Arid mountain conference highlights importance for water
2019-09-28 - 132 Views

Organized by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA), in collaboration with the Asir region of the Kingdom, the three-day conference brought together participants from more than 16 countries to discuss topics such as urban development from an environmental perspective, conservation and development of forests, rural development, wildlife conservation, ecotourism and water management.

The conference aimed to benefit from international perspectives and experiences in sustainable mountain development and apply this knowledge to managing the country’s mountain environments.

The inaugural conference focused on the Asir region, an area in southwest Saudi Arabia. The conference is part of the MEWA’s efforts to comprehensively develop the Kingdom in line with the Kingdom’s 2030 vision. The conference is a product of the MEWA and Asir region’s development strategy and is in response to the aspirations of the people of the Asir region to preserve and develop their environment on three bases: environmental sustainability, economic development and social sustainability.

Yuka Makino, Team Leader of the Water and Mountains Team, FAO Forestry Department, and Coordinator of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, presented FAO’s resilient watershed management approach and the Mountain Partnership to an array of Saudi Arabian government officials and Saudi Arabian civil society.

“Approaching development in mountains has to be different than approaching development in the plains; mountains are unique ecosystems and landscapes with slope, aspect and elevation that need special consideration,” says Makino.

As a result of the Mountain Partnership’s (MP) presence and advocacy at the conference, the MP is establishing new linkages in the region and has accepted its first member from Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Geographical Society (SGS)