Main References

Status and Trends of Biodiversity


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is about 1,969,000 km2 in area making it the tenth largest country covering 1.64% of the land area of the world, and 8% of the land area of Asia. The flora of Saudi Arabia reflects the geographical position of the Arabian Peninsula between Africa, Asia and Europe. There are 2,250 species of flowering plants in Saudi Arabia of which some 246 species are considered regionally endemic... More »

Number and Extent of Protected Areas

To date, 15 protected areas, covering almost 4% of the country’s surface conserve all the major physiographic regions, half the country’s biotopes, key wetlands, marine and mountain habitats and protect viable populations of endemic, endangered and key plant and animal species.

Percentage of Forest Cover

About a 2.7 million hectares of woodlands is still remaining in the mountains of Saudi Arabia particularly in the remote steep and inaccessible areas.

The Juniper woodlands are one of the few densely wooded habitats in Saudi Arabia. They are concentrated in a narrow belt about 7,600 square kilometers in size. Juniper woodlands thrive at attitudes of 2000 – 3000 meters, and are characterized by some of the highest species diversity and biomass in Saudi Arabia... More »

National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan

Major features of National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

A National Biodiversity Strategy for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was prepared by the National Biodiversity Committee. At this moment this strategy is submitted to the Ministerial Council for consideration and approval. This Strategy is divided into five parts:

Part One introduces the purpose and scope of the National Biodiversity Strategy which is to promote the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of its resources by placing it at the centre of national planning and development ... More »

Implementation of the Convention

Measures Taken to Achieve the 2010 Target

Extensive National efforts are being exerted in the field of enhancing environmental education and public awareness, building capacity of personnels working in the conservation field, expanding establishment of new protected areas in accordance with the National System Plan, properly managing existing protected areas while recalling traditional practices of land use and encouraging sustainable use of natural resources in the country... More »

Initiatives in Protected Areas

The Kingdom has developed a National System Plan of Protected Areas to cover ca 10 % of the total Kingdom’s area. These protected areas are both terrestrial and marine that conserve full representations of biotopes, ecosystems and physiographic features in the country. The individual nominated protected areas were all selected in accordance with a sound set of guidelines and criteria... More »

Initiatives in Access and Benefit Sharing

Saudi Arabia does not restrict access by any other parties to its genetic resources provided that the concerned party states in writing that the genetic material is used strictly for research and scientific purposes and not for commercial purposes. At present national bylaws are being decreed to lay the legal bases for access of other parties to the Kingdom’s genetic resources in accordance with CBD... More »

Initiatives for Article 8(j)

Although much of the knowledge, innovation , and practices of indigenous and local communities in the kingdom, embodying traditional lifestyles relevant for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are in most part no longer in wide practice , the Kingdom is reviving the lessons learnt from the old Hima System which proved a very useful lifestyle for land use... More »

NOTE: Visitors to the CBD website are advised to consult section VII of the sixth national report for updated information on the themes contained in the country profile below.

National Contacts

Full details of national contacts »

Convention on Biological Diversity

Mr. Faisal bin Shuraim Al Shuraim
Mr. Abdallah R. Al-Tlasat
Protected Areas NFP
Dr. Ahmad Hamad Al Farhan
Mr. Yousef Ibrahim Al Wetaid
Traditional Knowledge NFP

Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

Mr. Yousef S. Al-Hafedh
Cartagena Protocol Primary NFP, BCH NFP