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A new NGO has been set up to help protect the marine environment and reefs in Sharm El Sheikh.

Sinai Reef takes the mission of conserving the marine life in South of Sinai with the support of the local diving community and the wider tourism sector in Sharm El Sheikh, as well as policy change through advocacy.

The NGO was formed in May 2014 to provide a platform for residents and visitors to take action – and has already made a tangible impact on the management of Sinai’s precious natural environment. Since its formation, it has intervened with authorities on two issues of concern in Sharm El Sheikh, to prevent damage to local dive sites from planned destruction of the cliff above them, and to push for enforcement of zoning for water-based activities after a sea turtle was killed by impact with speedboat propeller in Naama Bay. It's led by one of the pioneers of diving sports in the Red Sea, Hesham Gabr, former chairperson of Egypt's Chamber of Diving and Water Sports (CDWS).

The dive industry in Sharm has welcomed the new NGO. 'Hurghada for many years has benefitted from HEPCA being a pro-active force in environmental issues and it is now time for Sharm to have an equally formidable action group,' said Matt Kitchiner, Operations Manager at Red Sea Diving College.  'We look forward to Sinai Reef representing the diving community and acting as our collective mouth-piece on marine conservation and environmental protection. The organisation has already shown it can bring urgent issues to the attention of the relevant Egypt Government Ministries and most importantly has shown it is capable of decisive and quick action.  Red Sea Diving College looks forward to the long standing success of the NGO and will work with them to protect our marine environment.'

To be able to tackle issues effectively, Sinai Reef needs to grow, and for this it needs the support of the international community of divers who love Sinai’s Red Sea coastline. A simple “like” or “share” of Sinai Reef’s page on Facebook will help spread the word about the current and future initiatives.

To learn more, visit http://www.facebook.com/sinaireef

New voice for reefs in Sharm

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