Makkah: The King Salman bin Abdulaziz Royal Reserve Development Authority recently celebrated the graduation of a second batch of 20 trainees from the Scouts Elite program, which aims to provide employees with the highest qualifications, enabling them to utilize their expertise at the reserve.
The graduates underwent field and practical training to develop a comprehensive understanding of the biodiversity in natural reserves, learning about wild animals and plants and how to care for them while ensuring their sustainability.
The Scouts Elite program is divided into two phases. The first constituted an academic program delivered in the region of Tabuk, which introduced trainees to the basics of scout work, focusing on the principles of ecology, biodiversity, human history, and environmental statistics.
In the second phase, trainees flew to Hoedspruit, South Africa, for an intensive eight-week field training course in collaboration with the Southern African Wildlife College.
Nayef Al-Wajhan, a graduate, said that the training covered health, field operations safety, monitoring patrols, plant and animal identification and management, and report writing and analysis, describing the program as excellent.
Another graduate, Nasser Al-Anzi, said: “We hope to implement what we have learned on the ground and apply all the knowledge to serve our country and achieve the objectives of Vision 2030.
“We learned a lot in South Africa. We learned how to treat lands with no vegetation, along with some modern techniques, and we aim to transfer such successful experiences.”
Nasser Al-Balawi, also a graduate of the program, said: “We underwent a first aid training course, which taught us how to deal with injured people and keep them safe until they are transferred to a hospital, along with a crisis management course. It was an amazing and enriching experience, where field exercises were applied on the ground after we had watched them in videos.
“This has helped broaden our horizons and introduce us to more effective and efficient field practices, which will allow us to apply them more in our work.”
The program also raised awareness on the significance of preserving biodiversity and wildlife, addressing methods of collaborating with local communities to achieve desired objectives, ultimately safeguarding the environment and fostering a sustainable natural balance.