Saudi Environment Ministry launches new initiative to measure air pollution

Updated 10 August 2017
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Saudi Environment Ministry launches new initiative to measure air pollution

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has launched a new initiative to monitor air quality and emissions of pollutants in a bid to improve public health, it announced recently.
The initiative requires the estimated 7,000 industrial facilities in the Kingdom with “chimneys” to install units that will measure air pollutant emissions in real time at source. These units will all be linked to a central monitoring unit that will display real-time data for all facilities — including indicators, measurements and concentration of pollutants — on an electronic map.
The project will reportedly involve legislation to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to install the measurement units and that any violators are identified. It will also help to create a national emergency plan for how to tackle critical air-pollution cases in cooperation with the relevant authorities.
According to Khalil bin Mosleh Al-Thaqafi, the president of the General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection (PME), the new initiative is part of the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020, itself a crucial first step toward achieving Vision 2030.
He added that the initiative will also expand the existing national network, which monitors the quality of ambient air in the Kingdom’s cities, to all regions of the Kingdom by completing unfinished stages and building 30 additional stations in Jazan, Najran, the Northern Province and Jouf.


Finance chiefs meet to map out Kingdom’s budget plans

Updated 21 min 53 sec ago
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Finance chiefs meet to map out Kingdom’s budget plans

RIYADH: Saudi finance chiefs have kicked off a major conference in the capital aimed at mapping out the Kingdom’s budget requirements.
Around 300 specialists representing 150 government bodies met at the InterContinental hotel in Riyadh for the Budget Forum 2020.
Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan welcomed delegates to the second edition of the gathering organized by the Saudi Finance Ministry under the slogan “Partnership and Empowerment.”
Al-Jadaan said the ministry was focused on “partnership and commitment,” and sought to share the challenge of developing an effective budget to achieve the Kingdom’s ambitious goals.
“We are also committed to empowering financial leaderships to learn about the ministry’s programs and projects and provide training and qualification opportunities to the best international standards,” he added.
The finance chief said the budget planning process required the collaboration of multiple authorities and a clear strategy based on transparency. 
Items up for discussion at the forum included financial planning in governmental bodies, automation, and the promotion of revenues and efficient spending.
Finance Ministry steering committee chairman, Abdul Aziz bin Saleh Al-Freih, stressed the importance of the forum in getting the ball rolling at an early stage on formulating a general state budget.
Workshops were held on the sidelines of the conference focused on empowering government organizations, and a training program on financial planning and income estimations was also staged.