during the city consultation and will focus
specifically on its environmental and heritage dimensions. In addition, a short case
study will highlight the potential contribution of the private sector to the
sustainable development of Siwa.
The Role of the Media in Environmental Protection and Heritage Preservation
Prepared by : Mr. Mohammed EI Machnouk, President of the Development and
Environmental Media Association
Heritage preservation in Lebanon is among the most critical issue that has attracted
attention in the past couple of years. This is a result of the presence of
archeological excavations in the down town area of the city of Beirut on the one
hand, and the demolishing of many old buildings in different areas of Beirut in the
hope of replacing them by new and more modern buildings that can provide a
much higher and more stable income.
We believe that this has become a reality. One that poses a main threat to urban
development and the built environment amidst the huge expansion of Lebanese
cities, not to mention the capital, Beirut. In addition, construction of buildings is
widespread that there is hardly any place left for public gardens, which affects the
quality of air in the cities. In addition, no one abides by the laws that used to
regulate these issues in the past, not to mention some new laws that made it easier
to settle building violations by keeping the violations and resorting only to
collecting modest fines for these violations by the government.
However, some associations and organizations aim at exercising pressure on the
government to preserve the historical buildings in Beirut. These include the
"Association for the Protection of Historical Buildings and Castles in Lebanon"
(ABSAD) and the "Association of Beirut's Heritage", in addition to various
scientific associations and university professors that all aim at drawing attention
from time to time to the plight of this problem and its negative impact on the urban
environment in the capital and the rest of Lebanon's cities.
Conversely, there are plans for new laws that aim at amending the Heritage law in
principle while others are concerned with buildings that date back to 1700 AD as
the current Heritage Law covers buildings and antiquities that date back to before
the above date.
Some members of parliament tried to follow up on these plans. There was also
notable interest on behalf of the President, the Council of Ministers, as well as a
number of ministers to put an end to the destruction of these old buildings without
translating this into procedures that are part of new laws and decisions.
Preserving Cultural Heritage: The Role of Local Communities in AI Salt City
and Petra Region - Umm Sayhoun Village (Jordan)
Prepared by : Leen Fakhoury, President of Heritage Protection Association
The Petra Region lies in the south of Jordan and includes the ancient city of Petra,
capital of the old city of Nabataeans that falls within the declared historic
protectorate of Petra. The region encompasses a number of separate rural
agglomerations such as Wadi Mousa, EI Tayiba and El Ragif. The largest of those
that lie in the proximity of the ancient city of Petra is Wadi Mousa with a
population of approximately 13,000 according to 1999 estimates. Umm Sayhoun
Village lies west of Petra city, which was built in 1984 to resettle Bedouins of the
El Badoul tribe who previously dwelled in the ancient caves of Petra.
The region witnessed remarkable development in the tourism industry
accompanied by significant growth in population and a change in lifestyle and
AI Salt city is located north of the Jordanian capital, Amman. The city bears
testimony to the sophisticated heritage of a city that was once the seat of the
administrative governor (kaim makam ) two hundred years ago. It evolved from a
farming settlement and soldiers' garrison into a town by the beginning of the
twentieth century. Therefore, it represents a model of urban prosperity before the
selection of Amman as capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The
population of AI Salt stands at 66,620 according to 1999 estimates and covers an
area of 38 square kilometers.
The paper generally surveys the social and economic characteristics of the
inhabitants of the Petra region and the rapid urbanization process that the area has
experienced. It also reviews the social and economic characteristics of the
population of AI Salt to identify the issues confronting heritage conservation and
the built environment.
It also explains the results of the social and economic survey of the inhabitants of
Umm Sayhoun Village/ Petra region. The survey was conducted as part of the city
consultation that was held in 1999 as one of the main activities of the Urban
Management Programme (UMP) in close collaboration with the UMP Country
Panel in Jordan, the Near East and North Africa Urban Forum (NENA) and the
Arab Media Forum for Environment and Development (AMFED).
