UN hears culture and heritage are essential aspects of Saudi Vision 2030

The Culture and Sustainable Development conference was held at the UN headquarters in New York. (SPA)
Updated 22 May 2019

UN hears culture and heritage are essential aspects of Saudi Vision 2030

  • Culture and Sustainable Development conference was held at UN headquarters in New York
  • Dr. Afnan bint Abdullah Al-Shuaibi, the general supervisor for International Relations at the Ministry of Culture, delivered the Kingdom’s speech

NEW YORK: UN hears culture and heritage are essential aspects of Saudi Vision 2030

At the United Nations on Tuesday, the Saudi Ministry of Culture highlighted the important role that diverse cultures and national heritage can play in the development of nations and promoting peace, and the ways in which the Kingdom is using this to encourage intercultural dialogue, diversity and openness.

The conference, titled Culture and Sustainable Development, was organized by the UN General Assembly in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to mark the annual World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

Dr. Afnan Al-Shuaibi, the general supervisor of international relations at the ministry, delivered the Kingdom's speech during the event at the UN’s New York HQ. She said “culture is an essential part of the Saudi Vision 2030” and highlighted the “importance of preserving cultural and natural heritage to achieve peace, and the common endeavor of all countries to build a rich cultural future in which various kinds of culture and arts flourish.” She also described the vision and outlook of the ministry, and the ambitious initiatives it has implemented to develop the Saudi cultural sector.

The conference, which was based around the importance of cultural diversity and indigenous cultures to sustainable development, focused on local, regional and international experiences of this. It highlighted the relationship between culture and diversity, and how they link to local solutions to climate change and environmental challenges; offered views on the effective role of culture in providing decent employment opportunities and reducing poverty; social resilience and other aspects of sustainable development plans; and showed how culture, arts, education and the creative industries can contribute to the achievement of development goals and creative solutions in urban and rural areas, at local and national levels.

The event also included a panel discussion titled “Cultural Diversity as a Common Human Heritage.” It explored two themes: “Culture and Education: Foundations of Sustainability” and “Culture as an Instrument for Change, Innovation, Empowerment and Equality.”

Other issues were also addressed, including the importance of preserving cultural and natural heritage, the role of traditional knowledge and skills to promote environmental sustainability, the resilience of climate-related disasters and the impact of cultural heritage on identity preservation and peace building.

The Ministry of Culture took part in the event as pat of its efforts to promote cultural dialogue and showcase the Kingdom’s experiences in pursuing its ambitious cultural-development goals, which are an integral part of the transformations that are key to achieving Saudi Vision 2030.
 


Saudi tourism megaproject aims to turn the Red Sea green

Updated 20 October 2019

Saudi tourism megaproject aims to turn the Red Sea green

  • Development will protect endangered hawksbill turtle, while coral research could help save the Great Barrier Reef

RIYADH: Key ecological targets are driving Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea tourism megaproject, its leader has told Arab News.

The development will not only protect the habitat of the endangered hawksbill turtle, but could also save coral reefs that are dying elsewhere in the world, said Red Sea Development Company Chief Executive John Pagano.

The project is taking shape in a 28,000 square kilometer region of lagoons, archipelagos, canyons and volcanic geology between the small towns of Al-Wajh and Umluj on the Kingdom’s west coast.

One island, Al-Waqqadi, looked like the perfect tourism destination, but was discovered to be a breeding ground for the hawksbill. “In the end, we said we’re not going to develop it. It shows you can balance development and conservation,” Pagano said.

Scientists are also working to explain why the area’s coral reef system — fourth-largest in the world —  is thriving when others around the world are endangered.

“To the extent we solve that mystery, the ambition would be to export that to the rest of the world,” Pagano said. “Can we help save the Great Barrier Reef or the Caribbean coral that has been severely damaged?”

 

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