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Environmental Regulations & Standards for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
WSP have been working with the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) in Saudi Arabia on their capacity for environmental governance. The objective was to develop a system of environmental legislation, standards, regulations and enforcement for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Client’s Challenge:
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has undergone substantial transformation in recent years and presently enjoys a modern, developing economy with expanding regional and global economic integration. Impressive progress has been made but meeting the needs of a fast growing population and ever increasing expectations poses challenges to the development process.
One such challenge is that environmental pressures are expected to multiply over the medium to long-term and the potential risks on public health and welfare could be serious if environmental policies and enforcement do not adapt to meet the challenge. The PME recognised that their current system of legislation and regulation falls short of these requirements in a number of key areas hence their request for our support.
WSP was commissioned by PME to improve KSA’s existing environmental standards or guidelines as part of a project to enable the development of a world class environmental regulatory system. This system sought to protect both human health and natural ecological systems. The standards and guidelines addressed the following environmental media and management areas,
· Air Standards
· Water Standards
· Noise Standards
· Waste Standards and Guidelines
· Coastal Zone Management Standards and Guidelines
· Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines
The standards and guidelines were designed specifically for the KSA and integrated cultural and social sensitivities, commercial, economic and development imperatives and importantly the Kingdom’s individual environmental and ecological conditions.
Our plan also recognised that having strong environmental standards and guidelines was only one half of the puzzle, PME also required the capacity to monitor and enforce their implementation. Developing this capacity was our secondary objective. To this end, we designed and implemented a Prototype Environmental Inspection Programme for PME.
This programme included training a large number of environmental inspectors and managing industrial environmental inspection teams in each of the main areas of the country, including Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam and Abha.
WSP and PME are currently involved in the process of consulting with major industry and other key stakeholders in order to incorporate their concerns into the finalised environmental standards and guidelines. Inspection teams, which were designed, trained and managed by WSP specialists, are now operating independently and successfully.