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Saudi Arabia celebrates first Saudi Green Initiative Day

by Madaline Dunn

This week, Saudi Arabia celebrated its inaugural Saudi Green Initiative Day, an annual climate action awareness day marking the initial launch of the Saudi Green Initiative (SGI) on March 27, 2021.

This year’s Saudi Green Initiative Day was held under the theme: “For Our Today and Their Tomorrow: KSA Together for a Greener Future” and highlighted the importance of collaborative action for a sustainable legacy in the Kingdom.

On Saudi Green Initiative Day, the 80 public and private sector initiatives underway as part of SGI were highlighted, which represent an investment of over SAR705 billion in the green economy.

According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), SGI initiatives have helped restore natural habitats, safeguard unique biodiversity, and protect livelihoods by reducing the incidence of dust storms and helping to combat sand encroachment and desertification.

SPA also highlighted the progress towards various targets, including adding 2.8 GW of renewable energy capacity to the national grid, generating enough clean energy to power over 520,000 homes.

It noted that an additional 8.4 GW of renewable energy is under construction, with another 3.3 GW in development.

Further, towards its goal of planting ten billion trees in the coming decades, over 49 million trees and shrubs have been planted across the Kingdom, and 94,000 hectares of degraded land – an area exceeding 146,000 football fields — have been rehabilitated.

To achieve the goal of planting ten billion trees, Saudi Arabia also launched a comprehensive roadmap for sustainable afforestation during MENA Climate Week in Riyadh in October of last year.

Regarding the protection of Saudi Arabia’s natural heritage, 18.1 per cent of land and 6.49 per cent of marine environments are now under protected status.

It was shared that to achieve this, over 1,660 endangered animals were reintroduced into expanding nature reserves, such as the Arabian oryx, Arabian and sand gazelles, and the Nubian ibex.

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