RIYADH: Officials in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday signed a strategic partnership agreement to establish a national data bank for plant genes in the Kingdom.
Abdul Rahman Al-Fadhli, minister of environment, water and agriculture, witnessed the signing of the partnership between his ministry and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Riyadh.
The research cooperation agreement aims to map the genome and prepare genetic information bases for perennial and endangered plants, and plants of economic, medical and pastoral importance.
It will also establish a genetic data bank that will help understand the living nature of these plants, their adaptation in their diverse environments, and the extent to which they are affected by different pressures, in order to preserve them from extinction, and to reproduce and cultivate them in their natural locations.
KAUST organized field trips to collect samples of a number of perennial and endangered trees and plants, with the aim of conducting scientific experiments on them.
The water agreement aims to develop and implement a road map to enhance cooperation between the ministry and its partners in the water sector, including the National Water Company, the Saline Water Conversion Corporation, the Saudi Irrigation Organization and the Saudi Water Partnership Company), and KAUST in the field of water research and studies.
The agreement aims to define specific measurable target outputs for collaboration and it will also help in achieving a number of objectives of the National Water Strategy 2030.
The agreement contributes to achieving the ministry’s objectives to meet current and future urban, agricultural and industrial needs, focuses on the promotion, development and sustainability of water resources, provides innovative solutions to water sector challenges, and capacity building.
It will also establish a creative research partnership to benefit the Kingdom’s water sector through technology transfer and conducting research projects and strategic studies on issues that positively affect water resources, planning and governance, the relationship between water, agriculture, energy, water security, and the overall performance of the water sector.