The establishment of the Egyptian Society for Environmental Sciences (ESES) in 2004 was to me a life-time dream that finally come true. As a non-governmental organization, ESES focuses on conserving and developing different environmental components for the benefit of the fast growing communities living in arid and semi-arid regions of Egypt, the Middle East and North Africa, and many other parts of the world as well. ESES, however, is not only concerned with providing advice and help to the nomadic Bedouins of the deserts, but it is also concerned with promoting scientific works devoted to record the natural habitats and treasures of these deserts and to discover how to protect and sustain theses treasures for future generations.
Few of the 4,500 or so of the non-governmental organizations licensed in Egypt are dedicated to study and /or solve the problems facing desert communities. ESES, however, is fully committed to this cause. Its plan of action aims to achieve two main objectives. The first one is to establish a direct involvement or association with the Bedouins to increase their public awareness, to create job opportunities by training them on producing and marketing wild economic and medicinal plants, and finally to promote women's role in ecosystem conservation which in return improves their communities' attitude towards conserving their environment. The second objective is to improve the quality of scientific research related to different environmental issues, in general, and to the protection of the unique marine ecosystems and the underground water resources of Sinai, in particular.
ESES achieved a tremendous success in launching CATRINA as an international journal for environmental sciences. The name Catrina reflects my deep affection for Saint Catherine area, South Sinai, Egypt, where I have spent half of my life working their enjoying its sheer beauty.
On behalf of all the members of the ESES, I would like to express my deep and sincere thanks to the members of the editorial board (especially Prof. Samira R. Mansour, Dr. Nabil N. El-Masry, Dr. Raafat H. Abdel-Wahab, and Dr. Mohammed S. Zaghloul) and to the referees for their excellent work. I hope that one day CATRINA will become one of the world's most famous journals for publishing top quality research papers.
Prof. Abd El-Raouf A. Moustafa