His Royal Highness Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz,
Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister,
Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General
Prince Sultan Research Center for Environment, Water and Desert (formerly known as Center for Desert Studies) was established in 1986 (1406H) as an independent administration directly linked to the office of the Rector of King Saud University in accordance with the administrative decree No. 12873 dated 25/10/1406 H. The notion of establishing the Center has emerged based on the Kingdom's keen interest, under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, to create research specialized centers, particularly in a vital and important area concerning the prevailing dry desert climate of the Kingdom. The Center has been established to design and conduct scientific research related to the desert development and combating desertification in the Arabian Peninsula in general and in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Particular.
Prince Sultan Research Center for Environment, Water and Desert endeavors through its scientific and research vocation to fulfill its goals by conducting scientific studies and research, particularly in the realms of combating desertification, preserving the natural and environmental resources and organizing their exploitation through afforestation and expansion of natural vegetation cover, forest and rangeland. The Center also perpetually endeavors to ameliorate its technical and research capacities in the field of remote sensing and geographical information systems to back up its scientific research activities. The Center also oversees the implementation of a certain number of applied research projects for the study of the desert environment in the Kingdom through the utilization of these technologies and in cooperation with the specialized authorities.
The Center has also issued a certain number of scientific and advisory publications and is home for data documenting and scientific research support, as for the scientific research activities conducted by the specialized divisions at the university in direct relation with the desert. The Center is also continually committed to cooperating and strengthening the links with the authorities concerned with drought and desert studies at local, regional and international levels. The Center has also participated in various academic activities especially at the “University’s and Community’s Days” and has provided the concerned authorities with seeds and trees. The Center has also provided students and researchers, from within the university and from outside, with technical counseling. It has also organized various scientific conferences and seminars and has taken an active part in such events in conformity to its concern with cooperation and data and knowledge exchange. The Center has also devoted its attention to cooperating with governmental authorities and non-governmental bodies at all local, regional and international levels, participating thus in a number of researches and scientific projects, signing agreements of cooperation with some outstanding organizations sharing with the Center the same research activities.
After having laid a firm foundation by virtue of the support and assistance offered by the University administration, the Center started working towards improving its goals and extending its activities that kept up with the new transformations in the Center. Thus, “environment” in its broad sense was added as well as “water” and the actions taken to make it more available and to create new technical methods to limit its scarcity with the least cost ever possible, through the implementation of a number of studies and applied projects such as "King Fahad's Project for rainwater harvesting and storage in the Kingdom". In addition, the Center has adopted "Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water" and became its secretary’s headquarter, with the director of the Center as secretary general.
Dr. Abdul Malek Abdul Rahman Al al-Shaikh
The Director of Prince Sultan Research Center for Environment, Water and Desert