Son Güncelleme Ocak'ta 31, 2024

Saudi Arabia is a country universally associated with deserts and arid climate, but it has been witnessing an unexpected transformation.

Parts of its desert landscape have been turning green, a change attributed to both natural phenomena and deliberate afforestation efforts.


Natural Causes

The greening of certain desert regions in Saudi Arabia is largely a result of heavy rainfall and subsequent flash floods.

Last December, the country experienced intense showers that resulted in severe flooding in Mecca and other areas.

In the weeks following these rains, the desert, especially in the west, began to bloom.

The growth of vegetation was so significant that it became visible from space through NASA satellites. It’s crucial to clarify that this greening is a natural outcome of the excessive rainfall, rather than a planned initiative to transform the desert landscape.

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Afforestation Projects

In addition to natural causes, Saudi Arabia’s efforts to combat climate change and promote sustainability have played a significant role in the greening of its deserts.

The Saudi Green Initiative (SGI), spearheaded by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, was launched in 2021.

This national initiative aims to combat climate change, enhance the quality of life, and safeguard the environment for future generations. The SGI focuses on three main objectives: reducing emissions, afforestation, and protecting land and sea.

Since its inception, 77 initiatives aligned with these objectives have been implemented, representing an investment exceeding $186bn. The SGI is instrumental in Saudi Arabia’s goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060 and expedite the country’s transition to a green economy.

The Middle East Green Initiative (MGI), another significant initiative launched in 2021, aims to foster sustainability across the region.

The MGI offers guidance for local sustainability projects and seeks to hasten the adoption of renewable energy and sustainable practices in the region.

One of the key projects under the SGI is the Greening KSA project, which is committed to planting 10 billion trees across Saudi Arabia and rehabilitating 40 million hectares of land in the coming decades.

The project aims to expand the vegetative footprint of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Center for Desert Agriculture at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is providing scientific and technical leadership for this project.

In addition to the Greening KSA project and the SGI, Saudi Arabia is investing in green smart city projects such as Neom. Neom, a planned zero-carbon smart city, is part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan to diversify the country’s economy beyond oil.

Proje, with an estimated budget of USD 500 billion funded by both local and international investors, will be powered entirely by renewable energy and will focus on nine sectors including food technology, energy, ve su.

The project aims to generate 15 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030. Neom, located in northwest Saudi Arabia, is set to transform the Red Sea coast into a city of the future.

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Continued Afforestation Efforts

The Greening KSA project is just one of many initiatives aimed at transforming Saudi Arabia’s landscape.

The country is also investing in the development of green smart cities, such as Neom.

This planned zero-carbon city is part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan, which aims to diversify the country’s economy beyond oil. With an estimated budget of USD 500 milyar, funded by both local and international investors, Neom will be powered entirely by renewable energy.

The city will focus on nine sectors, including food technology, energy, ve su, with the aim of generating 15 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030. Located in northwest Saudi Arabia, Neom is set to transform the Red Sea coast into a city of the future.


The Impact of Greening Initiatives

The greening initiatives in Saudi Arabia are not just transforming the physical landscape of the country; they are also having a significant impact on the country’s economy and society.

Investing in sustainable practices and renewable energy also allows Saudi Arabia to create new industries and job opportunities.

These initiatives are also helping to combat climate change and protect the environment for future generations.

The greening of Saudi Arabia’s desert is a remarkable phenomenon, brought about by a combination of natural causes and deliberate afforestation efforts.

Through initiatives like the Saudi Green Initiative and the Greening KSA project, Saudi Arabia is demonstrating its commitment to sustainability and the fight against climate change.

While the transformation of the desert landscape is visible from space, the impact of these initiatives is felt much closer to home, in the creation of new industries, job opportunities, and a cleaner, greener environment for future generations.

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