NCWD launches project to evaluate marine species in Arabian Gulf

RIYADH: The National Center for Wildlife Development launched on Tuesday a project that aims to assess the state of marine habitats in the Arabian Gulf’s Saudi waters, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The NCWD said the goal behind the project was to build a baseline for developing an integrated management plan for marine environments, preserving biodiversity and reducing threats.

It will also enhance the sustainability of marine environments in Saudi waters in light of their economic, social and cultural value and their provision of many valuable ecosystem services.

Mohammed Ali Qurban, NCWD’s CEO, said the project aimed to provide a basic assessment of the condition of coral reefs, seagrass meadows, mangrove forests, and associated animals and marine species.

The project will identify natural risks associated with human activities that threaten these coastal ecosystems, and concurrently, find solutions to reduce those threats.

It will also design an effective plan to preserve and rehabilitate these coastal habitats, based on the data provided by the project.

Qurban said Saudi waters in the Gulf cover an area exceeding 27,000 square kilometers and contain very important marine habitats, which support a wide range of marine species.

NCWD’s CEO pointed out that marine systems are exposed to many pressures and require continuous monitoring and the application of an effective plan to preserve and manage them in a sustainable manner.

The data provided by the project constitute an essential factor for conservation and rehabilitation measures and enabling NCWD and other relevant parties to build a management plan to sustain these valuable habitats.

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