The First International Conference on Semi-Arid Mountain Environment in Asir region, which is organized by the Ministry of Water, Environment, and Agriculture in cooperation with the Emirate of Asir Province under the patronage of HRH Prince Turki bin Talal bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Asir region, was held on 17 - 19 September.
The delegations took part in the conference comprise personalities from Arab States and States in other parts of the world, including America, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Morocco, Oman, Jordan, Sudan, Djibouti, Brazil, Tunisia, Greece, India, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Participants, speakers and experts from more than 16 countries, discussed a wide range of issues, including ecotourism and development of national parks, agricultural tourism, and evaluation of tourism investment opportunities in Asir region. Participants also discussed environmental standards and international environmental best practices for urban growth planning and road construction in forest areas, sustainable management of forest and national parks, promoting ecotourism, agritourism and forest fire monitoring, reducing forest degradation, improving the urban landscape and afforestation regulations across the cities.
The conference also deliberated on issues of agribusiness in rural and semi urban areas, promoting terracing and land conservation, supporting smallholder farmers, contributing to food security, preventing soil degradation and rationalizing the consumption of water.
The conference included scientific and awareness sessions lay emphasis on the importance of conservation of the environment and forests, and afforestation, and will also confer on challenges facing coastal, marine and land environments, vegetation cover development and combating desertification. It will also demonstrate practical experience contributed to rural and urban development and ecotourism, as well as operationalize programs to conserve renewable natural resources.
The conference is considered a great opportunity to shed light on the importance of mountain environment which is an attractive area for both investors and tourists that need to be protected and preserved, as well as the, efforts undertaken to develop the environment sector and future directions for the sector, as well as the international experiences that have developed mountain environments.