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Saudi Arabia initiates ambitious National Afforestation Program

The plan sets an ambitious goal of cultivating 10 billion trees over the next few decades.

Saudi Arabia initiates ambitious National Afforestation Program
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

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Saudi Arabia has revealed the executive plan for its ambitious National Afforestation Program, marking a significant step towards environmental stewardship.

Led by the initiative of the Minister of Environment, Water, and Agriculture, Eng. Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli, the program aims to reshape the Kingdom’s landscape, promoting a greener and more sustainable future.

The program commits to planting 10 billion trees in the coming decades, and the plan outlines the roadmap to accomplish this remarkable goal. Following a thorough two-year scientific feasibility study, the Center for Vegetation Development and Combating Desertification has identified sustainable irrigation methods and selected tree species compatible with the Kingdom’s vegetation cover and adaptable to its climate.

The Kingdom’s rich biodiversity, with over 2,500 species of wild plants, will play a pivotal role in the afforestation efforts. The program incorporates 350 species spanning 13 regions throughout the country. Various irrigation strategies are employed, encompassing rainwater harvesting, treated water, and even seawater for mangrove forests.

Dr. Khaled Al-Abdulqader, CEO of NCVDC, highlighted the program’s importance in rejuvenating the Kingdom’s green spaces and contributing to global initiatives for biodiversity conservation. He emphasized that the program goes beyond tree planting; it is a comprehensive strategy to rehabilitate degraded lands, improve air quality, and safeguard the integrity of Saudi Arabia’s diverse ecosystems.

Al-Abdulqader further indicates that the program will rehabilitate degraded lands, manage pasture, and conserve natural resources and biodiversity.

To achieve these targets, the program will extend across 13 regions in Saudi Arabia. The irrigation methods will be tailored to each region’s water resources, relying on rainwater harvesting and treated water systems. Additionally, seawater desalination will facilitate the growth of mangrove forests along the coastal areas.

This initiative aligns with Saudi Arabia’s dedication to environmental preservation and the objectives of Vision 2030 and the kingdom’s Green Initiative, a comprehensive strategy to safeguard the environment and natural resources.

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