1998 News Story

Saudi Arabia's concern for the environment

Speaking on the occasion of World Environment Day (June 5), Prince Sultan Ibn Abdul Aziz,

Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector-General,

reaffirmed that protection of the environment is in line with the teachings of Islam.   Referring

to this year's theme of 'Rescuing the Seas', he noted that preservation of the ecological system

is in fact a guarantee for the continuity of the development projects that have been set up

along Saudi Arabia's coasts.  Moreover, the Kingdom's coastal regions constitute an important

source of fresh water, with huge water desalination plants that ease the pressure on ground

water resources.  Pointing out that these coastal areas are subject to oil pollution due to the

intensive movement of oil tankers and their loading and unloading, and referring to the

integrated plan for their management, he stated that surveys had been conducted and

vulnerable zones pinpointed.   In addition, the Saudi Ministry of Agriculture and Water has

fixed fishing seasons for certain kinds of fish and shrimp aimed at proper exploitation of these


Prince Sultan went on to say that the Kingdom is promoting the establishment of a regional

organization for the protection of the sea environment in the Arabian Gulf as well as one for

preservation of the environment of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, adding that Saudi Arabia

has signed a number of international agreements pertaining to environmental protection and

extended support to the international and regional organizations that combat the various kinds

of environmental pollution.