The new Secretary-General of the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development (NCWCD), Prince Bandar bin Saud, has announced that the Kingdom plans to set up 60 additional protected areas including two marine reserves, the Arab News reported today.
“These protected areas will help conserve and develop the Kingdom’s wildlife,” Prince Bandar told the Arab News.
There are currently 16 protected areas that cover just four percent of Saudi Arabia’s land area. “Our target is to reach 10 percent in the coming years,” Prince Bandar told the Arab News. The reserves will be established according to World Conservation Union guidelines.
The two marine reserves will be established in Al-Aqaba and Fatul Wajd on the Red Sea next year. Both areas are located in the northwestern part of the Kingdom.
Prince Bandar also said that he plans to increase the NCWCD’s public awareness programs. “Natural resources are national assets,” he told the Arab News. “They have to be conserved and developed for the greater good of the country.”
The prince’s plans include training youths in wildlife projects and soliciting foreign expertise in various fields. He also intends to request cooperation from foreign nongovernmental organizations.