Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Saudi National Center for Wildlife Launches Biodiversity Workshop

The two-day workshop in Riyadh will play a pivotal role in shaping Saudi Arabia's National Biodiversity Framework. (SPA)
The two-day workshop in Riyadh will play a pivotal role in shaping Saudi Arabia's National Biodiversity Framework. (SPA)
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Saudi National Center for Wildlife Launches Biodiversity Workshop

The two-day workshop in Riyadh will play a pivotal role in shaping Saudi Arabia's National Biodiversity Framework. (SPA)
The two-day workshop in Riyadh will play a pivotal role in shaping Saudi Arabia's National Biodiversity Framework. (SPA)

The National Center for Wildlife (NCW), Saudi Arabia's designated national representative for the Convention on Biological Diversity, kicked off the Comprehensive National Biodiversity Framework (CNBF) workshop in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

The two-day workshop in Riyadh will play a pivotal role in shaping Saudi Arabia's National Biodiversity Framework. It aims to align the Kingdom’s biodiversity conservation efforts with global goals under the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, established during the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 2022.

The initiative also aims to advance environmental sustainability in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

Dr. Mohammed Qurban, CEO of the National Center for Wildlife (NCW), said: "This workshop aims to forge a unified national model through collaborative efforts among relevant stakeholders to harmonize national objectives with global framework goals.”

“This effort strengthens the Kingdom's commitments to the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, where national goals were set and strategies built to implement the framework,” he stressed.

"Aligned with Saudi Vision 2030 and the Saudi Green Initiative, this workshop signifies our national commitment to restoring ecological balance and achieving sustainable development, paving the way for a prosperous future,” he added.

Throughout the workshop, NCW plans to initiate the development of the Comprehensive National Biodiversity Framework (CNBF) using a multidisciplinary participatory approach involving all relevant stakeholders in the Kingdom.

This includes establishing a knowledge base, fostering national consensus on defining goals, and implementing mechanisms to support the targets of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

It also involves defining roles and responsibilities and establishing a national network of experts and decision-makers to ensure sustainable implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity at the national level.

The workshop aims to raise awareness about Saudi Arabia's efforts in protecting and preserving biodiversity and ecosystems, cementing its leadership in fulfilling international commitments related to biodiversity conservation.

It also aims to enable and support urgent actions to meet the goals of the National Biodiversity Framework, contribute to the objectives of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, discuss mechanisms for developing, updating, and implementing national policies, strategies, and action plans, bolster transparency in monitoring progress at all levels, and explore avenues for collaboration and partnerships among stakeholders.

Additionally, it aims to establish a core national network of experts and decision-makers to support the implementation of the framework.

During the first day, participants from NCW, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, and UNEP presented concise reports on strategies, plans, initiatives, actions, and activities implemented under the Montreal Protocol on Biodiversity framework.

They reviewed their contributions to developing national goals and initiatives aligned with the framework and the targets of Saudi Vision 2030.



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : 3 Hikers Die in Utah Parks as Temperatures Hit Triple Digits

(FILES) The view from the Grand View Point Outlook in the Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah on April 24, 2018. (Photo by Mark Ralston / AFP)
(FILES) The view from the Grand View Point Outlook in the Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah on April 24, 2018. (Photo by Mark Ralston / AFP)
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3 Hikers Die in Utah Parks as Temperatures Hit Triple Digits

(FILES) The view from the Grand View Point Outlook in the Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah on April 24, 2018. (Photo by Mark Ralston / AFP)
(FILES) The view from the Grand View Point Outlook in the Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah on April 24, 2018. (Photo by Mark Ralston / AFP)

Three hikers died over the weekend in suspected heat-related cases at state and national parks in Utah, including a father and daughter who got lost on a strenuous hike in Canyonlands National Park in triple-digit temperatures.
The daughter, 23, and her father, 52, sent a 911 text alerting dispatchers that they were lost and had run out of water while hiking the 8.1 miles (13 kilometers) Syncline Loop, described by the National Park Service as the most challenging trail in the Island in the Sky district of the southeast Utah park. The pair set out Friday to navigate steep switchbacks and scramble through boulder fields with limited trail markers as the air temperature surpassed 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).
Park rangers and a helicopter crew with the Bureau of Land Management began their search for the lost hikers in the early evening Friday, but found them already dead. The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office identified them on Monday as Albino Herrera Espinoza and his daughter, Beatriz Herrera, of Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Due to the jagged terrain, safety officials used a helicopter to airlift the bodies out of the park and to the state medical examiner on Saturday morning, according to the sheriff's office. Their deaths are being investigated as heat-related by the local sheriff and the National Park Service, The Associated Press reported.
Later Saturday, first responders in southwest Utah responded to a call about two hikers “suffering from a heat related incident” at Snow Canyon State Park, which is known for its lava tubes, sand dunes and a canyon carved from red and white Navajo Sandstone.
A multi-agency search team found and treated two hikers who were suffering from heat exhaustion. While they were treating those individuals, a passing hiker informed them of an unconscious person nearby. First responders found the 30-year-old woman dead, public safety officials said.
Her death is being investigated by the Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety Department. She has not been identified publicly.
Tourists continue to flock to parks in Utah and other southwestern states during the hottest months of the year, even as officials caution that hiking in extreme heat poses serious health risks.
A motorcyclist died earlier this month in Death Valley National Park in eastern California, and another motorcyclist was taken to a hospital for severe heat illness. Both were part of a group that rode through the Badwater Basin area amid scorching weather.
The air temperature in Death Valley reached at least 125 degrees Fahrenheit (52 degrees Celsius) for nine consecutive days July 4-12 — the park’s longest streak at or above that temperature since the early 1900s, the National Park Service announced Monday. Now, parts of the park are experiencing a multiday power outage triggered by a thunderstorm as temperatures continue to linger just above 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius).
Late last month, a Texas man died while hiking in Grand Canyon National Park, where summer temperatures on exposed parts of the trails can reach over 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Elsewhere on Monday, authorities said a 61-year-old man was found dead inside his motor home in eastern Washington state. The man likely died Wednesday when the temperature in the area reached 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42 degrees Celsius), Franklin County Coroner Curtis McGary said.
Authorities also suspected heat in the death of an 81-year-old man Saturday in Oregon but have released no further details. His death brings the state's tally of suspected heat-related deaths to 17 since the July 4 weekend, The Oregonian/Oregonlive.com reported.