Marine and Coastal Environmental Protection Initiative for Saudi Arabia

The project is a collaboration project between the National Center for Environmental Compliance (NCEC) and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). To meet the goals of Vision 2030 that pertain to the marine environment, the National Center for Environmental Compliance (NCEC) had been tasked with developing a nationwide Coastal and Marine Strategy that prioritizes actions to enable the sustainable development and management of the Kingdom’s coastal resources. The project designed by GAMEP to carry out the Status Quo Assessment consists of seven complementary tasks:

Task 1 – Inception Report

Task 2 – Literature Review

Task 3 – Legal and Policy Review

Task 4 – Identification of Critical Hotspot Areas

Task 5 – Gap Analysis

Task 6 – Field Surveillance

Task 7 – Design and Implementation of Plans for Marine and Coastal Initiative

Our Role

Reef Ecologic is leading Task 2: Literature Review, Task 3: Legal and Policy and  Task 5: Gap Analysis.

Task 2: Literature Review

As part of the literature review, 400 relevant peer-reviewed papers, as well as reports and data summaries, were assembled into an online searchable database (with assistance from the KAUST IT Department). Each paper was categorized under one of the six key themes: Current Monitoring Efforts, Environmental Data Management, Oil Spill Response Infrastructure and Operational Framework, Maritime Waste Management, Institutional Arrangements and National and/or Regional Policy Framework. Each paper was given a brief summary and categorized according to relevant habitat (e.g., reef, mangrove, sandy bottom, etc), pollution/stressor (e.g. fishing pressure, municipal sewage discharge, brine from desalination, etc), marine species and physical/bio/chemical processes (e.g., current pattern, formation of algal blooms, carbonate dissolution, etc.).

Task 3: Legal and Policy Review

Task 3 is a strategic review of conventions, legislation and policy relevant to the marine and coastal environment. It will include: national laws, regulations and policy, international conventions, high-level regional policies and strategies (selected regional Red Sea and Arab conventions and commitments will be included if relevant), international conventions including the International Convention for the Pollution of from Ships (MARPOL), the Convention on Biodiversity, the International Convention for the Control of Ships Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM) and international climate change agreements.  The review also included developing and administering surveys to key stakeholders (federal, regional and municipal agencies, residents of coastal communities) for the purpose of identifying priority issues on which to focus.  Guided by the identification of priority issues supplied by the surveys, published laws, regulations and policies in English will be reviewed to develop a structured synthesis and overview of the legal framework available for managing marine and coastal resources.

Task 5 – Gap Analysis

The principal objectives of this task are to:

  • Carry out a critical gap analysis that will identify thematic, geographical, regulatory, management, monitoring, and institutional areas that require attention; and
  • Articulate what steps and interventions are necessary to address these gaps.

The Team

Dr. Adam Smith

Reef Ecologic

Al Songcuan, MSc

Reef Ecologic

Nathan Cook, MSc.

Reef Ecologic

Arnikah Dean, MSc.

Reef Ecologic

Kathleen Swalling

Task 3

Imèn Meliane

Task 3

Dr. Adel Tharwat

Task 2 and 3