The Egyptian Environmental Initiatives Fund was one of the programs of cooperation between the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Government of Egypt (GoE). EEIF included a Climate Change Initiative Project, which intended to convert the energy source of the 50 brick factories located in Arab Abu Saed, south of Helwan, from mazut to natural gas.
This planned conversion entailed first carrying out an Environmental and Health Risk Assessment (EHRA) study to verify the existing impacts of the brick factories at the time and the potential benefits of conversion to natural gas. To fully understand the impacts, a terrestrial ecological assessment was also required.
EEIF contracted Environics to provide consultancy services to identify the potential ecological receptors for Arab Abu Saed area and compile eco-toxicity data of selected receptors.
Environics carried out intensive literature review, field reconnaissance, and interviews with local communities to survey the ecology of the area. The spatial extent of the study area was delineated based on the monthly footprints of the Arab Abu Saed emissions, and defined using air dispersion models, GIS, and remote sensing tools.
The study described the physical and biological environments of the area and illustrated the pollutants’ pathway and terrestrial food web. In order to select wildlife species for further ecotoxicity profiling, comprehensive biodiversity lists were compiled for the study area. A ranking matrix was then developed to identify ecological receptors.
The study to identify the potential ecological receptors of Arab Abu Saed area highlighted the lack of ecotoxicity profile studies for the Egyptian fauna at the time.