King Salman: Allah granted KSA the honor of serving pilgrims

King Salman
Updated 20 September 2017
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King Salman: Allah granted KSA the honor of serving pilgrims

JEDDAH: King Salman on Tuesday thanked Almighty Allah for granting Saudi Arabia the honor of serving pilgrims and visitors to the Two Holy Mosques and the holy sites.
Addressing a Cabinet session at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah, he said since Saudi Arabia’s foundation, its kings have exerted maximum efforts to serve pilgrims and visitors, and will continue to do so as this is a source of pride for the country and its citizens.
The efforts of Hajj-related officials and agencies resulted in a successful, larger and epidemic-free pilgrimage this year, King Salman added.
The Cabinet congratulated the signing of memoranda of understanding (MoU) and cooperation projects between the Kingdom and China.
The Cabinet stressed the importance of King Salman’s speech at the Islamic Summit on Science and Technology in Kazakhstan, notably the need to overcome challenges facing Islamic nations by reviving knowledge based on developing education and encouraging scientific and technical research.
The Cabinet expressed the Kingdom’s strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms, and of deadly terrorist attacks in friendly countries in recent days.
It condemned the brutal attacks and abuses against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, and urged the international community to take urgent action to stop the violence and uphold the rights of the Muslim minority.
The Cabinet said the Kingdom has supported the Rohingya at international forums, and has given $50 million for health and rehabilitation programs, as well as hosted them.
It lauded the arrest of a group of spies working for foreign parties to undermine Saudi security.
It also praised the foiling of a Daesh plot to target two Defense Ministry buildings in Riyadh. The suicide bombers were arrested before they reached the buildings.
The Cabinet authorized the minister of energy, industry and mineral resources, or whomever he authorizes, to discuss with Russia a draft MoU on cooperation in mineral resources.
It approved two MoUs on cooperation between the Education Ministry and its counterparts in Malaysia and Afghanistan.
The Cabinet authorized the transport minister, or whomever he authorizes, to discuss with Russia a draft cooperation agreement on sea transport.
It authorized the minister of culture and information, or whomever he authorizes, to discuss with Ukraine a draft MoU on exchanging news between the two countries’ national news agencies.
The Cabinet approved an MoU on cooperation between the King Abdul Aziz Research Center (Darah) and Portugal’s Council of Ministers in the area of archives and documents.


Clean sweep: Marine waste targeted in Red Sea tourism program

The program for eliminating marine debris will play an important material and moral role with the support of the residents of areas surrounding the seafront. (SPA)
Updated 56 min 35 sec ago

Clean sweep: Marine waste targeted in Red Sea tourism program

  • Debris major cause of death for marine life
  • Disintegration of plastic waste threaten human food resources

JEDDAH: A beach cleanup program targeting marine waste has been launched by the Red Sea Development Co. (TRSDC), the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The firm, which is behind the development of a luxury seafront tourism destination in Saudi Arabia, is already developing a range of environment-friendly policies such as zero-waste-to-landfill, zero-discharge-to-the-sea, zero-single-use plastics, and achieving 100 percent carbon neutrality. On Saturday it launched the Marine Debris Beach Clean Up Program as part of the Red Sea Project. “Eliminating marine debris is receiving increasing attention from the media that it has become a global cause, urging us to participate in protecting our virgin environment for which our seafront is known,” said TRSDC CEO John Pagano.
“The program for eliminating marine debris will play an important material and moral role with the support of the residents of areas surrounding the seafront. It will also shed light on the importance of reducing the use of nonrecyclable plastics, in addition to encouraging the disposing of these substances in a safe and sustainable manner.”
The TRSDC will continue to explore ways for recycled materials to be a source of employment opportunities for the area’s residents, he added. 
TRSDC is an official partner of the United Nations’ initiative to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the cleanup program will initially support two SDGs: Life Below Water and Life on Land. It will expand to support other SDGs, including Responsible Consumption and Production, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Decent Work and the Growth of the Economy, Ending Poverty, and Quality Education.

HIGHLIGHTS

• TRSDC is an official partner of the United Nations’ initiative to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the cleanup program will initially support two SDGs: Life Below Water and Life on Land.

• It will expand to support other SDGs, including Responsible Consumption and Production, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Decent Work and the Growth of the Economy, Ending Poverty, and Quality Education.

• Institutions or individuals wishing to take part in the beach cleanup program can find more details here: www.act4sdgs.org/partner/TheRedSeaProject

Dr. Rusty Brainard, chief environment officer at TRSDC, said: “Marine debris causes significant damage to the environment and is a major cause of death for many marine organism species, which may ingest these substances. Moreover, the disintegration of plastic waste into small pieces that penetrate into the food web base may also threaten human food resources. Our program for eliminating marine litter is a long-term project that includes ongoing monitoring of environmental health, as well as periodic intervention to clean up any waste in the Red Sea Project.”
TRSDC has teamed up with leading academic institutions in the Kingdom, such as King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the University of Tabuk, on a number of educational initiatives, added Brainard.
The partnership between TRSDC and KAUST has led to an international competition — “Brains for Brine” — that encourages academics, scientists, engineers and the water industry to find solutions for managing the disposal of brine, which is a waste product of water desalination, in a sustainable and commercially viable way.
KAUST has also helped TRSDC with marine spatial planning for the Red Sea Project.
As part of the planning process, major environmental studies were carried out to ensure that the area’s sensitive ecology was protected both during and after completion of the development.
The final master plan, which preserves around 75 percent of the destination’s islands for conservation and designates nine islands as sites of significant ecological value, required several redesigns to avoid potential disruption to endangered species native to the area.
Institutions or individuals wishing to take part in the beach clean-up program can find more details here: www.act4sdgs.org/partner/TheRedSeaProject