The Soudah Development (SD) has announced its membership of the Mountain Partnership, an alliance dedicated to protecting mountain environments around the world whose secretariat is hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
This partnership will allow SD to tap into an international wealth of experience and resources, as it develops a regulatory framework to preserve the environment and its cultural and human heritage, in conjunction with its luxury mountain ecotourism project.
SD joins over 400 global members comprising governments, intergovernmental organizations, companies and civil society groups in a commitment to improving the lives of the local communities, preserving mountain ecosystems and rich biodiversity.
"The Mountain Partnership has been working globally for over 20 years to ensure the social and economic well-being and livelihoods of mountain peoples as well as the protection of mountain areas" said Rosalaura Romeo of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat. "We are happy to be expanding in the region and look forward to collaborate with Soudah Development."
SD is the first developer in Saudi Arabia and in the Gulf to join the Partnership that was established in 2002. This membership will be the first of many environmental and sustainability-focused partnerships that SD will take part in to achieve sustainable development, in line with those of the UN, foremost of which are environmental protection and combating climate change.
At a height of 3,015 meters above sea level, the mountainous area in the Asir region is the highest point in the Kingdom. It is set to become the mountain adventure capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the wider region, offering opportunities for hiking and exploration, paragliding and other adventurous outdoor activities in a serene setting.
Husameddin AlMadani, CEO of SD, said: "We are very proud to be the first the developer in the Gulf region to become a member of the global Mountain Partnership. It demonstrates our ongoing commitment to create a truly unique mountain destination, where sustainable development is a focus in our strategy.
"We look forward to collaborating with our new mountain partners and welcoming them here to Soudah in the future as we deliver on Kingdom's vision for sustainable tourism and entertainment growth."
AlMadani explained that the Mountain Partnership membership is fully aligned with the goals of Vision 2030 and the Green Saudi Initiative that has been actively embraced by SD. The company has committed to undertaking a reforestation program to plant over one million trees and plants by 2030, ultimately sequestering 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Joining the Mountain Partnership is a significant milestone for SD towards accomplishing its mission, as defined by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, chairman of the SD Board of Directors.
The membership also allows SD to reach out to prospective mountain developers and adventure tourism partners, who will recognize how the entity is embracing the same development values and quality standards as major mountain destinations worldwide.
Srdan Susic, environment & wildlife director at SD, added: "This great partnership will allow SD to share international best standards in excellence and governance, especially given how essential sustainability is in the Kingdom's vision for the future of global tourism and long-term economic diversification.
International partnerships of this nature are also important for helping to rebuild and strengthen the sector following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic."
SD, owned by the Public Investment Fund, will lead the development of a luxury mountain tourism destination, offering immersive cultural experiences and celebration of the natural assets empowering the local and national economies.