Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz is a march of inexhaustible giving

Development of environment and wildlife in Saudi Arabia has to be linked to the name of Sultan, the First Man of Environment

Sultan bin Abdulaziz City for Humanitarian Service is pioneer in health care, rehabilitation

Crown Prince charity foundation for treatment of patients in and outside Saudi Arabia is one of the projects of giving from Sultan bin Abdulaziz city for Humanitarian Service

Prince Sultan Water Prize reflects kingdom’s bright image, constructive contribution to human development

His Royal Highness, Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz became a member of the Saudi Council of Ministers after being appointed Agricultural Minister in 1953. This was at the time the Council of Ministers was initially formed. While serving as Agricultural Minister, Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz participated in the Bedouin settlement efforts and helped them to establish modern farms.

Prince Sultan is extremely active in environmental matters and in promoting sustainability.

In 1981, he established the Saudi Presidency of Meteorology and the Environment as part of the Ministry of Defense and Aviation. He is the Chairman of Saudi Arabia’s National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development (NCWCD), an organization which he founded in 1986 to promote the protection of the nation’s indigenous wildlife.

He is, since 1990, the Chairman of the Saudi Ministerial Committee for the Environment which sets forth the Saudi National Strategy for environmental protection.

He supports the activities of Prince Sultan Research Center for Environment, Water and Desert at King Saud University including the Space Image Atlas of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

He also supports a number of King Saud University’s research projects related to water and the environment, including the King Fahd Project for Rainwater Harvesting and Runoff in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

His Royal Highness Prince Sultan is the patron of the International Conference on Water Resources and Arid Environments (ICWRAE).

In 1996, Prince Sultan was awarded the Arab Environment Shield. In 2002, he was awarded the Sheikh Rashid International Prize for Humanitarianism. In 2003 the Euro-Arab Cooperation Center, headquartered in Munich, conferred upon him the Peace Environment Prize. He has also received a number of local and international honors for his work in environmental protection and natural resource conservation.

Saudi Arabia's awareness of the important complementary nature of development and the environment is not new.

The recognition and understanding of environmental issues and their significance for development emerged 15 years ago, in 1401, when the government established the Meteorology and Environmental Protection Administration (MEPA), which was designated as the central government agency for the environment, in addition to its functions in the field of meteorological services.

In response to the increasing interest in environmental concerns at the national level, the Ministerial Committee on the Environment (MCE) was formed in 1410 to act as the highest institutional authority responsible for setting environmental strategies and policies at national level, in addition to determining the Kingdom's international and regional viewpoints in this field. MEPA was assigned to undertake the tasks of the General Secretariat of the MCE and still plays its role in the daily operations of environmental management and in coordinating such matters at national level.

In support of this environmental work, the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development (NCWCD) was established in 1406, as a specialized environmental agency responsible for managing a group of protected areas and implementing programs relating to the Kingdom's wildlife. It is also responsible for conducting biological research and using the results nationwide to protect and preserve rare and endangered zoological and botanical species.

Finally, the NCWCD draws attention to wildlife-related environmental issues through environmental awareness campaigns and its participation at local and international conferences.

Through the Ministerial Committee for the Environment, the Kingdom has identified its future development priorities at the national level within the context and understanding of sustainable development. These priorities are included in "Agenda 21: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia".

This document deals with the various development sectors in the Kingdom on the premise that the environment is the common denominator which links all sectors of development, with the emphasis on efficient and rational resource utilization, the development and upgrading of human resources, and increasing the contribution of individuals, private firms and institutions in the development process.

The Kingdom's approach in integrating both environmental and development objectives and their related activities is based on Islamic Sharia principles, which direct the individual to conserve and protect natural resources and to be wise and rational in developing the natural environment for the benefit of himself and future generations.

Thus, the modern concept of sustainable development partly reflects this Islamic view on the relationship between man and the natural environment.

