Destination KSA - Your Guide to Saudi

Destination KSA - Your Guide to Saudi

Saudi Green Initiative Day: The Mission to Planting 10 Billion Trees

Saudi Green Initiative Day: The Mission to Planting 10 Billion Trees

In light of Saudi Arabia’s celebration of the Saudi Green Initiative Day, we reflect on a journey that began four years ago with the launch by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, on the twenty-seventh of March 2021; the Saudi Green Initiative.


 

The initiative has grown, flourished, and expanded, becoming a dream that is nearing, growing and expanding day by day and year after year, until it became a banner under which hundreds of projects are united, enabling and continuing to enable a greener and more sustainable future.

Saudi Green Initiative Day: The Mission to Planting 10 Billion Trees

“Vegetative Cover” Initiatives

Only a few months have passed since the launch of the initiative, and its impact began to be felt, echoing in every region around the kingdom; where the National Center for Vegetation Cover Development and Combating Desertification launched seven ambitious initiatives aimed at contributing to achieving the targets of the Saudi Green Initiative, covering vegetation areas under its supervision. This contributes to activating the participation of various segments of society in efforts to address climate change, drive sustainable innovation, accelerate the green transition, restore vital environmental functions, improve air quality, and reduce dust and sandstorms by planting 10 billion trees across the kingdom, equivalent to rehabilitating more than 40 million hectares of degraded land and restoring natural green areas.

 

Study of Planting 10 Billion Trees

The initiative aims to study the planting of 10 billion trees within the kingdom over the coming decades, equivalent to rehabilitating over 40 million hectares of degraded vegetation areas, contributing to increasing vegetation cover, improving quality of life, providing additional natural habitats for endangered species, mitigating current climate change impacts (such as extreme weather and storms), supporting local production sustainability, raising awareness among all segments of society about the importance of vegetation cover, its role in quality of life, climate change mitigation, and soil protection.

 

This initiative contributes to achieving 100% of the Saudi Green Initiative’s goals, supporting global initiatives to reduce land degradation and enhance terrestrial habitats. The Saudi Green Initiative project and the afforestation executive plan have been completed in recent months; the study has answered many important hypotheses about afforestation in four areas (environmental, urban, agricultural, and along highways and railways), such as the number and types of trees to be planted, suitable locations, water sources, carbon absorption rates, climate effects, and costs, through scientific studies and field research using the latest induction technologies, in collaboration with several global and local expertise houses.

Saudi Green Initiative Day: The Mission to Planting 10 Billion Trees

National Afforestation Program

The launch of the National Afforestation Program and the afforestation executive plan has been a roadmap for planting 10 billion trees and a culmination of efforts that have resulted in planting over 70 million trees so far. The program aims to plant 400 million trees by 2030, 4.7 billion trees by 2060, and ultimately reach 10 billion trees by 2100. The roadmap includes a strategic plan designed to develop vegetation cover in all natural habitat areas, which will include cities, highways, and green spaces, to ensure the new trees contribute to enhancing the health and well-being of the kingdom’s residents, most of whom live in urban areas, thereby reducing temperatures by 2.2 degrees Celsius and improving air quality.

 

Forest Management and Development

Efforts began with the Sustainable Forest Management and Development Initiative by 2030 to reduce forest degradation, preserve and protect forests, rehabilitate degraded areas, increase vegetation cover by rehabilitating 348 thousand hectares of degraded forest areas, reforestation of central region valleys and heavily deforested sites, planting 60 million local trees, with sustainable forest area management, protection and restoration of rare and endangered plant species through protection and specialized nurseries.

Saudi Green Initiative Day: The Mission to Planting 10 Billion Trees

Preservation of Pastures

The initiative aims to rehabilitate eight million hectares of pastures in 26 sites across the kingdom in the first stage, reducing sandstorm impacts, improving public health, providing nature-based solutions for carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation, combating desertification, helping restore plant biodiversity, and increasing livestock productivity by improving traditional grazing system efficiency (continuous and open grazing) and transitioning to modern breeding patterns while gradually regulating overgrazing, reducing pressure on natural pastures, achieving Saudi Green Initiative goals, protecting and supporting local communities, and ensuring food security.

 

Development of 50 National Parks

The initiative to develop vegetation cover and infrastructure for 50 national parks aims to reduce carbon emissions by four million tons, combat desertification, restore biodiversity, provide nature-based solutions for carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation, help improve quality of life, enhance eco-tourism activities and support them, facilitate investment opportunities, and support the economy of local communities. It also includes conducting an environmental, social, and economic assessment study of potential sites to determine the relative advantages of each, and the economic and environmental feasibility of developing existing national park infrastructure, creating new national parks in addition to developing targeted current parks. This initiative will contribute to achieving the goals of the Saudi Green Initiative by planting 10 million trees.

 

7 Million Trees in Royal Reserves

This initiative aims to collaborate with royal reserves to plant seven million wild trees in royal reserves, with the goal of providing nature-based solutions for carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation, combating desertification, restoring plant biodiversity, reducing carbon emissions by 2.8 million tons, improving quality of life, and supporting eco-tourism. The initiative is planned to contribute to achieving the goals of the Saudi Green Initiative.

Saudi Green Initiative Day: The Mission to Planting 10 Billion Trees

Involvement of the Public Sector in Afforestation

The initiative to involve the public sector in vegetation cover development and desertification control, in collaboration with public sector entities, launches a 10-year afforestation and restoration program to plant and protect 18 million local trees in areas under these entities. The main goal of this initiative is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 7.2 million tons, provide nature-based solutions for carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation, help reduce air pollution, improve air quality by absorbing pollutants, improve quality of life, and promote sustainable practices using treated sewage water, while preserving the ecological systems of endangered local species. This initiative will contribute to achieving the goals of the Saudi Green Initiative.

 

Involvement of the Private Sector in Afforestation

The initiative to involve the private sector in vegetation cover development and desertification control, in collaboration with private sector entities, launches a 10-year afforestation and restoration program to plant and protect 40 million local trees in areas under these sectors. The main goal of this initiative is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 16 million tons, preserve the ecological systems of endangered local species, provide nature-based solutions for carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation, help reduce air pollution and improve air quality by absorbing pollutants, improve quality of life, and promote sustainable practices using treated sewage water. This will contribute to achieving the goals of the Saudi Green Initiative.

 

It is worth noting that the “Saudi Green Initiative” is one of the largest afforestation initiatives in the world, reflecting the Kingdom’s commitment to addressing various environmental challenges, including decreasing rainfall rates, agricultural land availability, and forest areas. The primary goal of afforestation, planting 10 billion trees, representing 1% of the global afforestation goal and 20% of the goal of planting 50 billion trees set by the “Green Middle East” initiative.

Saudi Green Initiative Day: The Mission to Planting 10 Billion Trees

To find out more, visit greeninitiatives.gov.sa

Instagram: gi_saudi


 


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