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Abdulaziz H. Abuzinada is Secretary General of Saudi Arabia's National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development (NCWCD). He holds a Ph.D. in botany from Durham University and has served as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Botany, Riyadh University. In the IUCN, the World Conservation Union, he currently serves as Regional Vice Chairman for the Species Survival Commission and chairs the Arabian Plant Specialist Group as well as the IUCN Regional Advisory Committee for West and Central Asia and North Africa. He is also the Chair of the Standing Committee of the Convention on the conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS-The Bonn convention) and is Vice President of the Ornithological Society of the Middle East (OSME) as well as Secretary of the Saudi national section of the International Council for Bird Preservation (ICBP). Abuzinada has received the IUCN CNPPA Fred Packard Award for Distinguished Achievements in Wildlife Preservation and Environmental Protection (1992), and certificates of appreciation from Friends of the Earth (1991) and Greenpeace International (1992) for distinguished achievements in restoring marine wildlife following the Gulf War.

 

 

Abstract of paper given at Islam and Ecology conference:
Wildlife Conservation and Development in Islamic Society: The Experience of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia's National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development has been in the forefront of both national and international environmental conservation efforts in the Muslim world since its establishment in 1986. Among the responsibilities of NCWCD which have special relevance to Islamic thought are the following:
1) NCWCD's protected area system plan aims at conserving Saudi Arabia's remarkable biological diversity, and is based largely on the concept of the hima, or protected area, an Islamic institution which is one of the longest standing conservation institutions known on earth. Among its basic principles is the integration of sustainable development with protection in a manner that brings tangible benefits to the local people.
2) NCWCD has prepared environmental legislation including protected area regulations, hunting regulations, and regulations governing trade in wildlife and wildlife products, in the context of the shari'ah, which is Saudi Arabia's legal system.
3) NCWCD conducts public awareness campaigns through many different mediums. It aims to raise the level of environmental awareness from a focus on aesthetic concerns to a deeper understanding of the principles of sound management for the sustainable use of natural resources, so that people may realize their full potential as khulafa' or stewards of the earth.

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