Saudi Border Guards chief calls for global action plan to combat maritime terrorism

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Some of the delegates are seen participating 10th international train-the-trainers course on combating threats in the maritime field that was held in Jeddah. (SPA)
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Some of the delegates are seen participating 10th international train-the-trainers course on combating threats in the maritime field that was held in Jeddah. (SPA)
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Some of the delegates are seen participating 10th international train-the-trainers course on combating threats in the maritime field that was held in Jeddah. (SPA)
Updated 02 July 2019
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Saudi Border Guards chief calls for global action plan to combat maritime terrorism

  • UN urged to develop regional codes of conduct to counter threats against maritime transport and world economies

JEDDAH: The head of the Saudi Border Guards has called for an international agreement to combat the growing threat of maritime terrorism.

Opening a new training course in Jeddah on sea security, Gen. Awad bin Eid Al-Balawi said a global action plan was required in the wake of recent attacks on oil tankers and coastal installations in the region.

The director general of the Border Guards recommended that the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the UN agency responsible for regulating shipping, should develop regional codes of conduct and work toward the adoption of an international convention to counter terror crimes which posed a serious threat to maritime transport and world economies.

Under the patronage of the Kingdom’s Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif, Al-Balawi spoke as he inaugurated the 10th international train-the-trainers course on combating threats in the maritime field, being attended by 25 delegates from 18 countries.

Hosted by the Saudi Ministry of Interior, the course was being delivered in cooperation with the IMO at Mohammed bin Naif Academy for Maritime Science and Security Studies.

In his speech, Al-Balawi stressed the Saudi government’s backing of international and regional efforts to support strategic and operational measures to enhance maritime security and safety of navigation and shipping.

He said the Border Guards had held two workshops and a high-level ministerial conference which resulted in the Jeddah Amendments to the Code of Conduct 2017 on Combating Transnational Organized Crime, in addition to nine training courses benefiting 199 candidates from 28 signatory countries to the code, and other nations of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct for west and central Africa, and the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery (ReCAAP).

To improve maritime security, Al-Balawi said that the Border Guards had established the Jeddah Maritime Information Sharing Center (JMISC), a regional hub for the collection, exchange and analysis of data.

He added that criminal acts and maritime terrorism had taken a dangerous new course through the use of drones, unmanned aerial vehicles, booby-trapped boats and underwater threats, in a bid to disrupt the global economy.

He highlighted the recent targeting of oil tankers in the Sea of Oman and the Arabian Gulf, as well as attacks on vital coastal installations.

Al-Balawi told guests at the opening ceremony that the latest training course represented a continuation of the Kingdom’s cooperation and partnership with the IMO to support capacity building efforts and enhance the exchange of experiences. The train-the-trainer courses were aimed at developing participants’ knowledge, skills and capabilities in the field of maritime security.

He pointed out that the Ministry of Interior, represented by the Border Guards, would be staging more courses and workshops.

Kiruga Metchini, representative of the IMO’s secretary-general, thanked the government and people of Saudi Arabia for hosting the event, and said: “The Saudi government is a unique partner in the success of combating piracy and armed robbery against ships in the region.”


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 22 September 2019

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