Riyadh, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, represented by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, has celebrated the 51st Earth Day of 2021 under the theme “Restore Our Land” by organizing a scientific symposium with the participation of a group of environmentalists; to spread environmental awareness, highlight environmental challenges facing the planet, and discuss current efforts and future initiatives to preserve and sustain the environment.
The symposium was opened by the Undersecretary for Environmental Affairs, Dr. Osama bin Ibrahim Faqiha, during which he highlighted the recently announced Saudi green initiatives, which aim to plant 10 billion trees, and the Middle East Green initiative, which aims to plant 40 billion trees, stressing that the Kingdom's Vision 2030 accords environmental protection of utmost importance through the launch of the National Environment Strategy, which includes 65 environmental initiatives at a total cost exceeding SR50 billion, dealing with various environmental aspects such as enhancing environmental commitment, enhancing waste management and protecting marine and terrestrial habitats.
For his part, NEOM’s Chief Environment Officer Paul Marshall underlined the promising "The Line" Project and reviewed the existing efforts to preserve nature in the NEOM region.
Meanwhile, Dr. Baron Orr of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) addressed the impact of desertification and drought on the environment and the importance of protecting and maintaining the Vegetation cover to combat this phenomenon, while Etaf Shehadeh from the UN Environment Program (UNEP) reviewed the most prominent environmental challenges facing the planet at present.
Dr. Raquel Peixoto of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) highlighted the importance of protecting coral reef ecosystems and their important role in the marine environment, while Dr. Jeremiah Negro of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) referred to the efforts made by international organizations to protect the earth and conserve its resources for future generations.
It is worth mentioning that the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture is working on activating a group of programs and events that aim to enhance environmental awareness, and activate community participation among individuals and various sectors, most importantly organizing a yearly environment week, celebrating global environmental days, and holding forums and seminars aimed at raising the level of environmental awareness.
Source: Saudi Press Agency