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Preface

Abdulaziz H. Abuzinada

Secretary General
National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development, Riyadh

 
 

The Gulf ecosystem is composed of several interacting and interdependent habitats, each one with its own characteristic assemblage of animals and plants. The land is exposed to high temperatures and loss of water through evaporation. The shallow waters of the sea are particularly saline and show a wide range of tem­perature between the seasons. Despite these harsh conditions the area is rich in wildlife which show special adaptations to their environment.

 
 

The plants and animals of the Kingdom are of great importance to the people of Saudi Arabia as an educational, economic, scientific and recreational resource. Aware of its responsibilities to future genera­tions, the government of the Kingdom, under the leadership of the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, King Fahd Bin Abdulaziz, has set up the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Develop­ment to safeguard these assets.

 
 

The Arabian Gulf is a unique and fragile ecosystem. Following the events of the 1991 Gulf War and the release of approximately a million tonnes of crude oil into the sea, a joint environmental initiative was set up between the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development in Riyadh and the European Commission in Brussels. The result of this cooperation is the first of a series of marine protected areas along the western coast of the Arabian Gulf which will promote the conservation of endangered species and allow for the appropriate management of the renewable biological resources of the area.

 
 

Finally, I would like to thank the European Commission for their help and support in the establishment of this Wildlife Sanctuary and look forward to continued cooperation in the future.

 
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