Under the patronage of HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, the Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Center for Vegetation Development and Combating Desertification, Eng. Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli, inaugurated today the International Exhibition and Forum on Afforestation Technologies, at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center, organized by the National Center for Vegetation Development and Combating Desertification, in coordination and cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, and will continue until May 31, 2022.
Al-Fadhli in his speech at the opening ceremony, thanked HRH the Crown Prince, for his patronage of the event, which reflects the keenness of the Saudi leadership to preserve and develop the environment, especially the vegetation cover, which is a fundamental pillar of the environment and wildlife, citing HRH’s "Saudi Green and the Middle East Green Initiatives".
"The Kingdom is moving towards achieving a qualitative and unprecedented leap in the Middle East in environmental protection and vegetation development, with such pioneering and ambitious initiatives locally and regionally, whose effects will be reflected globally in reducing desertification and enhancing biodiversity, and pushes towards a cleaner and more sustainable future, thus improve human quality of life and enhance well-being,” the minister said.
Al-Fadhli underlined the keenness and support of HRH the Crown Prince to encourage innovation, stimulate young Saudi minds, and their determination in environment protection and the development of vegetation cover, indicating that this exhibition enhances the exchange of expertise and access to the experiences of other countries, to benefit from them and reflect them on the local environment.
CEO of the National Center for Vegetation Development and Combating Desertification, Dr. Khalid Al-Abdulqader, said the exhibition and the international forum on afforestation techniques aims to converge visions, experiences, opinions, and ideas of a group of specialists, experts and environmentalists, and parties concerned with vegetation cover and combating desertification, afforestation techniques, and investment in parks and reserves, adding that more than 90 speakers from 20 countries and organizations around the world, will engage in 20 dialogue sessions and workshops discussing more than 50 scientific papers.
Al-Abdulqader added that the exhibition and the international forum will build bridges of communication between more than 80 exhibitors from government agencies, the private sector, international organizations and bodies, and environmental associations to display their projects and products and qualitative innovations.
To that end, Deputy Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Andrea Meza participated - in a speech via video communication technology - in which she expressed the importance of the exhibition in preserving the environment and combating desertification.
For his part, the Director-General of the National Agency for Water and Forests (ANEF) in Morocco, Abderrahim Houmy, expressed his pleasure at participating in the opening session of the exhibition and the international forum on afforestation technology, organized by the center with the participation of the Ministry of Environment in the Kingdom, within the framework of achieving the Kingdom’s vision 2030 and the “Saudi Green” and “Middle East Green” initiatives.
Meanwhile, NEOM CEO, Eng. Nadhmi Al-Nasr announced during the opening session an initiative launched by NEOM in cooperation with the national center to plant 100 million local trees as part of the 10 billion trees that will be planted around the world, and rehabilitate 1.5 million hectares of land and natural reserves and wildlife habitat restoration in NEOM.
"We are committed to the project, under the leadership of HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Chairman of the Board of Directors, that 55% of the city will be a natural area, and we are working hard in this strategic direction in coordination with the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture and based on many studies and scientific research, we believe that the final results will improve our position."