In addition, the paper discusses the various social and economic consequence of.
tourism related activities and their impact on the local inhabitants which in turn
resulted in certain changes in concepts as well as changes in culture, lifestyles and
The paper also sheds light on the main features of the action plan that was adopted
by all the stakeholders in the Petra region and especially with regard of the local
community and its relationship with the historic protectorate of Petra. It also
explains how public participation can help improve conditions in the area, upgrade
services rendered to its inhabitants and increase incomes by raising the efficiency
of tourist services and products.
Furthermore, the paper reviews the objectives of the current "Conservation of
Heritage and the Built Environment in El Salt City: a Partnership" project as well
as its various stages that are being carried out by the Jordanian Society for Urban
Development/ Urban Management Programme in concert with local partners in El
The paper also addresses some of the questions highlighted by the local press in
this field during a particular period in order to determine the present characteristics
of the media and its role in preserving cultural heritage through the airing of topics
Finally, the paper presents recommendations on how an educated media can playa
significant role in raising public awareness on environment, development and
heritage conservation issues and how it can mobilize grass roots support for
initiatives that aim at protecting their heritage and improving the social and
economic conditions. The media can also contribute to the involvement of women
in the development process and in the optimal utilization of all available local
The Role of the Media in Improving the Urban Environment and Developing
Historical Areas in Old Damascus (Syria)
Prepared by: Mr. Mohammed Abd EI Haq, President of the Media and Urban
The proliferation of slums around cities especially Damascus and Aleppo
contributes to the deterioration of the quality of city life. Ten percent of the total
population inhabits these areas, which are characterized by overcrowding, air
pollution, and lack of appropriate sewage or drinking water. Furthermore, such
slum areas often encroach on fertile agricultural land and represent a physical
cancerous growth that damages archeological sites and detracts from their
distinctive archeological and international value. This is the case in Damascus and
Cultural heritage sites in Syria are of global value. Syria contains four sites that are
of global importance and are registered in the World Heritage Sites List. These are
the old city of Damascus, the old city of Bassry, Tadmur, and the old city of
Aleppo. Other sites of importance are Aibela, Gharit, EI Kilaa and others. These
historical areas have witnessed the dawn of agriculture, irrigation, invention of
writing, trading and the appearance of cities over the ages. Today, these sites are
suffering from serious and considerable deterioration because of ignorance
regarding their distinctive value and possible economic benefits, insufficient means
or incorrect and inappropriate maintenance. Moreover, these areas are often
misused and the surrounding lands are exploited in a variety of ways. Inappropriate
construction material and methods have been introduced in licensed building
Improving the Environmental Situation of Urban Areas
• Strict control over areas affected by infractions to improve the urban
• Endorsement of the principles of sustainable urban development and effectively
combating infringements and haphazard construction.
• Establishment of a blueprint for urban areas especially those surrounding
• Imposing charges and guidelines for the provision of services in urban areas.
1. Providing alternative space for settlement.
2. Accelerating the depopulation of areas where maintenance is impossible.
3. Undertaking a survey of the current situation in order to determine acceptable
levels and limits as well as ensuring compliance.
4. Reviewing the status of violations and regulating such violations when
necessary (continuation of current policy).
5. Developing and organizing drinking water and electricity counters and meters as
well as other services.
• Introduction of cultural priorities in all fields of environmental management,
evaluation of environmental impact and irrigation schemes.
• Establishment of a research unit in antiquities departments in order to develop
protection and administrative procedures.
• Establishment of a master plan that highlights the value of a cultural heritage.
• Identification of different types of resources and structures.
• Provision of incentives for the protection of archeological buildings.
• Setting of targets and programmes for restoration and preventive maintenance.
• Training and technical support in defining archeological areas and structures.
• Research and development in protection techniques suitable for Syria.
• Raising public awareness and community participation and formulating
guidelines for best practices.
• Training on protection of urban areas, which includes exchange of cadres and
on- the- job training.
• Classifying structures and areas according to importance and providing
necessary information daily on infringements through effective control.
• Reducing water resource contamination by sewage waste and ensuring
appropriate quality and quantity of drinking water in rural areas.
• Protecting water resources from pollution.
• Ensuring cost recovery to benefit water treatment and sanitation stations.
• Coordination and cooperation between the ministries of environment, housing,
and utilities, and education for training in healthy life styles.
