17 November, 2016
Forty delegates from KAUST, Saudi agencies, PERSGA, King Abdulaziz University and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration convened on 17 November 2016 at KAUST to assess the benefits of an integrated national observational system for Saudi Arabia.
Consistent with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s rapidly developing coastal zone reflects the drive for a vibrant society, a thriving economy and an ambitious nation seeking to capitalize on the rich natural resources of the seas. The multiple uses of the Gulf and the Red Sea – including industrial, municipal, shipping, military, fishing and aquaculture, recreational activities and tourism – require an ability to understand, forecast and evaluate trends that affect the coastal zone. Coastal observatories, therefore, have become an increasingly important resource at the national, regional and international levels to support decision-making through analytical and evidence-based information and reporting to decision support centers.
At the workshop, speakers included KAUST professors currently pioneering ocean observatories in the Red Sea, KAU collaborators with ocean observing expertise, the director of the USA’s Integrated Ocean Observation System to share best practices and international standards, and perspectives from Saudi authorities.
A follow-up meeting is envisaged in early 2017.