Inaugural Red Sea Fashion Week to highlight Saudi talent to a global audience, official says

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - ‘Kingdom aims to lead in global efforts to combat climate change,’ says Saudi’s climate envoy

RIYADH: The inaugural National Greening Forum, which was organized by the National Center for Vegetation Cover Development & Combating Desertification, took place in Riyadh on Monday to look at the Kingdom’s efforts in afforestation and combating climate change.

Adel Al-Jubeir, the Kingdom’s climate envoy and Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs, took to the stage to speak of cementing the country’s role within the global community.

He said: “Climate and afforestation are part of the Kingdom’s policy regarding dealing with climate change and the environment.

Environmental experts and enthusiasts were invited to discover, document, and learn under the Discover Nature program at the National Greening Forum. (AN photo)

“This is a big part of Vision 2030 in terms of quality of life. The Kingdom is part of the international community. Anything that happens globally affects the Kingdom, and vice versa.

“Having clean air and a healthy environment matters to that community, and afforestation is part of facing climate change.”

The minister added that drought had historically caused conflicts, population displacement, and health issues which had made land rehabilitation crucial not only for the environment but also for global stability, security, and quality of life.

Al-Jubeir said: “As the largest exporter of oil globally, the Kingdom feels a responsibility towards the climate, and its goal is to become the leading nation in this sector, and not a country which follows global standards. We need to set these standards.”

The envoy recently attended the World Economic Forum Special Meeting, hosted for the first time by the Kingdom in Riyadh, which discussed opportunities for global collaboration and growth. He said that the Kingdom’s participation was a clear sign of its pivotal role in confronting international challenges.

He added: “Climate is related to multiple sectors, including the economy. Floods and natural disasters cause a rise in the price of goods, impact machinery and delivery trucks, which also alters delivery periods and costs, and also impacts the consumer. These things are directly correlated to our everyday lives, not just locally but globally.”

He said that nature-based solutions were pivotal points of discussion at global platforms like the World Economic Forum, adding that the world needs further collaboration to combat such issues sustainably.

He said: “I think there must be conviction with this challenge. There are differences in how to reach the desired goal between developed and developing countries, but I do not think that there is any country that opposes reaching this goal.”

The Kingdom believes the issue should be dealt with comprehensively and logically, taking into consideration such factors as afforestation, minimizing consumption, technological development, carbon capture methods, rehabilitation, and establishing nature reserves.

Al-Jubeir said: “For example, European countries are concentrating on hydrocarbons, petrol, and gas, but they forget animals, industry, cement, and chemicals.”

The National Greening Forum saw the inauguration of the Discover Nature program which invites environmental experts and enthusiasts to discover, document, and learn. The Saudi Green Initiative is also well on its way to achieving its ambitious target of growing 10 billion trees, reflecting the Kingdom’s commitment to addressing its environmental challenges and improving quality of life.

The minister emphasized that awareness, knowledge, and achieving objectives were at the heart of these initiatives.

He added: “Sustainability isn’t just planting a tree; it needs follow-up and care for it to grow. It’s a continuous act, not just a one shot.”

 

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