RIYADH — Princess Noura Turki Al Saud and Princess Mashael Saud AlShalan the Co-founders of AEON Collective and Professor, Tony Chan president of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at AEON headquarters in Riyadh on Tuesday.
The MoU comes as a move to constitute an expression and mutual understanding of the Parties’ willingness to work collaboratively to support the acceleration of sustainable development nationally and internationally, contributing to Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
AEON Collective is an inter-disciplinary Waqf (A Non Profit Endowment Fund) committed to advancing sustainability around the globe. AEON Collective produces, curates and disseminates fact-based & culturally informed knowledge around sustainability, and actively build capacities for a dynamic and knowledgable community through multiple activities and initiatives.
As a private research university, KAUST is a think-tank for scientific and technological education and research aimed at solving pressing global sustainability challenges. Both parties are centered on building educational sustainability capacities in support of Vision 2030 and the United Nations’ Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This MOU will pave the way for strengthening cooperation in strategic projects and initiatives to advance sustainability education and outreach, the advancement of research communication and emerging sustainability topics, capacity building and the engagement of youth.
“This MoU is a testament to the commitment that both KAUST and AEON Collective have made to advance education, awareness, and research on sustainable development,” said KAUST President Tony Chan. “We plan to build and strengthen collaborative frameworks that translate KAUST’s research into strategic knowledge for policy development, youth empowerment and engagement initiatives around sustainability, both nationally and internationally.”
Princess Mashael AlShalan said "Sustainability is not a foreign concept to us Saudis. Our forefathers lived a life that was sustainable by necessity. Their story is on of a resilient and resourceful communities, that occupied challenging and seemingly inhospitable lands. It is with that authentic Beduin spirit, that we further cement our collaboration with KAUST, leveraging advanced technical know-how and diverse global expertise, to reclaim our homegrown path to sustainable and equitable development and drive the active pursuit of repairing our planet.”
On the other hand, Princess Noura Al Saud added “We are steadfastly committed to advancing a Saudi narrative for social and economic development, rooted in our history and rich culture. Sustainability is inherent to our livelihoods and invaluable to our progress as a nation. We are delighted to formalize our long established engagement with KAUST, which will allow us to strengthen our action oriented partnership, and achieve long lasting, positive impacts on the planet and societies around the globe.”
Areas of mutual interest and potential collaboration between the Parties include advancing joint research initiatives on emerging topics of sustainability in areas of impact such as climate action, livability and health; food, water, and energy security; and ecosystem restoration and carbon management; and strengthening strategic engagement with key stakeholders to advance the sustainability mission, including youth engagement and capacity building. Policy advocacy and the translation of research into sustainable practice are additional areas of intended development.
The AEON KAUST collaboration will see as a first step under this engagement the co-appointments of both Prof. Carlos Duarte and Prof. Raquel Peixoto from KAUST as members of Aeon Collective working to advance efforts towards planetary repair, ecosystem restoration and resiliency.
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