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Celebrating World Oceans Day

In celebration for World Oceans Day under the theme ‘activating collection action for the oceans,’ The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s National Center for Wildlife hosted the workshop, ‘The Role of Scientific Research and Cooperation in Preserving Red Sea Environments’ under His Excellency the Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Eng. Abdul Rahman Al Fadhli and Dr. Mohammed Ali Qurban, the CEO of National Center for Wildlife. This commendable initiative served to highlight the work of the kingdom in maritime environmental protection and sustainable development.

The workshop focused on two topics: The role of Scientific Research in Preserving Environments in the Red Sea and Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Under Water: Threats and Solutions to the Sustainability of Marine Ecosystems. Representatives from the National Center for Wildlife, King Abdualziz University, The Red Sea Development Company, the University of Tabuk, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, ARAMCO, NEOM, National Center for environmental Compliance, and the National Center for Vegetation Cover all contributed to the workshop.

The Transport General Authority's Permanent Representative at the International Maritime Organization for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Eng. Essam Al Ammari, gave the presentation, ‘Maritime Policy and regulation- The Role of the IMO and the Saudi Mission in Supporting SDG14.’ He noted that up to 90% of world trade is carried on the world fleet which consists of over 62,000 ships carrying more than 11 billion tons of cargo. Eng. Essam Al Ammari informed on the role of the United Nations special agency, the International Maritime Organization tasked with maintaining the safety and security of seafarers, creating shipping regulations and addressing environmental concerns as well as legal and technical considerations. He highlighted the essential role that the Transport General Authority has as the maritime regulator in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and their international impact.

Additionally, he expanded on how the work within the IMO supports Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water. This focuses on preventing marine pollution, minimising ocean acidification, regulating harmful fishing practices, enhancing conservation among others to protect marine biodiversity. Eng Essam Al Ammari commenced the initiatives undertaken by Saudi Arabia and in protecting the maritime environment and expanded on the work he has overseen as the Permanent Representative such as IMO CARES foundation project, The Glolitter Partnership Project focusing on maritime pollution, as well as The GloFouling Partnership Project which seeks to protect marine ecosystems from the negative effects of invasive species.

The Permanent Representative conclusion focused on the role of international regulations, policies and procedures in critically important for maintaining and ensuring the health of our oceans and it is at the IMO where these policies and regulations are decided by the international community.

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