Frequently Asked Questions
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HEPCA is a non-profit NGO working in the field of environmental conservation and protection of the coral reefs, land ecosystems and the coastline of the Red Sea in Egypt.
HEPCA stands for Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association.
No. HEPCA is a recognized NGO – Non Governmental Organisation - registered with the Red Sea Governorate and established by members of the Red Sea diving community.
A non-governmental organisation (NGO) is any non-profit making, voluntary citizens' group which is organised on a local, national or international level. Task-orientated and driven by people with a common interest, NGOs perform a variety of service and humanitarian functions; bring citizen concerns to Governments; advocate and monitor policies; and encourage political participation through the provision of information. Some are organised around specific issues, such as human rights, environment or health. They provide analysis and expertise; serve as early warning mechanisms; and help monitor and implement international agreements. For more information see: www.ngo.org.
Our mandate is the protection and conservation of land and marine ecology. We seek to implement provisions to protect the underwater environment of the coral reefs and the land ecosystems of the Red Sea area. We embark on many projects and campaigns concerning the well-being of our environment, and it is our responsibility to ensure that our projects are working according to their purpose.
Compared to many waters in the world, the condition of the Red Sea is still pristine. As much as19% of worldwide coral reefs have effectively been lost; and less than half of the world’s coral reefs are deemed to be healthy and under no danger from predictable events. We want our marine life to stay as healthy as it is right now and furthermore improve its living standard. The coral growth around Giftun - an island located in front of Hurghada - increased by 3% last year, which was only possible due to efforts from our devoted community to protect the reefs.
The mooring buoy system was the founding project of HEPCA. It was designed and installed after the organisation was established to protect the reefs from damage due to anchoring vessels. Instead of throwing out an anchor to be stabilise vessels at sea, the boats are now able to fix themselves to the buoys. The initial number of 100 mooring buoys has by now increased to more than 1600 throughout the Red Sea, making it the largest mooring system in the world, covering a coastline of 860km.
Normal abrasion eventually leads to the system requiring maintenance, and our diving team monitor every single buoy for this reason.
Yes. We can provide you with clean-up kits: gloves and bags. HEPCA is not responsible for taking care of oil spills in the water, but we will always seek to advise and support during clean-up operations. Each hotel, dive centre, or residency is responsible for its own beach and coastline and has a duty of care for its cleanliness.
Our members are dive centres, hotels & resorts, small businesses, safari boat operators and tourism developers working in the Red Sea governorate. A membership is not obligatory, therefore we are very proud to be supported by so many partners, who believe in the work we are doing!
Our members support our work by paying an annual fee of 1500 LE. If you are interested in becoming a member, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
HEPCA would not be able to do the work we do without support. But it is not the financial support, we rely on. It is much more the certainty to know that we are being supported by what we believe in and what we fight for; the certainty to know that our members have the same intention to take care of our environment and to protect the resources we have in Egypt. This makes us a great community and the bigger the community the better are our chances to achieve, what we are fighting for.
Private funding from members and individuals is necessary for our survival but HEPCA is also fortunate to receive considerable funding from the public and private sector. Supporters include: the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); Coca Cola International, Vodafone Egypt International and many others.
The original objective of HEPCA was to find a solution to anchoring damage on the reefs of the Red Sea. Within the years HEPCA started more projects and campaigns concerning environmental conservation under water as well as on land. A great responsibility arises with every action taken to protect our pristine nature.
You can complete an online form on our website: HEPCA Violation Report
We are currently designing an individual membership plan and will announce this as soon as it is ready. Until then, you are still able to get involved.