The Egyptian government announced on Tuesday that it will not sell the land of the Petrified Forest Protected Area in New Cairo, according to a report issued by the Information and Decision Support Centre.
According to the report, the Ministry of Environment denied all news regarding selling the land, stressing that the Petrified Forest is a protected area in accordance with article 102 of the 1983 Law on Environment, and its land is a common property that cannot be sold or possessed.
The ministry said that the part which was excluded from the protected area has lost its biodiversity and is empty of petrified trees and the object of excluding this part of land is to preserve the petrified wood in the southern part of the area. The statement added that the excluded part has returned to the possession of the state.
The state protects public, private, and cooperative property, and the first phase of the process of developing the Petrified Forest Protected Area cost about EGP 12m, and was opened on Saturday to visitors.
The Petrified Forest Area in New Cairo is a geological protected area and a national heritage site. The Rocky Wood Area is abundant with dense rocky stems of trees in the formation of a wood mountain that is traced back to the Oligocene epoch, according to the Ministry of Environment. It consists of layers of sand, gravel, mud, and rocky wood with a thickness of 70-100 metres.