The Dahshur World Heritage Site for Community Development Program is one of the projects of the UNESCO, which targets the preservation of the Dahshur Seasonal Lake (Birkat Dahshour) through coordinated efforts that ensure community-owned conservation. Dahshur is an integral section of one of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, namely, Memphis and its Necropolis (MN).
The UNESCO contracted Environics to carry out environmental studies that aim at serving two main tasks. The first is investigating inputs to redefine the boundaries of the Memphis Necropolis World Heritage Site (MNWHS) Core Zone and Buffer Zone.
This task included several areas surrounding the MN WHS, of which the Date Palm Groves and Birkat Dahshur represent major components. The second task is the assessment and evaluation of the Regional Level of the overall MN and the Local Level of Dahshur area for the purpose of defining their impact on the Master Planning process of the project.
This study aimed at integrating and preserving both cultural and natural heritages.
To produce the study, an exhaustive baseline description was carried out at the regional and local levels, which gathered data through reviewing the available literature, compiling topographic maps and satellite images, and conducting site surveys, visits, and interviews.
The data was analyzed and the existing and potential impacts were identified.
A set of criteria was developed to assess the archeological, physical and biological sensitivities of the area.
The Buffer Zone of the WHS was redefined to integrate the environmental dimension, and criteria were formulated to delineate new core and buffer zones for the site.
The study proposed recommendations for the management and development of the core and buffer zones.