• Formulating a wastewater treatment plan for Syria in an economically effective
manner at the level of water basins taking into account the possibility of cost
• Establishing protected areas to serve as a safe source of drinking water.
• Implementing pilot low cost projects for water treatment systems and stations
in average size agglomerations.
Public Awareness Campaigns
• Elaboration of protection programmes through community participation.
• Encouraging clubs with an interest in wild life, nature, and gardens.
• Promoting public and botanical gardens and zoos as well as aqua culture
There is a dire need for grass roots involvement in planning from the earliest stage.
This includes the following:
• Understanding the needs of the inhabitants and their perception of such needs.
Opinion polls, open debates, and scientific research can be used in that respect.
• Studying cultural values in the area vis-a-vis nature and natural resources.
• Determining beneficiaries from natural resources and holding a dialogue on
investment in this field.
Participation should be transparent even though this may lead to delays in the
• Making use of local events such as fairs and local ceremonies to spread wareness
of projects or introducing new practices for preserving the environment.
• Resorting to twinning and field visits to similar areas to increase information
flow and strengthen ties.
• Discussing problems on community level without sermonizing while at the
same time encouraging the search for solution to problems.
• Using public relations experts to facilitate popular participation.
• Relying on intellectuals and opinion makers such as journalists, governors,
religious, political, and patriotic leaders in addition to businessmen and the
• Settling disputes, analyzing decisions and planning administration in the
process of gaining popular participation.
• Involving local and national NGOs and developing their activities within the
overall project framework.
• Providing the public with information through the media, pamphlets, maps,
posters, bulletins and studies with the help of NGOs.
The Role of the Community in the Preservation of Historic Monuments and
Revitalization of Historic Centers (Old Jerusalem, Palestine)
Prepared by : Dr. Shadia Touqan, Technical Office Director - Old City of
Jerusalem Revitalization Programme.
Professionals in the field of preservation of cultural heritage are usually concerned
about the best technical methods to use to ensure the proper restoration of historic
buildings and monuments. They focus on, prepare and try to implement policies,
laws and standards to enable the preservation of valuable monuments and buildings
and revitalization of historic centers and cities to be carried out according to
The inhabitants of these cures and users of the buildings are often viewed as
destroyers of the heritage, abusers of historical monuments and generally
considered a nuisance or at least an obstacle to achieving the perfect restoration to
a perfect masterpiece. In the best cases, the user is treated as invisible or ignored
completely during any conservation process.
However, communities in many historic cities continue to live in and use their
buildings and cities and shape them according to their needs and adapt them to
functions to suit their way of living.
The inhabitants and users of historic cities also view the planners and professionals
with suspicion and cynicism. If available, the users usually ignore these
professionals, as they do not trust their judgment and definition of their priorities.
This informal and dynamic process from the community side is transforming the
physical character of historic buildings, sometimes beyond recognition, and
consequently the social and environmental conditions while the officials and
professionals watch helplessly.
As a result of this contradiction between the formal, ideal and yet unrealistic
approach of the planner / professional and between the informal practical and often
destructive approach of the users, the cultural heritage of mankind is suffering in
many cases irreversible damage.
The paper argues that it is the professional's responsibility to bridge the gap
between all actors involved in the process of preservation. It also offers a general
view of the existing conditions in the Old City of Jerusalem. This involves
describing prevailing social and economic conditions within Jerusalem's unique
political context and its implication on housing conditions and trends.
The information presented in the paper is based on the years of experience of the
Technical Office of the Old City of Jerusalem Revitalization Programme, which
involves an extensive programme for restoration and rehabilitation of historic
buildings and monuments, housing renewal and adaptive reuse.
The Technical Office was established by the Welfare Association in 1995 to
implement a comprehensive programme for the revitalization of the Old City. The
programme's main components include emergency and total restoration and the
preparation and implementation of a revitalization plan for the Old City based on
sectoral studies, research and extensive surveys. Training professionals, contractors
as well as a community outreach programme are also major components of the
After a brief description of the programme, the paper presents some of the projects
implemented by the technical office with focus on housing renewal. While
describing the process of rehabilitation and method of implementation used by the
Technical Office Team, the paper reviews the difficulties and obstacles the
professionals and communities had to overcome to achieve a successful outcome.
