There is debate world-wide over urbanization, structured planning, deforestation and land management; these issues are no less important in Saudi Arabia.
State tenure of traditionally protected lands in Saudi Arabia has created gaps in the protection of the ecosystem and control of urbanization that indigenous peoples can fill. The present situation has emerged since 1932 when local control of resources was lost in the drive to unify the Kingdom politically. An alternative to the practised system of land management and planning is proposed. The alternative is that which recognizes indigenous people as potential stewards of the vernacular landscape and it may play a leading role in the conservation and management of the highlands of the south-western region of Saudi Arabia.
To strengthen the 1993 Law of Regions which aimed at improving the standard of administrative work and development in the Kingdom will require the establishment of a new relationship between indigenous people, scientists and national governmental organizations. In this, indigenous peoples should have juridical recognition and control over large areas of forests around their settlements in exchange for a commitment to conserve the ecosystem and protect biodiversity. In essence, such an outcome may offer the integration of two knowledge systems into an innovative resource-management strategy and land-conservation plans.