Saudi Arabia, UNEP launch World Environment Day campaigns

Saudi Arabia and the UN Environment Programme have announced campaigns to combat desertification, restore ecosystems, and strengthen drought resilience ahead of World Environment Day celebrations on June 5 in Riyadh.

The announcement was made at the opening of Saudi Arabia’s Environment Week on Sunday, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Saudi Minister of Environment, Water, and Agriculture Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli inaugurated the annual event that aspires to raise awareness of the importance of environmental protection.

During the event, Deputy Minister for Environment Osama Faqeeha emphasized the shared responsibility in addressing land degradation and combating desertification. This responsibility extends to policymakers, the private sector, and civil society organizations globally, who must work together to restore agricultural areas, rehabilitate land, and tackle desertification and drought, he said.

Faqeeha noted that on the occasion of World Environment Day, Saudi Arabia will shed light on the urgent need for global investments in conserving nature, restoring lands, and working toward sustainability.

He highlighted the importance of uniting national and international efforts to safeguard and rehabilitate ecosystems across the globe, aiming to fulfill sustainable development objectives.

“Without action, 95 percent of land on Earth could be degraded within the next 30 years, which could spell disaster for humanity and the planet,” said Elizabeth Mrema, deputy executive director of UNEP, launching the global campaign at a Saudi Environment Week event in Riyadh.

“We have seen how previous campaigns have catalyzed climate action across the globe. This year, we are calling on people — from the grassroots to governments — to help tackle the climate and extinction crisis we face by restoring the ground we depend on for survival,” she added.

Countries worldwide have committed to restoring 1 billion hectares of land, aiming to protect 30 percent of land and sea for nature and restoring 30 percent of the planet’s degraded ecosystems.

Supporting the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, World Environment Day 2024 will boost climate action efforts by gathering support for ecosystem restoration.

At the opening event of the Saudi Environment Week, Al-Fadhli emphasized that achieving the goals of environmental protection and conservation of the Kingdom’s natural resources requires active engagement from governmental and private sectors, as well as individuals.

He stressed the significance of adopting eco-friendly behaviors in daily routines and applying these practices across different sectors to reach sustainable development objectives.

“The continuation of this national event annually in the Kingdom reflects our wise leadership’s dedication to environmental protection and commitment to sustainable development, in line with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030,” Al-Fadhli said.

“Moreover, the Kingdom’s dedication to environmental protection is evident at national, regional, and international levels. This is demonstrated by Saudi Arabia’s active participation in numerous environmental agreements and organizations, as well as its … initiatives like the Middle East Green Initiative and other significant global environmental efforts under the G20 umbrella,” he added.








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