The Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Eng. Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadley, confirmed Saudi Arabia's utmost efforts to promote the environmental sector at all national, regional and international levels. He pointed out that safeguarding the environment is one of the main objectives of the Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to achieve sustainable economic development and ensure protecting the marine environment and its resources.
18th session of the Ministerial Council Meeting of the Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA) was chaired by Al-Fadley, and with the participation of Ministers of PERSGA Member States in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan, Jordan, Yemen, Djibouti and Somalia.
Al-Fadley said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has taken executive measures for sustainable ecosystem management, supporting the PERSGA's efforts for the conservation of the marine environment, where 64 initiatives have been adopted within the National Environment Strategy, an Environment Fund and 5 operational centers on meteorology, environmental compliance, biodiversity, develop the natural vegetation cover, combat desertification, and waste management have been established.
The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture actively continues to adopt comprehensive environmental system which complies with international environmental conventions and contributes in achieving the sustainable development goals in all sectors, as well as principles and procedures of environmental and social assessment of projects and development activities in coastal and marine areas.
Al-Fadley confirmed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been supporting PERSGA's efforts since its establishment under the Jeddah Convention (1982). Adding that Saudi Arabia believed firmly in the importance of international cooperation in promoting joint environmental action and sustainable development at the regional level.
Al-Fadley pointed out that the Kingdom is actively involved in addressing global environmental issues such as pollution, desertification and biodiversity degradation, as it has participated in all Conferences of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Conventions on reducing marine pollution reduction, conservation of marine environments, adaptation and mitigation of potential impacts of climate change) and recently ratified several international conventions on the protection of human health, environment, and marine environment and, such as MARPOL and Minamata conventions.
For his part, the Minister of Environment and Agriculture of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Chairman of the 17th Session Eng. Ibrahim Subhi Al Shahaheda, said that what is being done by PERSGA is one such a successful example of regional cooperation in addressing challenges facing the marine environment.
PERSGA's activities in the previous session and next session's action plan and budget. (2019-2010 has been reviewed during the meeting. The meeting also discussed the declaration of Red Sea and Gulf of Aden as a special area of the International Maritime Organization, which prohibits all ships from discharging oil residues or solid waste at sea, and coastal and marine wastes, especially plastic materials, to reduce their harmful effect on the marine environment.
It is worth mentioning that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hosts the headquarters of the PERSGA in Jeddah city, and that the PERSGA is an intergovernmental body concerns for protection of coastal and marine environment in the region, whose membership includes countries bordering the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, members of the League of Arab States. PERSGA’s legal basis stems from the Jeddah Convention (1982).