The Sustainable Development Goals in Saudi Arabia
The Sustainable Development Goals are a global call to action to end poverty, protect the earth’s environment and climate, and ensure that people everywhere can enjoy peace and prosperity. These are the goals the UN is working on in Saudi Arabia:
25 October 2022
Together Towards the Goals
The United Nations (UN) Today marks the 77th anniversary of the ratification of the UN Charter, which was signed in 1945 by the representatives of 50 countries including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The theme of UN Day in Saudi Arabia this year, “Together Towards the Goals”, is also a celebration of 77 years of the evolving partnership with the Government of Saudi Arabia, which entered a new stage this year with the signing of the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2022 - 2026. The UN day celebrations this year are in partnership with the UN Global Compact Local Network and is sponsored by its members: Napco National and Tanmiah. The UN in Saudi Arabia and its partners are celebrating UN Day this year by holding panel discussions on Sustainable Development Goal 17 - Partnerships for the Goals, which focuses on strengthening the means of implementation, and the revitalization of the global partnership for sustainable development by bringing together public and private sector leaders, philanthropists, prominent civil society actors and academia representatives. The purpose of the discussions is to identify and unlock potential partnerships through sustainable development advocacy and connecting local stakeholders supporting the achievement of the Saudi Vision 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. During her opening remarks, H.E Nathalie Fustier, United Nations Resident Coordinator said: “In Saudi Arabia, partnership has been instrumental in the progress we have made in sustainable development. This reminds us that the UN 2030 Agenda will only succeed if all actors from every segment of society work together to drive forward the real change required to deliver the SDGs and Leave No One Behind.” His Excellency Hattan Bin Samman, General Supervisor of Sustainable Development at the Ministry of Economy and Planning highlighted "Our Partnership with the UN while longstanding is starting a new era today. An era defined by mutual delivery, achievement, and impact on the local, regional and international levels.” The panel discussions kicked off with a thematic session, discussing corporate sustainability and the role of the private sector, convened, and moderated by the UN Global Compact Network Saudi Arabia with panelists members of the Global Compact Network in Saudi Arabia including Tanmiah, Sadara and Sabic. The key highlight of the panel discussion revolved around defining sustainability from a business perspective and how it is embedded across different sectors and how it creates impact and business value. Additionally, they emphasized the role of the UN Global Compact in supporting local companies throughout their sustainability journey which reflects on advancing the agenda of SDGs in the Kingdom. The following session, moderated by UNICEF, highlighted the critical role of civil society in supporting the government to deliver on sustainable development, such as realizing the SDGs and Vision 2030. The civil society panelists discussed how the SDGs have provided an opportunity for organizations to engage with and motivate grass roots participation across the Kingdom, with a focus on the engagement of young people. The final session, moderated by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) focused on emerging and innovative approaches of partnerships with Academia. The session included representatives from different levels of the academia ecosystem: ministerial, faculty and student. The conversation highlighted how academia is shaping the future of the innovation ecosystem towards the SDGs in Saudi Arabia, what are the infrastructure and tools needed to create a knowledge economy, and how can young Saudi academics play an active role towards achieving the SDGs. The outcomes and the suggestions of the panel discussions highlighted the need for implementation at the ground level to accelerate KSA’s path to achieving the Saudi Vision 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the need to bridge the gap between the communities and government efforts by the establishment of new long-term and sustainable local partnerships between stakeholders and UN agencies. Click here for more photos of UN Day Celebration
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25 October 2022
World Food Day in Jazan, Saudi Arabia
This year’s World Food Day (WFD) celebration in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was successfully organized by the Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture (MoEWA), the Governorate of Jazan, and FAO. The celebration was organized in the North Corniche of Jizan, Saudi Arabia, and brought together farmers, entrepreneurs, policy and decision-makers, civil society, academia, and other stakeholders to work hand-in-hand toward the transformation of agrifood systems. The World Food Day in Saudi Arabia was honoured under the patronage of His Highness, the Emir of Jazan, Muhammad bin Nasser, and launched in the presence of the Emirate’s Undersecretary, His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Al-Saqr, and His Excellency Mr. Mohammed Al-Atif, the Director of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture’s branch in Jazan Region. Opening the event, Mohammed Al-Atif highlighted that the celebration in Saudi Arabia aims to deepen community awareness and encourage interest in agricultural development and the preservation of natural resources. In his speech, Ayman Omer, Director of FAO Saudi Arabia’s Programme (OiC), emphasized