Egypt has launched the the country’s first Fossil and Climate Change museum at the Wadi al-Hitan protectorate in Fayoum located 100 kilometres in the south west of Cairo.
Opened in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme and the Italian government, the museum will house the largest intact pair of Basilosaurus whale skeletons and many other fossils belonging to species that are now extinct.
The Wadi al-Hitan area was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 2005 due to the abundance of fossils of dozens of marine animals that existed around 40 million years ago, when the valley was an ocean.
The museum has also been designed to play a role in highlighting the dangers of climate change, and also to promote eco-tourism in the area.
Speaking to journalists during the launch, Egyptian minister of environment Khaled Fahmy hailed the project and stressed the importance of conserving nature.
“As it stands, the definition of the protection of nature is limited to a negative or positive impact on the protectorate. However, the conservation of the environment is to employ economic advantages compatible with the requirements of environmental protection,” said Khaled Fahmy.
The project was funded by the the Egyptian-Italian Environmental Cooperation Programme (EIECP) to the tune of $ 1.4 million.