World Reef Day Is Observed By Saudi Green Initiative
The Saudi Green Initiative (SGI) recognizes initiatives aimed at protecting and restoring the Kingdom's ocean habitats on World Reef Day, an annual event observed on June 1 to raise awareness about the importance of coral reefs and their preservation.
Under the patronage of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the SGI, launched in 2021, is committed to environmental preservation and fighting climate change by focusing on reducing emissions and protecting land and sea.
Saudi Arabia, as part of the SGI, has pledged to protect 30% of its land and marine territory. Working alongside global organizations like the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Kingdom aims to preserve and revive its natural ecosystems and unspoiled landscapes.
Saudi Arabia is home to thriving marine ecosystems, including the Red Sea, which houses an extensive and resilient coral reef. Unlike corals in other regions, Red Sea corals can endure higher water temperatures. The SGI emphasizes ongoing scientific studies on Red Sea corals to determine their suitability for worldwide coral restoration and preservation efforts.
The SGI has developed a range of programs to protect and restore the Kingdom's reefs, including:
The National Center for Wildlife is working towards a national policy by 2025 to sustainably utilize coastal and marine regions, promoting marine biodiversity conservation and minimize harm to reef ecosystems.
The KAUST Reefscape Restoration Initiative, in collaboration with NEOM, is a significant global endeavor dedicated to restoring and conserving reefs. The first phase concentrates on a 100-hectare project on Shushah Island, near the coast, incorporating reef conservation, replanting, and restoration. Before being put on the reef, corals are grown in nurseries.
The Reef Revive Initiative, led by the Baa Foundation, KAUST, and Beacon Development, aims to reduce reef damage through techniques like transplantation.
By working with and teaching regional dive operators in coral regeneration, reef stewardship is promoted.
Red Sea Global is establishing a Marine Protected Area as part of the proposed new Special Economic Zone surrounding the AMALAA and Red Sea project developments.