Development project endangers mangrove forest

Updated 08 November 2013

Development project endangers mangrove forest

Fahd Al-Jubair, Eastern Province mayor, recently approved a land reclamation project for the Al-Jamieen plots, which may lead to the destruction of an ecologically vital mangrove forest in the Tarout Island.
The island lies under the jurisdiction of Qatif Municipality.
The Green Gulf Society has appealed to Khaled Al-Sufyan, governor of Qatif, to stop the project, which endangers the mangrove forest of 2 million square meters.
“Notwithstanding repeated complaints, we have noticed land filling activities along the beaches parallel to the remaining mangrove forest in Tarout over the past weeks. The warning boards posted in those locations banning such work have also been discarded,” a local daily reported quoting a statement of the society.
The society requested several authorities including Qatif Municipality, the Border Guard, the Ministry of Agriculture and Water, the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment to declare the mangrove forest a nature reserve and protect it from developers and poachers.
Jaafar Al-Safwani, member of the Agricultural Committee in the Asharqia Chambers, who is also deputy chairman of the fisheries committee, said: “The plot development, which covers the mangrove, would, undoubtedly, destroy one of the most important ecosystems in the Eastern Province.”
Earlier attempts to destroy the mangrove were blocked by a government order ensuring that Tarout Island’s beaches and ecology were protected, he said. Al-Safwani stressed that any permission to landfill the mangrove would upset the marine ecology in the region and endanger the rich fish resources in the Kingdom.
Environmental activists made a number of visits to the Fish Resources Administration, the Ministry of Agriculture and Water as well as the local municipality, upon learning about the mayor’s decision.
The mangrove reclamation order was approved following a meeting between the mayor and the Al-Jamieen project investors. During the meeting it was also decided that the Qatif Municipality would be granted authorization to issue permits for reclamation work.
Project investors are set to begin construction after land-filling of the mangrove area is complete.
The daily also reported it was unable to obtain a response from Qatif Municipality.
Mangrove forests form a belt of protection against erosion and storm surge especially during cyclones in coastal regions. The mangroves’ massive root systems are efficient at dissipating wave energy. Likewise, they slow down tidal water to build their own environments.
The unique ecosystem found in the intricate mesh of mangrove roots offers a quiet marine region for young organisms. Despite restoration efforts, developers have removed over half of the world’s mangroves in recent times, according to environmental researchers.


Fifth Jeddah International Book Fair opened by Makkah governor

Updated 12 December 2019

Fifth Jeddah International Book Fair opened by Makkah governor

JEDDAH: Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, the governor of Makkah, officially opened the fifth edition of the Jeddah International Book Fair on Wednesday.

The prince toured the event, at which 400 publishing houses from 40 countries are taking part, and honored three renowned figures from the local literature and media scenes: Dr. Hashem Abdo Hashem, the former editor in chief of Okaz newspaper; writer Abdel Fattah Abu Madian; and writer Meshaal bin Muhammad Al-Sudairy.

Prince Mishaal bin Majed, the governor of Jeddah and chairman of the exhibition’s Higher Committee, thanked Price Khalid for his support of the fair since it was founded. He also expressed his gratitude to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their great support.

He added that the success of the event is the result of the hard work of a number of organizations. In particular, he wished the Ministry of Culture continued success in organizing the fair as part of its efforts to develop culture in the Kingdom as one of the pillars of Saudi Vision 2030.

Other VIP guests and dignitaries at the inauguration of the fair included Prince Badr bin Sultan, the deputy governor of Makkah; Prince Saud bin Abdullah, adviser to the governor of Makkah; and Prince Khalid bin Mishaal, deputy governor of Jeddah.

The book fair continues at Land of Events in South Abhur until Dec. 21.