Soudah Development (SD), a closed joint-stock company owned by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund (PIF), has revealed its plans to enhance its commitment to environmental and wildlife conservation and the impact of its development program.
The company has started a monitoring program of endangered animals living in Soudah and parts of Rijal Almaa that will document their behavior to develop a framework of protective measures that will also allow the reintroduction of new species.
The program will play a key role in restoring the ecological balance across a 627 sq km site managed by SD that will promote long-term sustainable development, preserve the environment, protect wildlife and significantly boost tree and other vegetation covers.
Further, SD has announced a new partnership with the Beacon Development Company, a subsidiary of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). SD and Beacon Development will develop an integrated strategy for sustainability and launch regulations and legislation aimed at protecting the environment and society.
As part of the agreement, a series of hidden cameras will also be set up to monitor a wide range of animals that will include the striped hyena, the Arabian wolf, Arabian red fox, Indian crested porcupine and native wild cats among others.
“We have been working hard to ensure a harmonious development strategy that ensures the protection and conservation of the exceptional wildlife and natural habitats in Soudah and parts of Rijal Almaa. We are fully committed to providing a luxury tourism experience that is fully in harmony with nature and we are excited to announce these new efforts to strengthen our ongoing conservation strategies. We plan to set new benchmarks in sustainable development by creating a regulatory framework that preserves the environment, restores ecological balance and protects natural resources as a vital part of protecting endangered species.”
As a habitat for at least 13 species of mammals and a major location for millions of migratory birds the commitment to protect Soudah’s extraordinary flora and fauna is a key part of SD’s sustainable development strategy. Close to a third of the area is made up of nature reserves which SD hopes to expand in the future in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 sustainability agenda.
These new initiatives will help to make good progress as the company moves forward with its plans to turn Saudi Arabia’s highest peak into a sustainable mountain tourism destination.