The paper concludes with a proposed strategy for preservation of historic cities,
which avoids the exclusive approach of professionals while outreaching for the
community. The strategy is based on using and utilizing all available resources,
preserving and protecting the cultural heritage's main assets; man and monument.
Role of Community Development Associations in Environmental Improvement:
Marrakech, Tangiers, Fez, Sale (Morocco)
Prepared by : Mr. Youssef Bin Zahra, President of the Moroccan Media Society
for Environment and Development. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) and
Community Development Associations (CDA) have, over the past two decades,
experienced significant gains that are reflected in their noticeable increase in
numbers as well as the diversity of interests and specialization. Among the most
important factors that contributed to these developments are:
• Serious shortcomings in public services in cities.
• Inability of local councils to keep pace of rising demands.
• Widespread phenomenon of inappropriate housing.
• Environmental deterioration.
In addition to these factors, demographic changes in cities have played a
significant role in shaping new social and community structures. The most salient
points of interest in some of the main fields are:
• The environment and improvement of living conditions as well as neighborhood
• Restructuring of irregular housing, etc ..
No one can deny the positive role played by NGOs and CBOs today in improving
the environment and compensating for shortcomings in basic equipment. These
organizations also contribute by providing job opportunities since some of them
perform -in effect- the role of small contractors considering the number of their
employees, type of organization and management. Moreover, the effect of civil
society activities in neighborhoods on the level of participation is reflected in the
emergence of a new culture that is based on interdependence, solidarity, and
citizenship. This is the premise for action adopted CBOs to entrench the basis of
Nevertheless, such work on demographic and societal infrastructures does not
always elicit the desired attention and care from institutional parties. Hence, some
of these organizations suffer from a lack of guidance and support in addition to
problems related to organization and management. Examples of such problems can
be found in the conditions of several organizations in the cities of Tangiers, Sale,
The city of Fez enjoys a very special status. Steeped as it is in ancient and modern
history, it has undergone profound socio-political and special change in the last
few years making it a veritable laboratory for the analysis of variables affecting
society and urban space. Accordingly, the social movement witnessed significant
developments over the past decade that resulted in the establishment of 100 CBOs.
This profusion is unparalleled anywhere else in Morocco.
With regard to the rehabilitation of informal settlements that were carried out
under the supervision of CBOs, it is well worth mentioning that the city of Fez can
boast the first successful experiment, one that serves as a model in the Morocco of
today. The project is known as Monfleurie.
The Monfleurie quarter, situated in the southern part of Fez, covers an area of 250
hectares. It should be noted that informal housing was particularly rampant in this
area at a time when Fez experienced a momentous speculative explosion
accompanied by unchecked urban sprawl that invaded the entire suburb of the city.
Taking into consideration other experiments in rehabilitation of informal
settlements, the Monfleurie experiment remains a truly unique experiment in terms
of the expansion in the scope of its activities, integrating environmental concerns
of the community and the restoration of its municipal, social, and cultural
infrastructure. Progress from the preparative to the executive phase was facilitated
by the fact that the leaders of the Monfleurie association possessed the necessary
elements of vitality.
Sidi Moussa Experiment in Sale :
This neighborhood covers two square kilometers of the northern suburb of Sale on
the Atlantic. Its main feature is that the numerous real estate owners have
transformed this area from a vast vegetable garden into an area of informal
The first CBO was founded in 1984. The number soon exceeded 40 thus prompting
the authorities to group them all into a confederation.
Four main objectives were set forth these organizations including the following;
establishing relations with local authorities and council in order to interpret and
present problems which effect the .neighborhood, participating in all social
activities which can contribute to improving living conditions in the neighborhood
and organizing artistic and sports activities etc.
Financial Resources of Associations :
The financial resources of the Sidi Moussa CBO stems primarily from member
contributions. These organizations failed to obtain subsidies from national and
municipal authorities, which normally allocate funds to CBOs working in the fields
of sports, art, and culture.
In order to overcome this financial hurdle, the Sidi Moussa Social Confederation
was founded with the aim of raising additional funding for the rehabilitation
process, a process that was after all the raison-d'etre for the establishment of the
CBOs of this marginalized neighborhood of Sale.
