– or –
Please login or register to participate.

Nileland April 9, 2015

Attn.: Adriana Gheorghe
           Project Manager - Cooperation EU Neighbors and Central Asia
           PAN - Partnerships and Networks.
           EEA - European Environment Agency

Attn.: Annemarie BASTRUP-BIRK
          Project manager - Forest and environment
          NSV1 - Biodiversity
          EEA - European Environment Agency

Re: Merryland Historical Park
           - Heliopolis, Cairo.

Dear Ms. Adriana Gheorghe & Ms. Bastrup-Birk,

I am writing to you today in regard to the Merryland Historical Park located in Heliopolis in the suburbs of the City of Cairo, Egypt.

The Merryland was found in 1908 as a Horse Race Track and was later converted in 1952 to a Public Park. The Merryland size is around 50 Acres and is known with its historical trees.

Recently the Heliopolis Public Company in charge of managing the suburb of Heliopolis, know as (Masr El Gadida Company) has signed a contract with an investor to rent and manage the park and make it open the public. The Investor who is aiming for profit elected to build a mall and a 3 story garage on the park land to serve the visitors of the intended mall. To accomplish his goals he started with the support of the Heliopolis Company to cut priceless Eucalyptus trees that are over 90 years old, as 28 meters tall and has a radius of 1.5 meter approx each (As seen in the attached photos). It is confirmed that at least 52 trees of these priceless type of trees have been cut, removed and did not survive for sure.

To the best of our knowledge as the residents of Heliopolis, the Eucalyptus trees of that age, size and tall were only available in the Merryland Historical Park in Heliopolis and at the Bois de Boulogne Forest in France.

The Heliopolis Company and the Investor claimed that they only moved the trees and relocated it someplace else to make space for construction of the intended garage and mall. However, facts reveals (per the attached pictures) that the trees were removed from its location leaving its deep roots behind, were badly butchered, and were relocated to its new location with no roots (if any) just to cover up for the tree Massacre.

We have contacted the Egyptian Ministry of Environment, who placed a temporary freeze on the work permit in the park, but it was too late because the damage has been done. Rumors say that the temporary freeze on the work will be lifted soon and the investor will be allowed to continue his construction work.

We are only getting a dead-beat response from the Egyptian Environment Ministry and the investor is not willing to replace the priceless Eucalyptus trees with identical ones. He is offering to plant new non-rare trees from a different kind, size, age and diameter that will take another 90 years for it to grow and is not an Eucalyptus trees.

Please also he aware that the Heliopolis residents have been very active in defending their historical park. They have created an on-line petition to rescue the Merryland Historical Park. Thousands of Heliopolis residents have already signed the petition. The petition (which in Egyptian Arabic) link is: http://goo.gl/forms/f8B7vypz1M

Also please find attached a link to a British article about the Merryland Historical Park.
The link is: http://londoneya.com/[…]/rise-fall-merryland-park-heliopolis.html
As well as other researches about the park itself:

Additional detailed information and additional photos of the Merryland trees massacre are available upon yours request.

Having reached a dead-end in the negotiation to rescue the Merryland Historical Park and going in circles in our talks with the Egyptian Environment Ministry on how to revive the park again, we now come to you to file this formal complaint asking you to contact the Egyptian Environment Ministry, provide recommendation to them, monitor the situation as it develop and file whatever International Environmental Alerts necessary to rescue the priceless Merryland Historical Park trees.

Thank you for your support to rescue the Merryland Historical Park.
Yours truly,

Hoss M. Fahmy
Heliopolis Resident
(On Behalf of the Residents of Heliopolis)

Last discussed by EEA
Apr 15, 2015 03:46 PM