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  • Ahmed Saleh

Kingdom's National Wildlife Center awarded champion title for migratory species protection

Riyadh, February 28, 2024, The National Center for Wildlife Development, representing Saudi Arabia, clinched the prestigious champion title for its exceptional endeavors in safeguarding migratory species. This esteemed recognition was bestowed during the 14th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP14), held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, from February 12 to 17, 2024.

Under the overarching theme of 'Nature knows no borders', the Kingdom actively participated in the high-level discussions and the 54th meetings of the Standing Committee of the Treaty on February 11, 2024. This award underscores Saudi Arabia's pivotal role in spearheading initiatives aimed at combatting the illegal hunting, capture, and trafficking of migratory species in the Southwest Asia region from 2024 to 2026.

A delegate from the Kingdom's contingent was selected to represent Asia in the negotiating committee, while several specialists from the delegation were engaged in the Birds Task Force, the Marine Species Task Force, and the Terrestrial Species Task Force.

Dr. Mohammed Ali Qurban, the CEO of the National Center for Wildlife Development, expressed profound gratitude for this international accolade, emphasizing its reflection of Saudi Arabia's extensive endeavors to safeguard wildlife and uphold biodiversity. These endeavors, he noted, underscore the Kingdom's pioneering and leadership role regionally and globally, evident in its launch and support of initiatives and programs geared towards environmental preservation.

Dr. Qurban underscored the significance of the conference as a premier global forum for biodiversity discussions, highlighting its focus on habitat conservation, restoration, and the myriad threats faced by species, including overexploitation, habitat loss, pollution, and climate change. He highlighted the conference's role in launching pivotal reports, guidelines, and groundbreaking developments, including the inaugural State of the World's Migratory Species report, new global directives on light pollution, and best practices for infrastructure affecting migratory species.

Saudi Arabia's conservation efforts are underscored by a comprehensive framework that encompasses the inception of a new national environmental strategy, hunting regulations, and the establishment of standards for protected species lists. Moreover, the Kingdom has instituted specialized environmental forces to enforce regulations, automate processes, and enhance ecological awareness through impactful educational programs.

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