The experiment of rehabilitating informal settlements in Sidi Moussa demonstrates
the limitations of being solely dependent on beneficiary contributions. The reason
that the financial cost of appropriate and rational intervention to realize
rehabilitation operations far exceeds the means available to associations and even
the confederation as a whole.
If we were to add yet another problem, that of the weakness of laws which govern
these organizations, it becomes clear that it is necessary for public authorities to
contribute far more intensively in the rehabilitation of the Sidi Moussa quarter of
the city of Sale.
In Tangiers, areas with fragile and irregular structures contain more than 20% of
the population. Among the factors which led to the emergence and spread of
informal housing in Tangiers is the basic imbalance between the legal offer of plots
and the demand for housing. This can be attributed to acute real estate speculation
that often forces low income inhabitants to resort to illicit housing.
To confront this phenomenon, the Ministry of Housing through its National
Agency to Combat Irregular Housing commissioned a feasibility study of a project
to rehabilitate the poorly structured quarters, which actually cover 240 hectares and
shelter almost 20,000 households or the equivalent of 105,000 people.
The study proposes two models as a remedy: comprehensive rehabilitation to be
undertaken by public parties on the one hand and partial rehabilitation in which
local inhabitants participate, on the other. The latter model has the advantage of
lower implementation costs and avoids procedural measures to collect beneficiary
contributions. This led public and local authorities to initiate mobilization of the
inhabitants in order to form societies to realize this process in partnership.
For this purpose, five organizations were established, all governed by the 1958 Act
on public liberties. Four objectives were assigned to these organizations:
establishment of an internal sanitation network, organization of roads network,
collection of financial contributions from concerned households and mobilization
of manpower to implement the necessary works. The environmental dimension
was ever present in the minds of CBOs and NGOs.
This dimension was clearly integrated in their different programmes and
interventions especially since they have closer access to and coexist with the
environmental realities obtaining in their quarter. Since urban environment is a
comprehensive system, which must be addressed in a holistic manner, attention
was given to heritage conservation. Heritage represents national wealth, social
identity, and a guarantee for the continuing rich diversity of Morocco.
The various media channels playa cardinal role in tandem with CBOs and NGOs
due to the importance of information in shaping public opinion and influencing
parties concerned with urban development and environmental issues.
* Guide on Urban Development and Vitality of NGOs : The Role of CBOs In
Managing Urban Neighborhoods.
Prepared by Professors Mohammed Amer and Abdel Aziz Felali Belhaj
Heritage and Information: the Experience of the Medina of Tunis
Prepared by : Semia Akrout Yaiche, Urban architect, Director General –
Association for the Protection ofthe Medina.
Protection of cultural heritage is everyone's responsibility : the state, community
organizations, local associations and the public. Sensitizing all these parties to the
value of heritage conservation will have a significant effect on the course of
investments and choices to be made in this domain.
Raising awareness must be preceded by extensive work in education, information,
dialogue and assistance in order to secure adequate participation, especially citizen
participation. All of the above are basic tasks upon which success of any
Formal public consultation is not an innovation in the field of planning and
conservation.. Whatever the case may be, grass roots participation is of great value
as to warrant every effort to encourage it : one can rely on a large variety of
resources to attract the necessary commitment and support for the realization of
How to Ensure Greater Community Involvement and By What Means?
Today, information, on a par with training, is an essential component of any sound
conservation strategy. Hence, introducing heritage protection in the debate about
the future of an entire city and its environment is, in our opinion, the best way to
ensure its integration in the process.
Our premise is the following: protection does not mean "museumification" merely
on account of tradition nor does it mean demolition under the pretext of
modernization. Modernity is to be sought in a protection process shaped by
relevance of historic testament, adaptation capability of the traditional urban milieu
and finally the very cultural model to which society aspires. The Association for
the Protection of the Medina, with the help of the municipality, is implementing a
protection policy, which recognizes the interdependence of problems and calls for
solutions within a coherent framework aimed at rehabilitating the Medina as a
patrimony of monuments but also social real estate inheritance.
From this perspective, the values reflected by the patrimony of monuments cannot
be saved without setting modalities of intervention in the economic and social
fields, which adequately tackle housing, infrastructure, and equipment problems
that effect the daily life of inhabitants.
