Decision made by the IUCN endorses commission’s commitment to conservation
The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), which is regenerating and repositioning vast areas of northwest Saudi Arabia as a leading global destination for cultural and natural heritage, has been granted government status.
This will support RCU’s conservation strategy by allowing it to create nature reserves, restore ecosystems and reintroduce native species.
RCU will now be able to not only draw upon the specialist knowledge of 18,000 IUCN experts but also provide information on the results obtained from its work in AlUla to a global audience through IUCN annual meetings and quadrennial congresses.
Commenting on the news, RCU CEO Amr AlMadani said: “This announcement is a testament to AlUla’s potential for natural heritage and wildlife conservation. It demonstrates the increasing international recognition that RCU, undertaking a project of immense scale, is a key player in global conservation. We look forward to the increased exchange of knowledge between our two organisations so that the flora and fauna of AlUla can be restored to their former glory through cutting-edge approaches.”
RCU’s chief of special initiatives and partnerships, Abeer AlAkel, added: “Mutually beneficial partnerships are essential to RCU’s strategy. They create a platform for acquiring knowledge, establishing alliances with key scientific stakeholders, expanding our expertise and co-creating initiatives. We welcome international partners such as IUCN that will be with us for the long haul and that share our desire to benefit the citizens of AlUla.”
A global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it, the IUCN was founded in 1948 and has counted Saudi Arabia as a member since 1981.
Last year, RCU and IUCN signed a three-year cooperation agreement aimed at assisting RCU in developing a Protected Area Network with effective governance of natural resources that provide benefits to both people and the natural ecosystem.
Underlining his support for the decision, IUCN director general Dr Bruno Oberle said: “I am very pleased to welcome the Royal Commission for AlUla to the IUCN family. Counting RCU among our members will enhance IUCN’s presence in the region, and further strengthen the union’s capacity to promote the good governance of the world’s natural resources and environment.”