$18m ideas program launched to protect world’s coral reefs

Special $18m ideas program launched to protect world’s coral reefs
Sunlight illuminates a coral reef in the Red Sea near the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Dec. 15, 2019. (Reuters)
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Updated 13 September 2023
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$18m ideas program launched to protect world’s coral reefs

$18m ideas program launched to protect world’s coral reefs
  • Global initiative aims to save coral reefs from extinction, combat climate change impacts
  • Saudi Arabia has pledged $98 million over the next 10 years to support coral reef research and development initiatives

RIYADH: Officials behind an international initiative to protect coral reefs have invited new proposals for innovative preservation projects to be implemented under an $18 million round of funding.
The Coral Accelerator Program 2023, launched as part of the G20 Coral Research and Development Accelerator Platform, aims to support ground-breaking ideas to help save corals and reefs threatened by climate change and other environmental factors.
The deadline for proposal submissions is Nov. 10, and successful projects are expected to be rolled out in late 2024 in countries including Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Maldives, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Honduras, and the Philippines.
The Cordap platform was launched in 2020 by G20 nations to step up global research and development of coral reef restoration and conservation.
Saudi Arabia has already demonstrated its strong commitment to the preservation and protection of coral reefs around the world, pledging $98 million over the next 10 years to support research and development initiatives.
In April, a royal decree approved the creation of the Cordap Foundation that was officially launched in August. The nonprofit organization will serve as the financial arm of the Cordap.
Headquartered at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, in Thuwal, it became the first international operating foundation incorporated by the Kingdom, paving the way for other similar bodies to back Saudi efforts to address global challenges.
Two-thirds of the world’s coral reefs have already been lost due to human activity. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, between 70 and 90 percent of the remaining coral reefs could disappear in the next 10 to 15 years if no action is taken.
One in four marine species depend on coral reefs, while they also provide food, income, and coastal protection for 1 billion people. The global economic value of coral reefs has been estimated at around $10 trillion annually through ecosystem services and goods.
The Coral Accelerator Program, launched in 2022, received 89 proposals from around the globe and 14 projects have now been awarded, worth a total of $18 million.
Of last year’s 489 applicants, 51 percent of the lead proposals were from women, and 60 percent of the winners were from low- and middle-income countries, with funding spread across more than 20 nations.
The program is based on the core principles of ensuring that local communities benefit from accessible solutions, promoting global inclusivity, and encouraging the use of open-source solutions under free public licensing.
Carlos Duarte, executive director of Cordap and a KAUST professor, said: “Corals are the rainforests of the ocean, yet they are at risk of functional extinction in the next decade without urgent action.
“For the first time, an entire ecosystem that supports millions of species and people may be lost at the hands of humans.”
He noted that the Coral Accelerator Program 2023 would award projects that had the potential to significantly advance science and technology in high-need coral research areas, including coral aquaculture, cold-water corals, means to preserve and conserve existing corals and limit their early life mortality, as well as approaches that contributed to research and development capacity building.


KSrelief runs volunteer medical projects in Sudan, Yemen

KSrelief runs volunteer medical projects in Sudan, Yemen
Updated 18 July 2024
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KSrelief runs volunteer medical projects in Sudan, Yemen

KSrelief runs volunteer medical projects in Sudan, Yemen

RIYADH: The Kingdom’s aid agency KSrelief continues to provide healthcare for vulnerable people in Sudan and Yemen, the Saudi Press Agency reported late Wednesday evening.

The project in Port Sudan for urology surgery, from July 13 to 20, involves 11 volunteers with training in various specialties.

The team members have already completed six surgeries.

A similar project is currently being implemented for orthopedic surgery in the Seiyun district of Yemen’s Hadhramaut governorate, with seven operations already completed.


Saudi Arabia calls for UN Security Council resolution to compel Israel to end war, ‘starvation’ of Gazans

Saudi Arabia calls for UN Security Council resolution to compel Israel to end war, ‘starvation’ of Gazans
Updated 18 July 2024
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Saudi Arabia calls for UN Security Council resolution to compel Israel to end war, ‘starvation’ of Gazans

Saudi Arabia calls for UN Security Council resolution to compel Israel to end war, ‘starvation’ of Gazans
  • Tel Aviv must end its ‘aggression’ and allow for urgent delivery of humanitarian aid to besieged Gaza
  • UN failure to stop Israel driven by ‘short-sighted, selfish political interests,’ says Saudi envoy Abdulaziz Alwasil

NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN, Abdulaziz Alwasil, on Wednesday called on the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution that would compel Israel to end its war on Gaza.

