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The SGI panel in session

Over 43 million trees and shrubs planted across Saudi Arabia

DUBAI, December 4, 2023

Since the launch of the Saudi Green Initiative (SGI) in 2021, over 43 million trees and shrubs have been planted and 94,000 hectares of degraded land equivalent to 146,000 football fields has been rehabilitated across KSA.
 
During the third edition of the Saudi Green Initiative (SGI) Forum at COP28, Saudi officials and international climate experts took to the stage to discuss Saudi Arabia’s progress in achieving its ambitious greening target of growing 10 billion trees.
 
Dr Khaled Bin Abdullah Al-Abdul Qadir, CEO, National Center for Vegetation Cover Development and Combating Desertification, highlighted the sophisticated technology and modelling capabilities at the forefront of the kingdom’s afforestation efforts.
 
AI modelling
“We are using AI modelling to indicate the location of where we can plant these trees in the Kingdom. It's essential, not only for studying the plant and soil, but also to see sand movement and for monitoring, especially in very difficult to reach areas such as mountains and coastal areas,” he said.
 
Dr Qadir also pointed out the strong community engagement around afforestation initiatives across the kingdom, revealing that “in the last two years, we’ve reached 150,000 volunteers”, including children and families. 
 
Desertification
Commenting on desertification, Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UNEP said that she wants to “celebrate the fact that Saudi Arabia put it on the G7 agenda,” given that “it is a big issue affecting both millions of people and billions of hectares of land”. 
 
Discussing next year’s UNCCD COP16, she said: “We are really pleased that Saudi Arabia will be hosting COP16 on desertification at the end of 2024. This is really showing a ‘leaning in’ and a stepping up of an issue that desertification is part and parcel of the three conventions [on Biodiversity, Climate Change and Desertification] that were agreed on.”--TradeArabia News Service
 



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