Regenerative Agriculture and Desertification Reversal – Al Baydah Project

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In a recent session of the Regenerative Agriculture Venture Programme, we invited Neal Spackman, CEO and co-founder of Regenerative Resources, to address the programme semi finalists; who are tackling the Middle East North Africa and Turkey (Menat) region’s agricultural and climate change challenges through research, science and nature based solutions. 

Spackman shared his experience as the cofounder and director of the Al Baydha Project from 2010-2017, where he worked with settled Bedouin tribes in Al Baydah, Makkah developing ways to reverse desertification in the Hijaz area of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  Since Al Baydha, he has lead and consulted on regenerative projects and enterprises in Latin America, the USA, West Africa, East Africa, Southern Europe, and West Asia.  His company, Regenerative Resources, an enterprise focused on coastal regenerative development, blue economy, and regenerative onshore aquacultures.  Spackman has won the Rising Star award at the World Bank Global Disruptive Tech Challenge.

During his address to the Regenerative Agriculture Venture Programme researcher semi finalists , Neal shared his insights on regenerative agriculture, emphasizing the importance of soil, water, biodiversity, and respecting nature’s cycles.

He stressed that regenerative agriculture should not only maintain resources but also enhance & regenerate them, aiming for a net positive result. The work in the Al Baydah project with the bedouin tribes in Saudi Arabia, developed ways to reverse desertification, through regenerative practices.

Regenerating Hijaz Landscape: A Seven-Year Project

The Al Baydah area was highly degraded landscape in the Hijaz region of Saudi Arabia , the project of regeneration stemmed over a period of seven years. The project, which involved thousands of small experiments, focused on restoring the indigenous landscape through a tree-based grazing system known as Silva pasture. The project also incorporated terraced agriculture and water management techniques. Neal highlighted the project’s success in reestablishing biodiversity and ecosystems, and the scalability of the system based on geographic fractals. He also shared satellite data that demonstrated the project’s lasting net positive impact on the land’s ability to support biodiversity and enhanced water cycles, beyond the human intervention, post the 7 year duration.

Regenerative Systems for Environmental, Social and Economic Restoration

Neal Spackman also discussed the potential of regenerative systems to address environmental issues and restore biodiversity, while providing social and economic benefits.

The documentary link highlights the evolution of the regenerative project of Al Baydah, where Neal Spackman narrates the 7 year effort and successful outcome.

For more information on Goumbook’s Regenerative Agriculture Venture Programme in partnership with HSBC, Saudi Awwal Bank, supported by EIT Food, please visit