Adaptation in Egypt through Integrated Coastal Zone Management


The primary objective of this project, Adaptation to climate change in the Nile Delta through Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Egypt, is to integrate the management of sea level rise risks into the development of Egypt’s Low Elevation Coastal Zone (LECZ) in the Nile Delta.

The dominant feature of Egypt's Northern Costal Zone is the low lying delta of the River Nile, with its large cities, industry, agriculture and tourism.   Due to the concentration of much of Egypt's infrastructure and development along the low coastal lands and the reliance on the Nile delta for prime agricultural land, coastal inundation or saline intrusion caused by anthropogenic climate change induced sea-level rise will have a direct and critical impact on Egypt's entire economy.  

n addition to the current trends, Egypt's Mediterranean coast and the Nile Delta have been identified as highly vulnerable to climate change induced sea leverl rise (SLR) The proposed project aims to integrate the management of SLR risks into the development of Egypt's Low Elevation Coastal Zone (LECZ) in the Nile Delta by strengthening the regulatory framework and institutional capacity to improve resilience of coastal settlements and development infrastructure, implement innovative and environmentally friendly measures that facilitate/promote adaptation in the Nile Delta, and establish a monitoring and assessment framework and knowledge management systems on adaptation. 


Project details

One of the most certain consequences of global warming is a rise in mean sea level. As a result, coastal zones are regarded as one of the most vulnerable areas to climate change. In the coming decade, 3.3% of total land area of the Nile Delta will be lost to rising sea levels, including submersion of approximately 16 km2 of valuable currently cultivated land in the absence of adaptive action. In addition to the sea level rise (SLR) and current subsidence trends, Egypt’s Mediterranean coast and the Nile Delta have been identified as highly vulnerable to abrupt SLR, which is considered to be due to climate change.

The Nile Delta’s coastal lakes are key ecosystems that act as a protective zone for inland economic activities. Lake Manzala, Burullus, Idku, and Maryut, however, are only separated from the Mediterranean by 0.5- 3km wide eroding and retreating sand belt and dune system.  Rising seas would destroy parts of the protective offshore sand belt, which has already been weakened by reduced sediment flows after the construction of the Aswan Dam in 1964. The sediment belt protects the lagoons and low-lying reclaimed land. Without this sediment belt, water quality in coastal freshwater lagoons will be altered, groundwater will be salted and recreational tourism and beach facilities will be inundated. 

The goal of the project is to enhance Egypt’s resilience and reduce vulnerability to Climate Change impacts. The objective of the proposed projects is to integrate the management of sea level rise risks into the development of Egypt’s Low Elevation Coastal Zone (LECZ) in the Nile Delta by taking an “adaptive capacity approach” for both human and natural systems.

The project will have three major outcomes. First, the regulatory framework and institutional capacity to improve resilience of coastal settlements and infrastructure will be strengthened. Second, strategies and measures that facilitate adaptation to climate change impacts, with sea level rise (SLR) in particular; will be implemented in vulnerable coastal areas in the Nile Delta. And third, monitoring/assessment frameworks and knowledge management systems will be established to facilitate adaptive management in the face of unfolding climate change impacts.

The first and third major outcomes target the adaptive capacity of the institutions responsible for coastal zone management. The second outcome targets the implementation of proactive adaptation measures to enhance the resilience and adaptive capacity of coastal lagoons in the Nile Delta that are both highly productive and particularly vulnerable to future sea level rise and have been identified through stakeholder processes as environmental hotspots and priority areas for adaptation. The second outcome will be achieved through installation of a set of innovative shoreline protection strategies modeled after the “Living Shorelines Approach” in the Idku, Burullus, and Manzala coastal lagoons. The third outcome will capture key lessons and transfer through various national and international platforms for further replication of good practices and scaling up.

According to the 2006 Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CPAMS) census figures, the population, (including those living abroad), is estimated to have reached 76.5 million at a growth rate of 37% over the 1996 figure of 59.3 million. United Nations projections indicate that the population will continue to grow to 95.6 million by 2026 and 114.8 million before it stabilizes in 2065. Population in urban areas increased by 40 % and is now at nearly 31 million people, and rural populations grew by 64% to roughly 41.6 million people. The rate of unemployment is estimated at 9.31%. CPAMS also estimates, in 2007, that 12 million people or ~16% of Egypt’s population live in slum communities. UNSTATS (2000) also estimates that 17% of the population lives below the national poverty line.

