If the sea level in the southeastern Mediterranean rises by one meter, thousands of local residents will be forced to relocate. This would affect important industrial areas in harbour cities such as Alexandria, Danita, or Port Said as well as the Nile Delta—the country’s granary. Egypt would face tremendous costs. Only extensive shoreline countermeasures could induce mitigation.
Conflict researcher Michael Link explained how coastal protection measures, which have helped preserve the German Wadden Sea, could be adapted for Egyptian needs. “A closed dike line, however, is not an option for the Nile Delta. One should rather build on natural phenomenas—such as dune formations—combined with an array of technical solutions.”
This approach calls for thorough planning. “Egypt has already presented designs for integrated coastal management; the only hitch is their implementation,” says Link. The country is undergoing upheaval and facing countless challenges as it seeks a way to abolish dictatorship between Islam and democracy. “Against the backdrop of religious and political conflicts it is extremely difficult to establish procedure, rules, and structure in situ,” the German researcher points out. Yet all three are essential components of an urgently needed integrated coastal management system.