Dr Mohamed Abd El Fattah El Kassas (1921-2012)
It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing away of a great naturalist and loving teacher and father that provided so much of him self to his students and friends, the young and the old. We will miss you Dr Kassas and will continue to work to fulfill your dreams and visions for the natural heritage of Egypt.
Egypt has a natural heritage as diverse and amazing as its cultural heritage. It is the biodiversity and natural landscapes and resources that formed the fertile ground within which the Egyptian civilization emerged and flourished. In the modern world man has become increasingly distant from nature and is losing touch with the natural resources and processes that sustains all our lives on earth. In Egypt as in most parts of the world, nature is under great threat.
We are working to strengthen the lost connection between man and nature. We need to learn and understand more about nature in order to appreciate the critical role and services it presents to us in our every day life. We need to teach new generations to enjoy nature so that their lives are fulfilled and they take an active role in defending nature.
Biodiversity and the natural world are no longer regarded as secondary or a luxury. But they are rightfully being considered as the cornerstone of our life on Earth. The economic and ecological services that nature delivers to us free of charge have to be seriously taken into consideration when we plan for our future development. Biodiversity is also a hugely underestimated asset for sustainable development, and this is particularly true in Egypt, where traditional development thought is rapidly obliterating some of the country’s most precious natural and cultural heritage assets at an unprecedented rate.
There are huge problems facing natural heritage in Egypt, but there are equally tantalizing opportunities. Our role is to attempt to foster the positive opportunities and inhibit the negative forces.