Background and objectives
The project, building on the success of the first phase of the sustainable Ismailia project aims at promoting environmentally sustainable economic growth in the Governorate of Ismailia. The project has two components: sustainable use of natural resources through participatory urban and environmental planning and management and, job creation and investment through entrepreneurial capacity-building of NGOs to enhance their access to credit and to create an improved business environment to attract large-scale private investment to the Governorate. Because one of the priorities raised by the city consultations was slum upgrading, an application was submitted to the joint World Bank/UN-Habitat Cities Alliance for additional funding to prepare feasibility studies for upgrading two pilot areas in Ismailia (El Hallous and El Bahtini).
The project started in May 1997 and is being executed by the Ismailia Governorate, with UN-Habitat as the cooperating agency. Lessons learned and experience gained are the point of departure of this project, where replication of the environmental planning and management process in the four towns surrounding Ismailia City has been completed. National and international experts have been recruited to assist in formulating an environmental profile for the Governorate and for each markaz to undertake four markaz-wide consultations and to assist working groups in strategy formulation and action planning establish an environmental management information system in order to produce an updated base map for each of the four marakez and to provide detailed project development information for bankable investment projects. Implementation of the Cities Alliance component on slum upgrading began in the fall of 2000.
The environmental profiles of the Ismailia governorate and the four towns have been completed and a training centre rehabilitated, where project training activities are taking place. The training centre, managed by an NGO, serves various sustainable development training requirements within the governorate. The environmental planning and management approach has been institutionalized as the Governorate has established a sustainable development council to discuss development issues in the Governorate. The Governorate has commenced work on activities of Cities-Alliance-funded project aiming at producing feasibility studies for slum upgrading (social and physical surveys already completed). The project is also developing a framework for replication at the national level with the Ministry of Local Development, as main focal point, together with other partners at the national level.