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Wadi Allaqui Biosphere Reserve, Egypt

Wadi Allaqui is located in Egypt’s southeastern desert, about 180 km south of Aswan on the eastern side of Lake Nasser. It is a major dry river, which drains from the Red Sea hills to the Nile Valley. 

The about 1,000 non-sedentary inhabitants (2003) use the natural resources of the biosphere reserve for livestock transhumance, charcoal production, the collection of medicinal plants, quarrying and small-scale cultivation.

Designation date: 1993


Regional network:  ArabMAB

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface : 2,380,000 ha

    • Core area(s): 63,850 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 63,850 ha
    • Transition zone(s): 2,184,200

    Location: 20°20' to 22°10'N; 32°40' to 33°40'E

    Administrative Authorities

    Egyptian Environment Affairs Agency (EEAA) 

    A. E. Belal

    Wadi Allaqi Research Project
    The University of Faculty of Science

    Tel.: (20.97) 480 446

    Email: N/A

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    Ecological Characteristics

    Downstream wadi system vegetation (frequently flooded) with extensive shrub groves of Tamarix sp., Heliotropium supinum and Glinus lotoides; vegetation above flood area dominated by xerophylic species such as Salsola baryosma and Acacia ehrenbergiana; upstream wadi system vegetation dominated by Balanites aegyptiaca, Salvadora persica, Acacia raddiana and A. tortilis; agroecosystems with vegetables, cereals and fodder crops


    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    Resource conservation has been a concept inherent in the Bedouin’s livelihood and value system over centuries. The views, aspirations and accumulated knowledge of the Bedouins are included in decision-making processes within the biosphere reserve. 

    Core support for the biosphere reserve is provided by the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency. The principal focal point for research activities is the Unite of Environmental Studies and Development of South Valley, with a Desert Field Station and a Conservation Centre, in Wadi Allaqi, providing facilities for local and overseas researchers. Various cooperative programmes have been launched in association with several overseas universities and with support from such bodies as UNEP, UNESCO, The British Council, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada, etc. Links with UNESCO include the UNESCO-Ecotechnie Chair on Environment and Development at South Valley University. 

    Through these various collaborative initiatives at national, bilateral and international levels, research and training activities cover a wide range of issues related to arid zone ecology and resource use. Recent and ongoing research projects include work on fuel wood energy and conservation, indigenous medicinal plants, the cultivation of Balanites aegyptiaca for oil production, the natural history of the Wadi Allaqi, and water use and salt recycling of Tamarix sp.


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    Last updated: October 2018