RIYADH: The International Exhibition and Forum on Reforestation Technologies, under the auspices of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, kicks off in Riyadh on Sunday.
Organized by the National Center for the Development of Vegetation and the Control of Desertification, it is held at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center in coordination with the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture.
Abdul Rahman Al-Fadhli, the Saudi Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, said that the National Environment Strategy is a roadmap to the aspirations of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 with regard to the protection and development of the environment to reach.
They highlighted the Crown Prince’s efforts to improve vegetation cover at local, regional and international levels through ambitious plans, including the Saudi Green Initiative, the Middle East Green Initiative, the Global Initiative to Reduce Soil Deterioration and the International coral reef initiative.
The last two initiatives were announced by environment ministers during Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20 in 2020.
Last October, the Crown Prince announced two initiatives worth 39 billion Saudi Riyals ($ 10.39 billion) to tackle climate change, with Saudi Arabia contributing about 15 percent of total costs.
The Saudi Green Initiative and the Middle East Green Initiative aim to plant 10 billion trees.
About 150 different activities will be presented at the International Exhibition and Forum on Reforestation Technology, with the participation of international and local agencies, the government, the commercial sector and non-profit environmental groups.
About 90 experts on environment, climate, sustainability and investment issues from nearly 20 countries and global organizations will also participate.
There will be 19 interactive sessions and workshops, more than 50 scientific papers and about 80 exhibitors presenting their goods, ideas and innovations.
It represents the latest developments in combating desertification and mitigating its effects, developing and conserving vegetation cover, and conducting experiments, research and scientific studies.
The exhibition covers topics such as nursery, seed, afforestation, technologies, soil rehabilitation, desertification, irrigation technology, forest management and development, water resources and technologies, environmental solutions in plant carbon storage, pest management and agricultural waste management.
The National Center for Vegetation Development and Control of Desertification works to protect and monitor vegetation sites throughout the state, rehabilitate degraded areas, detect invasions, combat deforestation, and oversee land management and investment for pastures, forests and national parks. It promotes sustainable environmental development and contributes to achieving the goals of the Saudi Green Initiative.
Experts told Arab News that these investments are critical to achieving global goals to protect the environment, control climate change and reduce the effects of global warming emissions.
Dr. Amal Al-Duaiz, Consultant for International Relations and Strategic Partnership, said the Saudi-Green initiative is the biggest initiative to accelerate the Kingdom’s path to a healthier, cleaner and greener future.
“This initiative will help reduce carbon emissions and sandstorms, combat desertification and soil degradation, as well as restore degraded ecosystems and improve natural capital across the country by lowering temperatures,” he said.
He added that the Saudi-Green initiative would involve communities with high-level policies and technical and financial assistance that would have a significant social and economic impact.
He stressed that regional alliances will play an important role in tackling climate change and the challenges of global warming. Through regional alliances and joint efforts to address climate change, adaptation and mitigation can play an important role in ensuring investment and sustainability.
Al-Duaij noted that there is a strong link between climate change and sustainable development through regional alliances. Poor and developing countries, especially the least developed countries, will be hit the hardest and will be the least able to deal with expected shocks to their social, economic and natural systems, which could lead to cross-border climate problems.
Issues of climate change and global warming could affect countries in the region and also lead to other regions. The sustainable goals can only be achieved by ensuring regional alliances through investment and stability through joint efforts. And the
Environmental activist Talal Al-Rasheed stressed the “importance of activating the role of community organizations” in achieving this.
Al-Rashed, a Gulf Energy Consultant for Environmental Consultations, said the Saudi-Green Initiative and the Green Middle East Initiative emphasized the importance of land conservation and the Kingdom’s leading position in contributing to global goals.
Saudi Arabia faces a number of environmental issues, including rising temperatures to 52 degrees Celsius in some parts of the country and a lack of rain, looming water security, worsening sandstorms and their detrimental economic impact.
Al-Rasheed explained that the ministry gave priority to community participation in the cultivation of local plants to increase environmental awareness.