On 16 and 17 November, the Center for Environment & Water at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals organized an online workshop on the Vistas of Biodiversity in the Arabian Gulf.
In the online workshop, 12 researchers from KFUPM and around the world reviewed a number of important research papers related to the Gulf’s biodiversity.
The workshop aimed to collect and unify knowledge related to the biological diversity of the Arabian Gulf, identify the recent threats to the gulf biodiversity, identify gaps in this knowledge, set priorities, discuss the effective ways to maintain biodiversity, and raise awareness of its importance.
Biodiversity is vital for the survival of human life on Earth. It leads to the fertility of water and soil. It also has a great impact on the primary production of water, pollination, and cross-fertilization of crops and other plants, which are crucial for the stability of food production. It plays an essential in maintaining ecological balance and stability by protecting the environment from various threats such as climate change and soil erosion.
The workshop discussed the unique biodiversity in the Arabian Gulf. Several studies indicated that despite the harsh seawater conditions such as the high level of salinity and temperatures, the Arabian Gulf also hosts distinct and unique marine animals and plants.
Researchers pointed out that this biodiversity is fundamental to the economic activity of coastal countries, and a large proportion of the population in the GCC countries depends on this economic activity for their livelihoods and incomes.
Dr. Fahad Al-Ismail, Director of the Center for Environment & Water, emphasized that development is taking place along the coast of the Arabian Gulf.
Dr. Al-Ismail stated: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is fully aware of the need for balanced development, therefore, and in line with the Saudi vision 2030, protecting the Gulf environment and its biodiversity have been identified as important priorities.”.
Dr. Al-Ismail noted that protecting and preserving biological diversity is critical to reaping sustainable benefits for current and future generations. He also mentioned that this could only be achieved through the diversity and sustainable use of biological resources and ecosystems, and by maintaining life support systems and basic environmental processes .