the importance of transforming agrifood systems to become more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable, for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life, leaving no one behind. He highlighted that the agricultural sector is a fundamental pillar of food security and the national economy in the Kingdom, underscored the significant role of smallholders, and valued the tremendous efforts by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture in supporting farmers, encouraging investors and preserving natural resources, and promoting sustainable rural agricultural development. The event continued with displaying the recorded video of FAO Director-General reminding everyone of the high need to accelerate the transformation of agrifood systems to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), leaving no one behind. The two-day event on 16-17 October 2022, was structured into workshops, three practical training sessions organized in demonstration farms, and an exhibition, all designed to highlight specific themes under the Four Betters: Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and better life. The workshops discussed the role of agrotourism in rural transformation, the challenges and opportunities of the sesame value chain in Saudi Arabia, the crucial integration of sustainable food production with the environment, and examples of FAO work on the Four Betters in the Kingdom. Three interactive training sessions were simultaneously conducted at three local demonstration farms displaying and discussing technologies and good practices in livestock management, beekeeping, and coffee production. The WFD exhibition showed the innovative work of twenty organizations representing government’s flagship programmes (including the Sustainable Rural Agriculture Development – Saudi REEF), public funds, private sector, UN agencies, agriculture cooperatives, research centres, universities, and civil society organizations. The two-day event was also enlivened by some local and authentic Saudi cultural dances performed by local youth. Throughout the event, a youth cooperative namely “Moeen Volunteer Association for Community Service in Jazan” supported the success of this memorable event.
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30 October 2022
Celebration of International Day of Rural Women in Saudi Arabia with Warfa Camp
There is no denying the fact that women play a major role in food production, agriculture and rural development the world over however, their contributions are often unrecognised and, overlooked or underestimated. This year the observance of the UN’s International Day of Rural Women with its theme ‘Rural Women Cultivating Good Food for All’ renewed efforts to strengthen support and empowerment of rural women and increase recognition of their contributions in line with Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, there is an increased focus on the economic empowerment of rural women who are engaged in agriculture and food production. The Vision 2030 of the Kingdom envisions the agriculture sector as an engine for sustainable economy, whereby smallholders, producers, men and women farmers have a vital role in accelerating sustainable agriculture and rural development. The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture and its unit ‘Reef’ is entrusted with translating this aspiration into reality through the Sustainable Rural Agriculture Development (SRAD) Programme. In this context FAO-Saudi Arabia is providing technical advisory assistance for comprehensive capacity development of relevant institutions and stakeholders of the programme. There is a particular focus on raising awareness of rural youth and women with regards agri-entrepreneurship, value chain development and agri-business opportunities to boost rural economy and food security. Within this framework, an initiative for rural women called the ‘Warfa’ has been launched to focus on supporting women participation in the agriculture sector. FAO-SRAD project is provided technical assistance to Warfa by organizing a 4-day an intensive training camp entitled “Strengthening the role of women in sustainable rural agriculture development in Saudi Arabia” from 13-17 October, 2022 in Abha, Aseer region. Some 46 women from diverse rural sectors were invited to the course from across the Kingdom. The main focus of the training was to increase their understanding of the role of women and opportunities available in rural development from the perspectives of cooperatives, value chain development, product processing, marketing, and agri-business management. The training was conducted by subject matter experts through interactive lectures, group discussions, video documentaries, role plays and case studies. Based on the feedback received, the course was very successful and the participants are now eager to launch entrepreneurship project/idea and apply new skills and capacities as productive members of the family and society. ‘This FAO course has laid a solid foundation for Warfa and its members’’ said Ms. Maha Dighriri, REEF who is leading the initiative. Dr. Kakoli Ghosh, CTA, SRAD noted that this pioneering course for rural women can become a good role model for strong partnership for other initiatives in the future. Furthermore, on the 15th of October on occasion of the International Day for Rural Women, the Warfa Camp was honored by the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Turki bin Talal bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Asir Region and His Excellency Deputy Minister Eng. Mansour Al-Mushaiti, who felicitated the participants and the trainers and appreciated the exhibition of traditional handicrafts and local food products that were in display and prepared by the women participants from the various regions of the Kingdom.
