Urban growth, increase in livestock encroach on desert vegetation in Kingdom

Urban growth, increase in livestock encroach on desert vegetation in Kingdom
Government agencies adopted policies that will halt environmental degradation. (SPA)
Updated 08 April 2017

Urban growth, increase in livestock encroach on desert vegetation in Kingdom

Urban growth, increase in livestock encroach on desert vegetation in Kingdom

RIYADH: The desert vegetation in Saudi Arabia is slowly receding, the result of the expansion of urban settlements and population, and the increase in the number of livestock, and thus overgrazing, chairman of the Cooperative Society of Moringa and Desert Plants Nasser bin Saleh Al-Khalifa said.
Other reasons include a growing number of cars that roam the desert without sparing the vegetation, a lack of environmental awareness among many citizens and little cooperation, on the part of the concerned parties, in running environment protection projects, as well as harsh environmental conditions typical to the desert, he added.
In a paper presented at the Riyadh environmental camp “My responsibility toward the environment,” organized by the General Administration of Agriculture in the Riyadh region, titled “Protection of desert vegetation in Saudi Arabia”, Al-Khalifa said that the above-mentioned factors are leading to a deterioration of vegetation in these environments, which makes it imperative on those concerned to do everything in their power to prevent the phenomenon and find remedies.
Al-Khalifa mentioned some protection methods that can be applied, “including administrative protection, along with the intervention of the concerned parties to establish a security mechanism and entity with legislative and executive authority to protect the environment, raising awareness among the population and involving the media and social networking in promoting the need to protect and re-farm the desert.”
Deputy Director General of the Natural Resources Department at the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Nasser bin Bakheet Al-Marri, who is also chairman of the Scientific Committee of the camp, presented a paper titled “Environmental degradation in the Kingdom and efforts to preserve the environment” in which he said that the ministry, along with other government agencies, adopted policies that will halt environmental degradation, as well as national strategies to combat desertification.
“The ministry is keen to involve the private sector in the efforts exerted to rehabilitate the natural resources and contribute to the preservation of the environment through offering some parks, pastures, forests and fallow land for investment and development,” he stressed.
Professor at the Faculty of Food and Agricultural Sciences at King Saud University, Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed Al-Saeed also presented a paper, titled “The recreational and environmental role of national parks.”
In it, he talked about the way parks provide recreational opportunities to the community, which can use them to enjoy the beauty of nature, breathe fresh air and enjoy a quiet atmosphere away from the noise of cities.