Addressing the 20th meeting in Riyadh today of the National Commission of Wildlife Conservation and Development (NCWCD), Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector-General Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, who is also NCWCD’s Chairman, noted that the Kingdom’s Law of Governance stipulates the need to preserve the environment. The meeting authorized the preparation of regulations governing the management of zoological gardens in cooperation with the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture; approved a proposal to form an association for conservation of bio-diversity; and approved the organization of a national forum for conservation strategy. The meeting was attended Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal and by head of the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) Prince Turki bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz.
In a statement on the occasion of World Environment Day, which falls on June 5, Prince Sultan commented that today’s inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula need to follow the example of their ancestors, who lived in balance and harmony with their fragile desert environment and few natural resources, as is clearly expressed in the tenets of Islam.
Meanwhile, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the other member states of the Regional Organization for Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME) have finalized projects that include surveying the coastlines, improving laboratories, and monitoring changes in the environment. ROPME has also recommended that the recent unprecedented numbers of fish deaths be studied; and that measures to check pollution from offshore oil drilling be implemented.
There has been a substantial increase in the consumption of fish in the Kingdom, which has four major fisheries, three of them on the Red Sea and the fourth on the Arabian Gulf. These produce 53,000 tons of fish a year, an amount that is increasing annually by 4.5 percent.