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Saudi Arabia is planting 10 billion trees across the Kingdom

Saudi Arabia is planting 10 billion trees across the Kingdom

When you think of Saudi Arabia, you may picture a desert, or a city such as Riyadh or Jeddah with modern infrastructure and skyscrapers. But did you know that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is home to a rich diversity of over 2,000 species of flora spread across a variety of habitat zones including mountain forests, fertile oases, inland marshes, national parks, mangroves, and coral reefs?

Saudi Arabia is working to restore and protect its natural biodiversity, and increase the amount of greenery in the country while helping to tackle global climate change. As part of the Saudi Green Initiative, the Kingdom is currently undertaking one of the largest tree- planting initiatives in the world.

What is the Saudi Green Initiative?

The Saudi Green Initiative, which began in 2021, is a society-wide strategy uniting

programmes for environmental protection, energy transition and sustainability. The Saudi Green Initiative is working to reduce and offset emissions, increase afforestation and land restoration, while protecting the Kingdom’s natural habitats. This will play a key role in achieving global climate targets.

Why is Saudi Arabia planting 10 billion trees?

As has been demonstrated in other parts of the world, tree planting provides numerous social and economic benefits. Increasing vegetation cover helps to restore vital ecological functions, improve air quality, reduce sandstorms, and much more. It has been estimated that planting 10 billion trees across Saudi Arabia is equivalent to rehabilitating 74.8 million hectares of degraded land.

How will the tree-planting target be achieved?

This ambitious project involves carefully planned afforestation initiatives across the Kingdom over many years. In 2022, 18 million trees had already been planted. By December 2023, this number had risen to 43.9 million trees and shrubs planted. This equates to 94,000 hectares of degraded land (equivalent to over 146,000 football fields) rehabilitated throughout the country. By 2030, over 600 million trees are expected to be planted – equating to 3.8m hectares of rehabilitated land. Tree planting will continue beyond 2030, to reach the 10 billion target.

What else is Saudi Arabia doing to tackle global climate change?

The Saudi Green Initiative includes over 80 projects with the aim of achieving the three targets of reducing emissions, greening Saudi Arabia and protecting biodiversity. Saudi Arabia has committed to generating 50% of its power from renewable sources by 2030, paving the way to net zero emissions by 2060. This includes moving to electric vehicles and scaling up renewable energy and water systems. The Kingdom’s net zero strategy will generate investment in both the public and private sector, creating jobs and opportunities to benefit millions of people.

The Kingdom is collaborating and sharing knowledge with international partners to achieve long-lasting positive change for a more sustainable future. Saudi Arabia is also investing in sustainable development and tourism, with projects such as NEOM, the Red Sea Project.

For more information:

Saudi Green Initiative Target

https://www.greeninitiatives.gov.sa/about-sgi/sgi-targets/greening-saudi

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