With its 270 hectares and more than 100,000 inhabitants, the Medina is not merely
the witness of past glory but also an immense evolving quarter whose future is
inextricably bound with that of the Capital as a whole.
What are the means and solutions available to us in order to confront problems,
from day to day administration in a lively quarter to protection of a threatened
Detailed study and diagnosis, from the architectural, urban, social and economic
perspectives, have shed light on the specificity and value of this traditional space,
its evolution and problems. Over thirty years, such studies have allowed the
formation of a database that is essential for defining measures to be taken. These
measures easily go beyond the framework of historic monuments and arrive at
integrated intervention proposals, in short, a conservation policy defined according
to two basic themes:
1. Protection of the monument's patrimony with the objective of developing
Cultural tourism, a fundamental economic option for Tunisia.
2. Protection of the inheritance of social real estate with the aim of achieving
Socioeconomic development of a vibrant Medina which fulfills an important
social role in housing and crafts in Tunisia.
We are aware that, on the one hand, increase of unbridled unplanned tourism can
have a deleterious effect on the preservation of any historic site and, on the other,
that ancient cities often shelter low-income inhabitants who cannot bear the costs
of maintenance and conservation. These two themes, which have differing
objectives are to be addressed in parallel because the two are complementary and
conducive to a better balance between interventions, so as not to tilt the scales in
one way or the other.
Investment in all fields certainly has an impact on the revalorization of patrimony.
However, the goal of protecting a dynamic and constantly evolving historic city
cannot be attained unless backed by adequate legislation and including these
elements in the planning process of the entire agglomeration and possibly of the
Moreover, support is necessary from a public that is aware of the value of heritage
protection. An appropriate media policy that specializes in this domain is also
Arab Media Forum for Environment and
General Assembly Meeting
Cairo, 16 November 2001
Proceedings and Recommendations
The Forum's general assembly meeting, held at the Cairo Helnan Shepard Hotel on
16 November 2000, was attended by: Mr. Salama Ahmed Salama, Mr. Youssef
Bin Zahra, Ms. Afifa El Sayed, Mr. Mohamed Abdel Haq, Mr. Mohamed Abdel
Maksoud, Ms. Anan Zalzala, Ms. Hamida El Bour, Ms. Caroline Faraj, and Ms.
Randa Fouad, Ms Rasha Mehyar and Ms. Rania Sharara.
A. Ms. Randa Fouad presented a report on the Forum's activities throughout the
year 2000. The following are the activities that took place:
1. The forum brochure was prepared and published. The brochure comprises
information on all participating societies and committees and is distributed
at all seminars, conferences, consultations, and training workshops.
2. A training workshop on "The Participation of Women and Men in the
Management of Urban Development" -- organized by the Forum, in
collaboration with the UMP-ASR and the Ford Foundation -- was held in
Tunis, from February 9-13, 2000. AMFED members from different Arab
countries participated in this workshop. A special training manual was
prepared for the workshop, which will be used in future workshops. In
addition, a publication was produced, documenting workshop proceedings
and details in English and Arabic
3. AMFED, in collaboration with IFEJ and UMP-ASR organized an
international conference on "The Role of the Media in Environmental
Protection and Heritage Preservation", under the auspices of First Lady,
Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, from November 1317,2000. Environmental
Journalists from approximately 30 different countries attended the
conference. Several working papers from Arab countries were presented
during the conference on the subject of environment and heritage. A series
of recommendations were formulated on several collaborative activities
between AMFED, IFEJ and the UMP.
B. Activity reports for the year 2000 were then presented.
1. Ms. Hamida El Bour reported on the Tunis gender training workshop. She
informed AMFED members that a film entitled "City Promises" had been
produced on the trials and tribulations of a Tunisian woman who had
migrated from the countryside to the city.
2. Ms. Caroline Faraj from Jordan spoke about the activities of the Media and
Urban Development Association (MUDA).
3. Mr. Mohamed Abdel Maksoud reported on the activities of the Society of
Writers on Environment and Development (SWED)as follows: finalizing
the Society's headquarters and website; participating in the preparation of
Egypt's National Environmental Action Plan; organizing the annual
environmental media competition on "Industrial Pollution"; and orgaruzmg
several workshops on issues concerning the environment, women and
children, and development.
