Saudi Arabia’s environment sector is enjoying great attention and support from the Kingdom’s leadership within the objectives of the Kingdom Vision 2030, as the sector has recently achieved several accomplishments, most notably were the preparation and adoption of the national strategy for the environment, the preparation and adoption of the new environmental regulations, the launch of global environmental initiatives in the G20, in addition to allocating National Environment Week.
The transformation of the institutional frameworks for the environment sector seeks to ensure the quality of implementation and sustainability via inaugurating five centers specialized in environmental fields, namely: the National Center for Meteorology, the National Center for Vegetation Cover and Combating Desertification, the National Center for Environmental Compliance, the National Center for Wildlife, and the National Center for Waste Management, in addition to the establishment of the Environment Fund to support the financial sustainability of the sector, and enhance the protection of vegetation cover in pastures and forests, as well as the expansion of the rehabilitation, development, and announcement of national parks, in conjunction with the establishment of the Kingdom of Special Forces for Environmental Security to be tasked with monitoring the work of environmental centers.
Saudi Arabia’s green efforts are aiming to restore ecosystems by launching campaigns and initiatives such as the “Let’s Make It Green Campaign”, “Saudi Green Initiative” and “Middle East Green Initiative”, as a contribution to enhancing biodiversity, combating climate change, reducing carbon emissions and improving the quality of life. The environmental and natural capabilities the Kingdom possesses make it capable of preserving its diverse ecosystem, which encompasses many forests, agricultural lands, wetlands, desert lands, seas, coasts, mountains, and others.
During its presidency of the G20 last year, the Kingdom consolidated its leading role towards common international issues and contributed to the protection of the planet. This resulted in a declaration on the environment to ensure a sustainable future that limits environmental degradation, preserves biodiversity, the sustainable use and repair of the natural resources. The Kingdom has also encouraged a circular carbon economy framework through which emissions can be managed comprehensively and integrated to mitigate the implications of climate challenges, make energy systems cleaner and more sustainable, and enhance the security and stability of energy markets.
Within the same context, the Kingdom called on countries to adopt and enhance technologies that are compatible with the paths they choose for energy transformations through the pillars of the circular carbon economy, as these pillars collectively constitute a comprehensive, integrated and realistic approach that allows benefiting from all emissions management options in all sectors, stressing the responsibility of the G20 countries in creating conditions capable of building a strong, inclusive, balanced and sustainable economy by empowering people, preserving the planet, and shaping new horizons to seize the opportunities of the 21st century for all. Those countries should take the lead in adopting sustainable, realistic and cost-effective methodologies to achieve the ambitious climate goals.
The two global initiatives launched by the Kingdom during its presidency of the G20, namely the initiative to establish “Global Coral Research & Development Accelerator Platform”, which is one of the most important marine ecosystems, and the “Global Initiative on Reducing Land Degradation and Preserving Terrestrial Habitats”, which is concerned with restoring terrestrial ecosystems, have won international recognition and support from several international organizations to restore marine and terrestrial ecosystems.
The national efforts towards preserving and developing the environment were characterized by their distribution over several locations throughout their geographical area, and the diversity of their objectives, including King Salman Park, Green Riyadh, NEOM, The Line, the Red Sea, Soudah Development Company, the King Salman Renewable Energy Initiative, and the National Renewable Energy Program, the National Strategy for Health and Environment, in addition to the establishment of the Special Forces for Environmental Security.
These projects aim to raise the per capita share of green space in the Kingdom, increase the percentage of total green spaces, improve air quality by reducing carbon dioxide, increase oxygen and humidity, reduce dust in the air, lower temperatures, in addition, to contribute to reducing energy consumption and increasing the capacity to absorb and exploit rainwater and reduce its effects.
These projects will also encourage the practice of healthy patterns of movement among the population, and improve indicators of quality of life in general.