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13 October 2022
Women-Led Entrepreneurship for Livestock Sector Development in Saudi Arabia
The livestock component of the Sustainable Rural Agricultural Development (FAO-SRAD) Project of FAO Technical Cooperation Programme in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) focuses on integrated capacity development for better production and productivity, strengthening the value addition, marketing and rural institutions as well as accelerating diversification of income generation for better livelihoods. One such initiative is to strengthen the existing wool and milk value chain across the small ruminant sector in the Northern Border region, through a collective process of intensifying productivity, product aggregation, processing, value addition, marketing and enhancing the income levels, especially targeting women farmers. The Northern Border region is home to 3 million sheep and goats and it is a major livelihood source for about 15,000 smallholder farmers, mostly the Bedouin tribe, who are moving towards settled farming. Exist generally a huge challenge in terms of lower farm productivity and want of market stimulus for the by-products of the sheep milk and wool, which in many instances are hardly used by the farmers. SRAD project endeavours to leverage the existing small ruminant production systems in the region towards sustainable sheep and goat production and market them through a comprehensive value chain program for sheep milk, wool and live animals. A pilot program involved some 30 women farmers from the Northern Border region with the joint participation of MoEWA Arar branch. The program is being implemented in stages and the selected women farmers have been mobilized into a farmer’s group to create a potential livestock cooperative network and membership. A 4-day orientation organised by MoEWA in collaboration with FAO has shared the best practices of farm management for building a profitable farm business. In appreciation, His Royal Highness Faisal Bin Khalid bin Sultan, the Prince of the Northern Borders presented the certificates and honoured the participants. He encouraged the initiative and assured extended support. The project has taken a step forward to monitor and facilitate the implementation of the activities by assigning a dedicated community facilitator in the process. A baseline survey of the selected farms is conducted to gather a detailed analysis of the farm status prior to building a micro-level farm management plan and framework targeting individual farms. To strengthen the farm level of activities, individual farmers are provided with advisory services on animal health and farm by a farm production and animal health expert. MoEWA and FAO work hand-in-hand to mobilize the required materials, medicines, vaccines, and small equipment to strive for a successful implementation of the planned interventions. In addition, activities targeting value chain development for mobile milk collection, storage, processing, value addition and marketing continue to progress for better development. Dr Kakoli Ghosh, FAO-SRAD CTA highlighted this initiative is a good model to encourage and attract more women's participation and scale up the sustainable rural agricultural development programme across the Kingdom. She added that the project will accelerate the establishment of a pilot milk processing unit as well as a small-scale wool processing facility. The yield results of the project, hence promote increased productivity and income, strengthened the sheep and goat value chain, empowered women and youth, and strengthened the development of rural institutions and advisory services.
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02 October 2022
Improving Post-harvest Management of Coffee in Saudi Arabia
In the Kingdom, coffee Arabica is cultivated in the southwest in highland terraces of the provinces of Jazan, Asir and Al Baha. It is estimated that some 1,600 smallholder coffee farmers in Jazan produce approximately 160 MT of coffee, however, water scarcity, low adoption rate of good practices, agricultural technologies, pests and diseases, post-harvest losses, lack of adoption of standards and innovations limit the growth and development of the sector. Within the framework of the Saudi Vision 2030, FAO is providing technical and advisory services to the Ministry of Environment Agriculture and Water (MoEWA) to address these gaps scientifically and sustainably. An integrated approach has been developed to benefit the smallholders and actors across the value chain and ensure coffee quality is according to international standards. To reduce post-harvest losses and maintain the quality and marketability of the locally produced coffee, the project works with a lead local coffee farmer, Jubran Bin Mohammad Al-Maliki’s at his coffee farm and facility in Al Dayer, Jazan. Jubran owns a farm with about 15,000 mature trees which produces 15-20 tons of green beans annually. Like most of his co-coffee producers in the region, the coffee beans are stored in plastic sacks or simple plastic containers which are not hermetic and may not be food quality. This can cause loss of physical and sensory aspects of the coffee, attack of fungal diseases and risk of contamination. Similarly, roasted coffee can be kept in airtight glass containers. To demonstrate the internationally recommended storage of roasted coffee beans, a set of 10 air-tight, food-quality stainless steel containers (with a capacity of 30 kg of coffee each) were provided by the project to introduce good practices for storing roasted coffee. For proper identification and record management, each container had a sticker labeling the coffee grade, date of roasting, and coffee weight. For continuation and sustainability, the farmer and his staff were trained on proper storage, food safety issues and maintaining personal and premises hygiene. The good practices learned were spread quickly throughout the community by word of mouth (farmer to farmer) and through social media. Jubran said, “I am happy as the coffee demonstration and training have made me more popular. I am satisfied with these new practices and will share the knowledge with all my fellow colleagues”. Jubran’s premises has become a hub to demonstrate good post-harvest and processing practices for training and capacity building in Jazan. The demonstration helps disseminate the good practices in coffee storage in all the farms of Jazan and a series of other activities will follow to address major issues at the postharvest/processing level of the coffee value chain.
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14 June 2022
26 December 2021
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