The world witnessed the “Green Saudi Initiative Forum” and the “Green Middle East Initiative Summit”, which was held in Riyadh in the presence of leaders from around the world from 23 to 25 October.
Late last March Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Prime Minister called for two initiatives announced, and they witnessed global support from countries and international organizations.
The importance of this wide organizing is highlighted by the fact that it comes about a week before the United Nations International Conference on Climate Change, in Glasgow (Scotland), the 26th conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP260, which will focus on the impact of the climate emergency on policies and systems food.
Saudi Arabia played an important role in confronting climate change and anticipates global attention with a number of initiatives, and has placed them within its Vision 2030, as part of serious endeavors to strengthen its partnership regionally and internationally, in facing and overcoming environmental challenges.
The Saudi efforts come to protect the planet and combat climate change, with the aim of preserving the environment and health of people in the region and the world.
Saudi Arabia extended invitations to attend the two initiatives forum to many world heads of state and government officials, in addition to CEOs of major companies in the invited countries, and a number of other heads of international organizations, academics, specialists in the environmental field and civil society institutions.
The Forum goals
The Forum aims to mobilize the efforts of the entire community; Considering that complainants and speakers are leaders of the economy, government and society, and promoting meaningful dialogue to reach effective solutions; By presenting opinions backed by scientific evidence presented by the world’s leading environmental experts.
The goals also include drawing a roadmap for the Green Saudi Initiative, which is considered as the Kingdom’s plan to achieve and follow up on its ambitious goals.
The Kingdom’s commitment to combating climate change and expanding the Kingdom’s ambitions and climate goals will be highlighted during the Green Saudi Initiative forum.
The Green Saudi Forum to discuss many issues related to oceans, atmosphere, space, interface and species.
Facing the Environmental challenges
The Saudi Crown Prince announced that the Kingdom and the region face many environmental challenges, such as desertification, which poses an economic threat to the region (it is estimated to $13 billion and is drained from sandstorms in the region each year), alongside air pollution from greenhouse gases is estimated to have a reduced average Citizens live an average of one and a half years.
“We will work through the Green Saudi Initiative to raise vegetation cover, reduce carbon emissions, combat pollution and land degradation, and preserve marine life,” the Saudi Crown Prince said.
He also indicated that the Forum will include a number of ambitious initiatives, most notably the planting of 10 billion trees inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the coming decades, equivalent to the rehabilitation of about 40 million hectares of degraded land, which means an increase in the area covered by current trees to 12 times, representing the Kingdom’s contribution by more From 4% in achieving the targets of the global initiative to reduce the degradation of land and wild habitats, and 1% of the global target for planting one trillion trees.
It will also work on raising the percentage of protected areas to more than 30% of its land area, estimated at 600,000 square kilometers, exceeding the current global target of protecting 17% of each country’s lands, in addition to a number of initiatives to protect the marine and coastal environment.
Planting 50 billion trees
The Crown Prince indicated that the Green Saudi Initiative will also reduce carbon emissions by more than 4% of global contributions, through renewable energy projects that will provide 50% of electricity production inside the Kingdom by 2030, and projects in the field of clean hydrocarbon technologies that will erase more from 130 million tons of carbon emissions, in addition to raising the percentage of waste diversion from landfills to 94%.
“The Kingdom is determined to make a lasting global impact, and based on its leading role, it will start work on the Green Middle East initiative with the sister countries in the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf and the Middle East, and seeks, in partnership with the brothers in the Middle East countries, to plant an additional 40 billion trees in the Middle East,” Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman said.
“The program aims to plant (50 billion) trees, which is the largest reforestation program in the world, twice the size of the Great Green Wall in the Sahel (the second largest regional initiative of this kind),” he added.
He also pointed out that this project will restore an area equivalent to (200 million) hectares of degraded land, which represents (5%) of the global goal to plant (1 trillion) trees and achieve a reduction of (2.5%) of global carbon rates.
Increasing vegetation cover in Saudi Arabia
These two initiatives come in support of the existing environmental efforts in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the previous years in accordance with Vision 2030, in return for the Kingdom’s earnest desire to confront the environmental challenges it has suffered, represented by high temperatures, low rainfall, high dust waves and desertification.
“Part of our efforts to enhance public health and raise the quality of life for citizens and residents, as it carried out a comprehensive restructuring of the environment sector, established the Special Forces for Environmental Security in 2019, and raised the coverage of natural reserves from 4% to more than 14% and increased vegetation cover. in the Kingdom by 40% over the past four years,” the Crown Prince said.
The Kingdom was also able to reach the best level of carbon emissions for oil-producing countries, and other initiatives that started on the ground and achieved tangible positive results in the general environmental situation.
The Crown Prince said: We believe that action to combat climate change enhances competitiveness, sparks innovation, and creates millions of jobs.