UNDP encourages local talents by hosting a photography exhibition to mark World Environment Day

Jun 5, 2014

Yousef Almasoud, one of the photographers who participated in the exhibition with photos taken from different places around the Kingdom (photo by: Mufeed Alawami)

On the occasion of the World Environment Day, the United Nations Development Programme in Saudi Arabia held a photography exhibition titled “Our Environment, Our Kingdom” on the 5th of June, exhibiting the work of six Saudi photographers, who traveled through the undiscovered nature of the Kingdom. Ambassadors, diplomats, environmentalists and media viewed the work of the Saudi talents during the one day event. 


The exhibition presented thirty images from different parts of the Kingdom such as Riyadh, Jeddah, Ta’if, Eastern Provence, Hail and Al-Qassim. The photographers who participated with their work are Dhafer Alshehri, Yousef Almasoud, Mohammed Kharari, Roua Basaad, Faisal Almalki and Awadh Alhamzani.

Yousef Almasoud from Qatif, who participated in the exhibition with seven photos, said “My goal as a photographer is to deliver a message and to put in practice the popular phrase; A picture is worth a thousand words.” He added “The Saudi community is aware of climate change and its effects on the environment and people are conscious of that matter.”

Awadh Alhamzani, also one of the photographers who took part in the exhibition with 11 images, including photos from 2011 Jeddah floods said that photography has allowed him to keep track of climate change around the Kingdom and gave him the ability to document different weather conditions.

“We are in dire need to raise more awareness on environmental issues especially that such consciousness is very limited. Through media and environmental education, people will become more aware and contribute to the conservation of the environment and protection from natural disasters,” he said.

By exhibiting the work of the six Saudi photographers, UNDP Saudi Arabia aims to raise awareness on climate change impact, mitigation and adaptation strategies at a national scale and to ensure that people are more aware of environment-friendly lifestyles. Also, to highlight the matter of natural disasters and biodiversity in the Kingdom.

Every year, on the 5th of June, the United Nations celebrates the World Environment Day to remind all States of their commitment to preserve the environment we live in and to raise awareness of the danger of climate change. This year’s global theme is “Raise Your Voice, Not the Sea Level”, the United Nations Secretary-General in his message on World Environment Day 2014, said “The world’s small island nations, which are collectively home to more than 63 million people, are renowned as prized destinations: places of outstanding natural beauty, vibrant culture and music appreciated around the globe.  While small in total, the land size of small island nations does not reflect their importance as stewards of nature’s wealth on land and sea.”

“They play an important role in protecting the oceans and many are biodiversity hotspots, containing some of the richest reservoirs of plants and animals on the planet.  Despite these assets, Small Island Developing States face numerous challenges.  For a significant number, their remoteness affects their ability to be part of the global supply chain, increases import costs – especially for energy – and limits their competitiveness in the tourist industry.  Many are increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change – from devastating storms to the threat of sea level rise.” He stated.

It is worth mentioning that UNDP has two major ongoing projects in Saudi Arabia. The first is the National Energy Efficiency Programme (NEEP), which is considered phase two of a capacity development programme in partnership with King Abdul-Aziz City for Science and Technology. A successful achievement of phase one is the founding of the Saudi Energy Efficiency Centre (SEEC). The center helps the Kingdom reduce the energy intensity growth through policy, management and technology measures.

The second project, which is Capacity Development for Sustainable Development and Management of Water Resources, aims at ensuring that freshwater resources are preserved through adopting a rational approach to utilize groundwater resources by controlling aquifer development, well licensing and drilling, agriculture policy modification, production of non-conventional water resources, fully utilization of surface water resources and effective water conservation and efficient demand management. In addition, UNDP acts as a key partner of the biggest environmental conferences in Saudi and the region.

View full gallery on UNDP Saudi Arabia Facebook page.

Contact information

Laura Bashraheel
Communications Associate
UNDP Saudi Arabia
Tel: +966 (11) 488-5301 Ext.343
Fax: +966 (11) 488-5309
e-mail: laura.bashraheel@undp.org


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