Source: UNDP Egypt Project Document (June 24, 2009)

Thematic areas: 
Climate-related hazards addressed: 
Level of intervention: 
Primary beneficiaries: 
Egyptian rural and urban residents in low-lying areas in the Nile Delta subject to sea level rise (SLR) and salinization of freshwater resources.
Implementing agencies and partnering organizations: 
Egypt Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation
Coastal Research Institute, Egyptian Shore Protection Authority
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Global Environment Facility (GEF)
Project status: 
Financing amount: 
4,000,000 (as of December 1, 2010)
Co-financing total: 
12,840,000 (as of December 1, 2010)

Key results and outputs

  • Outcome 1: Enhanced capacity to improve resilience of coastal settlements and development infrastructure is strengthened
    • Output 1.1: Modified coastal development legislation and regulations (focusing on ICZM and EIA)
    • Output 1.2: Strengthened institutional capacity of the NCIZMC and other key institutions to support the mainstreaming of climate risks and implementation of adaptation measures 
    • Output 1.3: Information systems established that reflect climate change impacts on coastal zones
    • Output 1.4: Budgetary planning of Shore Protection Agency reflects adaptation needs
  • Outcome 2: Innovative and environmentally friendly coastal zone adaptation measures enforced in the framework of Nile Delta ICZM
    • Output 2.1: Innovative adaptation pilot activities implemented to protect vulnerable coastal lagoons
    • Output 2.2: Socio-economic assessment and adaptation option appraisal
    • Output 2.3: Introduction of climate risk assessment into ICZM system for Nile Delta
  • Outcome 3: An enhanced M&E framework and knowledge management system in place
    • Output 3.1: M&E system with measurable indicators introduced
    • Output 3.2: Lessons codified and disseminated through the ALM
    • Output 3.3: Lessons disseminated throughout Egyptian Institutions

Source: UNDP Egypt Project Document (June 24, 2009)



Reports and publications

Reports and Publications of relevance to Country Teams
Assessments and Background Documents

Monitoring and evaluation

Project Start:

Project Inception Workshop: will be held within the first 2 months of project start with those with assigned roles in the project organization structure, UNDP country office and where appropriate/feasible regional technical policy and programme advisors as well as other stakeholders.  The Inception Workshop is crucial to building ownership for the project results and to plan the first year annual work plan. 


Day to day monitoring of implementation progress: will be the responsibility of the Project Manager, based on the project's Annual Work Plan and its indicators, with overall guidance from the Project Director. The Project Team will inform the UNDP-CO of any delays or difficulties faced during implementation so that the appropriate support or corrective measures can be adopted in a timely and remedial fashion.


Project Progress Reports (PPR): quarterly reports will be assembled based on the information recorded and monitored in the UNDP Enhanced Results Based Management Platform. Risk analysis will be logged and regularly updated in ATLAS.


Annual Project Review/Project Implementation Reports (APR/PIR): This key report is prepared to monitor progress made since project start and in particular for the previous reporting period (30 June to 1 July).  The APR/PIR combines both UNDP and GEF reporting requirements.  

Periodic Monitoring through Site Visits: UNDP CO and the UNDP RCU will conduct visits to project sites based on the agreed schedule in the project's Inception Report/Annual Work Plan to assess first hand project progress.  Other members of the Project Board may also join these visits.  A Field Visit Report/BTOR will be prepared by the CO and UNDP RCU and will be circulated no less than one month after the visit to the project team and Project Board members.

Mid-Term of Project Cycle:

Mid-Term Evaluation: will determine progress being made toward the achievement of outcomes and will identify course correction if needed.  It will focus on the effectiveness, efficiency and timeliness of project implementation; will highlight issues requiring decisions and actions; and will present initial lessons learned about project design, implementation and management.  Findings of this review will be incorporated as recommendations for enhanced implementation during the final half of the project's term.  

End of Project:  

Final Evaluation: will take place three months prior to the final Project Board meeting and will be undertaken in accordance with UNDP and GEF guidance.  The final evaluation will focus on the delivery of the project’s results as initially planned (and as corrected after the mid-term evaluation, if any such correction took place).  The final evaluation will look at impact and sustainability of results, including the contribution to capacity development and the achievement of global environmental benefits/goals.  The Terminal Evaluation should also provide recommendations for follow-up activities.

Project Terminal Report: This comprehensive report will summarize the results achieved (objectives, outcomes, outputs), lessons learned, problems met and areas where results may not have been achieved.  It will also lie out recommendations for any further steps that may need to be taken to ensure sustainability and replicability of the project's results.

Learning and Knowledge Sharing:

Results from the project will be disseminated within and beyond the project intervention zone through existing information sharing networks and forums. 

The project will identify and participate, as relevant and appropriate, in scientific, policy-based and/or any other networks, which may be of benefit to project implementation though lessons learned. The project will identify, analyze, and share lessons learned that might be beneficial in the design and implementation of similar future projects.

Establish a two-way flow of information between this project and other projects of a similar focus. 

Source: UNDP Egypt Project Document (June 24, 2009)



Keti Chachibaia
Regional Technical Advisor
Mohamed Bayoumi
Country Officer
Mohamed Aly
Project Coordinator