Restored Imam Turki bin Abdullah Royal Reserve Thrives with Wildlife

Covering a vast 91,500 square kilometers, the Imam Turki bin Abdullah Royal Reserve is a treasure trove of biodiversity. SPA
Covering a vast 91,500 square kilometers, the Imam Turki bin Abdullah Royal Reserve is a treasure trove of biodiversity. SPA
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Restored Imam Turki bin Abdullah Royal Reserve Thrives with Wildlife

Covering a vast 91,500 square kilometers, the Imam Turki bin Abdullah Royal Reserve is a treasure trove of biodiversity. SPA
Covering a vast 91,500 square kilometers, the Imam Turki bin Abdullah Royal Reserve is a treasure trove of biodiversity. SPA

The Imam Turki bin Abdullah Royal Reserve is breathing new life into northeastern Saudi Arabia. In line with Vision 2030 and the Saudi Green Initiative, the reserve is returning to its natural splendor and witnesses a return of wildlife populations, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.
An ambitious project focused on reintroducing and increasing the numbers of iconic species, like the Arabian oryx, sand gazelle, Houbara bustard, and red-necked ostrich. The flourishing vegetation cover has become a haven for a diverse range of birds, which are vital to preserving the balance of the ecosystem by controlling insects, small rodents, and carrion, SPA said.
Bird-nesting activity has been observed, alongside a return of sand cats, wild cats, foxes, honey badgers, and desert hedgehogs.
The reserve is also seeing a resurgence of reptiles like lizards and snakes, alongside a thriving insect population, SPA said.
Covering a vast 91,500 square kilometers, the Imam Turki bin Abdullah Royal Reserve is a treasure trove of biodiversity. It boasts unique varieties of plant, including large trees, shrubs, and a year-round perennial plant cover. The reserve even harbors a collection of plants with valuable medicinal and aromatic properties.
The large-scale restoration effort is transforming the reserve into a flourishing natural haven, demonstrating Saudi Arabia's commitment to conserving the environment for future generations.



UN Demands Action on Extreme Heat as World Registers Warmest Day

 A child cools off nearby sprinklers at Retiro Park during the second day of the heatwave, in Madrid, Spain July 25, 2024. (Reuters)
A child cools off nearby sprinklers at Retiro Park during the second day of the heatwave, in Madrid, Spain July 25, 2024. (Reuters)
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UN Demands Action on Extreme Heat as World Registers Warmest Day

 A child cools off nearby sprinklers at Retiro Park during the second day of the heatwave, in Madrid, Spain July 25, 2024. (Reuters)
A child cools off nearby sprinklers at Retiro Park during the second day of the heatwave, in Madrid, Spain July 25, 2024. (Reuters)

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on Thursday for countries to address the urgency of the extreme heat epidemic, fueled by climate change - days after the world registered its hottest day on record.

"Extreme heat is the new abnormal," Guterres said. "The world must rise to the challenge of rising temperatures," he said.

Climate change is making heatwaves more frequent, more intense and longer lasting across the world.

Already this year, scorching conditions have killed 1,300 hajj pilgrims, closed schools for some 80 million children in Africa and Asia, and led to a spike in hospitalizations and deaths in the Sahel.

Every month since June 2023 has now ranked as the planet's warmest since records began in 1940, compared with the corresponding month in previous years, according the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service.

The UN called on governments to not only tamp down fossil fuel emissions - the driver of climate change - but to bolster protections for the most vulnerable, including the elderly, pregnant women and children, and step up safeguards for workers.

Over 70 percent of the global workforce - 2.4 billion people - are now at high risk of extreme heat, according to a report from the International Labour Organization (ILO) published Thursday.

In Africa, nearly 93 percent of the workforce is exposed to excessive heat, and 84 percent of the Arab States' workforce, the ILO report found.

Excessive heat has been blamed for causing almost 23 million workplace injuries worldwide, and some 19,000 deaths annually.

"We need measures to protect workers, grounded in human rights," Guterres said.

He also called for governments to "heatproof" their economies, critical sectors such as healthcare, and the built environment.

Cities are warming at twice the worldwide average rate due to rapid urbanization and the urban heat island effect.

By 2050, some researchers estimate a 700 percent global increase in the number of urban poor living in extreme heat conditions.

This is the first time the UN has put out a global call for action on extreme heat.

"We need a policy signal and this is it," said Kathy Baughman Mcleod, CEO of Climate Resilience for All, a nonprofit focused on extreme heat.

"It's recognition of how big it is and how urgent it is. It's also recognition that everybody doesn't feel in the same way and pay the same price for it."