The major achievements at the national level in this field during the last few years can be summarized as follows:

• The development of environmental management institutions and a national framework for managing the environment, culminating in the formation of the Ministerial Committee on the Environment and its general secretariat in 1410;

• The Kingdom's effective participation in many international and regional fora on environmental issues, in particular the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (the "Earth Summit") held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 1992;

• The distinguished effort in combating and controlling the largest ever oil spill in the Arabian Gulf after the Kuwait liberation war, and in protecting strategic utilities and facilities;

• The establishment of the Saudi Environmental Awareness project in cooperation with MEPA and the private sector through the Economic Offset Program; under this scheme -- a pioneer of its type in cooperation between the government and the private sector -- the private sector provided management and finance, while MEPA provided the necessary scientific and technical support;

• The development and upgrading of meteorological services provided to both civilian and non-civilian sectors;

• The conservation and expansion of the Kingdom's vegetational resources, through the activities of the Ministry of Agriculture and Water, including the plantation of more than 10,000 hectares of range and pasture lands, the re-plantation of 80 hectares of forests, and the distribution of 500,000 seedlings; in addition, the Ministry surveyed and classified 200,000 hectares of land and continued the maintenance and development of irrigation and drainage networks;

The preservation and protection of wildlife by the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development (NCWCD), including the establishment of ten wildlife reserves for rare and endangered species and three research centers;

• The implementation of several projects for the reduction of ground water levels by the High Commission for the Development of Riyadh; these projects covered around 40 percent of the affected areas in the city of Riyadh.

• The attention given to environmental affairs by a number of agencies and organizations in the industrial sector, and, in particular, to the application of measures pertaining to industrial safety; such agencies and organizations include the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, the Ministry of Industry and Electricity, Saudi ARAMCO, the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, and SABIC.

As far as health care is concerned, one of the projects of the Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Foundation is the Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Humanitarian City (SBAHC) which is headed by HRH Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. He is well known for his humanitarian and philanthropic contributions and he chairs a host of organizations and committees of various specializations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Humanitarian City, a 450 bed capacity Rehabilitation Hospital and Medical Center, is located 30 km north of Riyadh, the capital city of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It covers an area of over one million square meters.

This state-of-the-art medical humanitarian city is built to provide the best-in-class rehabilitative medical services.

The patients are given the highest quality of medical care by highly experienced doctors, allied medical health professionals and support staff. SBAHC administers therapeutic, supportive and educational services which are designed to assist in restoring health and function following acute illness, thus, allowing for a safe return to a home-based family.

After my employment in King Saud Hospital in Unayzah, Qassim, it was a great privilege to be hired as medical technologist/hematology by Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Humanitarian City whose vision is "to be a worldwide center of excellence in rehabilitation, providing the highest standards of international healthcare within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia." Its mission is "HELPING PEOPLE TO HELP THEMSELVES”.

The humanitarian city encompasses both in-patient and outpatient facilities. An extensive range of rehabilitation programs is available including services for pediatric, neurological, brain injury and spinal cord injury.

"The child development center will provide an integrated educational and therapeutic program for 150 children who have special educational needs due to physical handicaps, developmental disabilities or complex health problems," Aba Al-Khail said.

The outpatient clinics encompass 13 clinics with 55 examination rooms and eight operating rooms. Important features of the outpatient clinics are the day surgery center and the craniofacial surgery center.

A conference hall, sports hall, staff housing and an administration building, supplement the city' facilities. The foundation runs a number of projects within and outside the Kingdom. They include the Sultan Science and Technology Center in Al Khobar, an innovative project under development that will provide opportunities for youth to learn about science and technology.

In combining medicine, science and technology, Medunet (Sultan Ibn Abdulaziz Medical and Educational Telecommunications Program), utilizes state of the art telecommunications facilities.

These facilities were created to provide access to medical research resources in cooperation with major universities and research centers around the world.

In order to provide education and understanding of the Arab and Islamic culture, the foundation established the Sultan Continuing Education Program at the Gulf University in Bahrain and the Sultan Arab & Islamic Studies Program at the University of California, Berkeley.