Alwasil said Tel Aviv must comply with the Security Council’s own resolutions, which call for an immediate ceasefire and the delivery of aid into Gaza.

He said Israel, as the occupying power, must be forced to respect international law. This includes implementing the International Court of Justice’s provisional measures to end the genocide being perpetrated on the Palestinian people.

Alwasil said the UN Security Council, since the beginning of the assault on Gaza 10 months ago, has been holding “meeting after meeting to no avail.”

Meanwhile, the world continues to witness the Israeli “war machine deliberately targeting civilians and imposing the harshest forms of collective punishment by killing, displacing, starving and imposing a blockade on civilians.”

Alwasil added: “All of these blatant violations are happening before the eyes of the world and the international community continues to turn a blind eye.

“And this inaction pushed the occupation power, which is hiding behind a solid wall, to take advantage of this weakness and international silence to impose its inhumane, violent practices unabated.”

The Saudi Arabia envoy was speaking at a signature UN Security Council meeting called by Russia, which is holding the rotating presidency of the body for the month of July. It was chaired by Moscow’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Alwasil lamented the failure of the Security Council to stop the war, which he blamed on members of the body being bound by “short-sighted, selfish political interests that have impeded its ability to take the necessary firm actions to stop the Israeli aggression.”

“The failure by the international community and the Security Council to protect the innocent civilians has led so far to the killing of 38,000 people and the injury and maiming of tens of thousands, most of whom are women and children,” said Alwasil.

He added: “How can such a forced displacement that is recurrent in Gaza be justified? How can we stay silent in the face of this systematic starvation and deliberative blockade? How can the international community stand idly while a major humanitarian catastrophe is taking place before our eyes?”

Alwasil vowed that his country would continue to support the Palestinian right to self-determination and the establishment of a state on the lines of 1967 with East Jerusalem as the capital.

This would “ensure comprehensive justice (and) peace in line with the Arab Peace Initiative and the relevant resolutions of international legitimacy.”


Saudi crown prince, Russia’s Putin discuss relations 

Saudi crown prince, Russia’s Putin discuss relations 
Updated 18 July 2024
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Saudi crown prince, Russia’s Putin discuss relations 

Saudi crown prince, Russia’s Putin discuss relations 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has made a call to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Saudi Press Agency said early Thursday.

The pair discussed ways of enhancing bilateral relations in all fields.

The call also reviewed issues of mutual interest.


Saudi crown prince, Iraqi PM discuss relations 

Saudi crown prince, Iraqi PM discuss relations 
Updated 18 July 2024
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Saudi crown prince, Iraqi PM discuss relations 

Saudi crown prince, Iraqi PM discuss relations 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made a call on Wednesday to Iraq’s Prime Minister Mohammed Al-Sudani, the Saudi Press Agency said.

The pair discussed ways of enhancing bilateral relations in all fields.

The call also reviewed issues of mutual interest.


Saudi Arabia condemns Israeli strikes on UN school in Gaza

Saudi Arabia condemns Israeli strikes on UN school in Gaza
Updated 17 July 2024
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Saudi Arabia condemns Israeli strikes on UN school in Gaza

Saudi Arabia condemns Israeli strikes on UN school in Gaza

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has condemned Israel’s targeting the UNRWA-run Al-Razi School in Nuseirat camp in Gaza, and Al-Attar area in Khan Yunis, killing dozens and injuring hundreds, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said.

The statement described the attacks as “a series of repeated violations by the Israeli war machine against defenseless civilians.”

Israeli airstrikes killed more than 60 Palestinians in southern and central Gaza overnight and into Tuesday, including one that struck an Israeli-declared “safe zone” crowded with thousands of displaced people.

Tuesday’s deadliest strike hit a main street lined with market stalls outside the southern city of Khan Younis in Muwasi, at the heart of the zone that is packed with tent camps. Officials at Khan Younis’ Nasser Hospital said 17 people were killed.

Saudi Arabia renewed its categorical rejection of the continuation of Israeli genocidal crimes, and demanded an immediate ceasefire and ensuring the protection of civilians, relief facilities and their workers.

“The Kingdom holds the Israeli occupation forces fully responsible for their continued violation of all international and humanitarian norms and laws,” the statement read.

Saudi Arabia also reiterated the legal, humanitarian and moral responsibility placed on the international community to put an end to these ongoing violations of international law and international legitimacy resolutions by the Israeli forces.

The Kingdom said the failure to do so “not only reflects the inability and weakness of the international community institutions, but also portends consequences that go beyond this crisis and affect the foundations of international legitimacy and credibility, and the extent of our ability to maintain regional and international security and stability in the future.”

-With AP