Assessment of the Environmental Carrying Capacity for Protected Areas: A Study of Petrified Forest and Hassanah Dome, the Great Cairo
Keywords:Carrying Capacity, Sustainability, Environmental management, Protected areas, Ecotourism
The research aims to quantify the environmental carrying capacity of both Petrified Forest Protectorate in East Greater Cairo and Hassanah Dome Protectorate in West Greater Cairo, with their sustainable use and preservation. The environmental carrying capacity works as a sustainable method not to exceed the environmental limits of nature reserves or in other words, the number of visitors does not exceed the maximum allowed for visiting the reserve. The methodology used in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has been used. The elements of the methodology are at 3 levels, namely, physical carrying capacity (PCC), which depends on the optimal rate of space used per capita and open period, real carrying capacity (RCC), which depends on environmental and social factors, and effective carrying capacity (ECC), which depends on administrative and operational capacity. The results of the research found that the Petrified Forest Protectorate (East of Greater Cairo) accommodates 186,286 visitor per day, and Hassanah Dome Protectorate (West of Greater Cairo) accommodates 26,612 visitor per day. In addition to assessing the level of the ecological carrying capacity index (ECCI), which measures the extent of support for the population and its activities, and by comparing the total environmental carrying capacity of the two protectorates that reached 212,898 visitors per day with the population of Greater Cairo (Cairo Governorate and Giza Governorate), which reached 17 million (Capmas, 2017), it was found that the environmental carrying capacity of the two protectorates is not sufficient to support recreational activities and environmental tourism for people of Greater Cairo.
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