Firms have 5 years for projects to turn ‘green’

Updated 19 March 2014
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Firms have 5 years for projects to turn ‘green’

The Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) has given all companies five years to meet new air, water and noise pollution standards in line with international benchmarks. The PME released its recommendations on Sunday.
Abdul Aziz Al-Jasser, general manager of the PME, said companies that do not comply after the five-year period face suspension for three months, a cash fine, and the cessation of the project.
He said all projects, including those currently under construction or in the feasibility and designs stages, have to comply.
The PME has developed a standard environmental plan to help protect people’s health, conserve natural resources and implement the national strategy for sustainable development in all sectors of the economy including health, industry and agriculture.
Al-Jasser said that the PME consulted various stakeholders during the drafting process.
Hussein Al-Qahtani, the PME’s spokesperson, said the new standards cover all aspects of the environment including water sources, the use of land, natural hazards, air quality, radioactivity and thermal pollution. It incorporates public transport, monuments, and heritage and culture projects.
The new regulations are based on regulations approved by the Council of Ministers in 2008.
The General Environmental Law has 24 articles overseeing measures to protect the Kingdom’s natural resources, according to the PME website. Article 13 requires all persons engaged in production, servicing or other activities to “prevent direct or indirect contamination of surface, ground and coastal waters that may be caused by solid or liquid residues.”
They should also “preserve the soil and land and curb its deterioration or contamination;” and limit noise pollution, “particularly when operating machinery or other equipment or using horns or loudspeakers.”
Article 14 bans “hazardous, poisonous or radioactive waste from entering the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia or its territorial waters and exclusive economic zone.”
“Persons in charge of the production, transportation, storage, recycling, treatment and final disposal of poisonous, hazardous or radioactive materials must comply with the procedures and controls set forth in the rules.”
“Any harmful pollutants, poisonous, hazardous or radioactive waste is prohibited from being disposed of, or discharged from vessels in the Kingdom’s territorial waters or its exclusive economic zone,” the website states.


Saudi Arabia to become ‘a tourism magnet’

Saudi Arabia has been praised for projects to enhance tourism in the country. (Supplied)
Updated 7 min 26 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia to become ‘a tourism magnet’

  • International tourism projects in line with Vision 2030 include the Al-Qadiya development to build the largest recreational city in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has won praise for a series of Vision 2030 megaprojects that “will put the Kingdom on the world tourism map.”
Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary-general of the UN World Tourism Organization, highlighted the Kingdom’s efforts to develop its tourism sector during talks with Ahmad Al-Khatib, chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH).
Both sides discussed extending the partnership between the UN organization and Saudi Arabia to further strengthen tourism initiatives in the Kingdom.
International tourism projects in line with Vision 2030 include the Al-Qadiya development to build the largest recreational city in Saudi Arabia, and megaprojects such as Al-Ula and Al-Diriyah Gate to restore a UNESCO site.
The projects “will put the Kingdom on the world tourism map and help it realize its vision of becoming a major global tourist destination,” Pololikashvili said. 
He congratulated Al-Khatib on his appointment as SCTH chairman, and accepted an invitation to view the Kingdom’s latest projects and tourism events.