CARES Historical Background





The seed of the Desert Development Center was planted in 1979 with the approval of AUC trustees of an applied research and training project in the field of desert development with one AUC faculty; Prof. Adli Bishay and 525 feddans of virgin desert allocated to AUC by the Egyptian government. The land was allocated in two sites halfway between Cairo and Alexandria in the province of South Tahrir and adjoining Sadat City. In 1985, AUC trustees approved the change of the status of the “project” to an independent unit within AUC called “The Desert Development Center” (DDC). The center focused on the ecological, social and economic sustainability of communities in Egypt's arid lands. Through agricultural and socioeconomic research, training programs and community service, DDC worked for more than 30 years to improve the overall wellbeing of Egyptians living in desert areas. In November 2013, DDC was renamed the Research Institute for a Sustainable Environment (RISE) keeping the main components of DDC’s mission yet expanding its scope. 

On the other hand, the Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) was founded in 2012 to help Egypt face the challenges of sustainability by linking and integrating different parties as part of an ambitious and comprehensive movement for sustainable development. By 2018, both centers, coexisting at AUC, had an established record of success and a legacy of work in sustainable development; therefore, it was decided to merge the two units into CARES to capitalize on the accumulated expertise, research, and facilities under the leadership of Prof. Hani Sewilam. CARES is housed in the Institute of Global Health and Human Ecology, School of Sciences and Engineering.