4. Mr. Youssef Bin Zahra described the activities of the Moroccan Media
Society for Environment and Development (MSED), indicating that it had.
organized a seminar on "The Media and NGOs" and that it now had a
website and the following email address amied3OOO@yall0o.mr.
5. Mr. Mohamed Abdel Haq from Syria spoke about the Environmental and
Development Media Committee (EDMC) 's activities, which included
organizing the following seminars on, The Improvement of Women's Status
in poor urban areas, The Upgrading of Old Damascus, and on Solid Waste
6. Finally, Ms. Anan Zalzala, of Lebanon's Development and Environmental.
Media Association (DEMA), explained that the unstable political situation
over the past year had prevented the association from being very active.
However, DEMA managed to organize a media consultation on
municipalities and their role in development.
C. AMFED's General Assembly decided on the following:
1. Continuing to adopt governance as a theme for the Forum's Activities for the
years 2001 and 2002.
2. Retaining the UMP-ASR as the AMFED's General Secretariat, and retaining
the current AMFED headquarters (at the UMP-ASR) until May 2004.
3. Maintaining support for current regional political issues through diversified
activities in the field of environment and development.
D. The following activities were proposed for implementation in 2001 and
2002.Some of these activities are based on the UMP/IFEJ/ AMFED
Conference recommendations, others are independent AMFED activities.
1. Set up an AMFED websites -- with an online discussion forum -- and
update regularly. The website would provide a readily available resource list
with links, names of experts, relevant institutions, best practice initiatives,
and so forth.
2. Carry out a comprehensive need's assessment survey could be carried,
Following the IFEJ model, to identify the needs of environmental journalists
in the Arab region.
3. Offer a range of capacity building activities, based on assessment results that
capitalize on IFEJ/AMFED collaboration.
4. Participate in ranking UMP-ASR cities according to various criteria dealing
with cultural heritage protection and environment and ensure full media
5. Establish a network connection with AI Quds Information Center by setting
Up a committee made up of journalists to interface with the center and
report on heritage issues in Jerusalem as well as raise awareness in the Arab
World of what is happening there.
E. Organization of seminars, consultations and workshops on the following
1. Workshop on the cultural and urban heritage East Jerusalem, in cooperation
with The Old City of Jerusalem: Revitalization Project. (Caroline Faraj
Mohamed Abdel Maksoud)
2.Consultation on environmental protection in south Lebanon (Cities of Saida
and Sor). As an innovative attempt to promote greater exchange of
experience, it is anticipated that members from other com parable
communities will be invited. (Afifa EI Sayed andAnan Zalzala)
3. Consultation on the environmental heritage in Morocco. (Cities of Fez
Marakech) (YoussefBin Zahra)
4.Technical gender-sensitization sessions for media personnel in the Arab
world, as continuation of the workshop that was organized in Tunis. (Afifa
5. Workshops on environmental journalism, in cooperation with the
International Federation of Environmental Journalists. (Randa Fouad)
New IFEJ Board
On the final day of the conference, 17 November 2000, elections took place for the
new IFEJ board for the next three years. The election results are as follows:
Darryl D'Monte, India
IFEJ-Forum Environmental Journalists of India
Randa Fouad, Egypt
SWED-Society of Writers on Environment and Development
IFEJ Vice President
Marie Elena Velez, Colombia
ANPA-Association Nacional de Periodistas Ambientales de Colombia
IFEJ Vice President
Robert A. Thomas, USA
SEJ, Society of Environmental Journalists
Valentin Thurn, Germany
Claude-Maried Vadrot, France
JNE-Journalists pour la nature et l'ecologie
Victor L. Bacchetta, Uruguay
IFEJ Administrative Council
Albena Arnaudova, Bulgaria
Jim Detjen, USA
SEJ- Society of Environmental Journalists
Eugeniusz Pudlis, Poland
EKOS-Polish Association of Environmental Journalists
Mangal Man Shakaya, Nepal
NEFEJ-Nepal Forum Environmental Journalists
Jan Gunnar Furuly, Norway
Norwegian Organization for Environmental Journalists