February 11 -
In the frame of the Egyptian-Italian cooperation, Wadi Al Hitan (Whale Valley) became the first natural site on Unesco World Heritage list in Egypt and the Arab World the event was attended by the Italian Ambassador Claudio Pacifico.
The Italian cooperation since 1998 granted one million euros to protect Wadi Al Hitan and offered technical assistance, equipment, infrastructure and trained 13 rangers and 30 forest guards.
The Egyptian Minister of Environment, Maged George plans to turn the Wadi-Al Hitan area to an open museum. Wadi Al Hitan, located in the Egyptian Western Dessert, is the most important site in the world to demonstrate one of the iconic changes that work as a record of revealing life on earth through the evolution of whales. The site shows the form of whales during their transition from land animals to marine animals. The value of the site exceeds other comparable sites in terms of number, concentration and quality of fossils. Also, their accessibility and setting in an attractive protected landscape work as an added value. Wadi Al Hitan is the only place in the world where the skeletons of families of archaic whales can be seen in their original and geographic setting of the shallow nutrient-rich sea which dates back to some 40 billion years ago.