Protect environment or pay the price, Riyadh forum told

Protect environment or pay the price, Riyadh forum told
Panelists discussing environmental issues during the second day of Riyadh Economic Forum. (AN photo/Ahmed Fathi)
Short Url
Updated 23 January 2020

Protect environment or pay the price, Riyadh forum told

Protect environment or pay the price, Riyadh forum told
  • The study discussed the role of the private sector in environmental protection

RIYADH: Industrial development and technological advances have played a key role in promoting social welfare, but environmental pressures mean Saudi Arabia must focus on eco-friendly progress, the Riyadh Economic Forum heard on Wednesday.

Mansour bin Saad Al-Kredes, a Shoura Council member who moderated the session on environmental issues, said: “In the Kingdom, we face environmental issues, a growing population, the fourth industrial revolution, and increasing waste is encouraging us to change the way we behave.”

In recent decades, economic thinking has been concerned with issues related to economic growth. This trend continued until people recognized the importance of the environment and the need to protect it in order to maintain economic growth, social welfare and high-quality public health.

“To speak about environment is to talk directly about human quality of life,” he said.

“We need to change our behavior toward the environment.”    

Sattam bin Fahad Al-Mojel, assistant professor of environmental engineering at King Saud University, presented a study suggesting that investment initiatives and social development plans that are not driven by environmental considerations will result in an “aggravated environmental degradation.”

The study discussed the role of the private sector in environmental protection and praised a Saudi government plan to plant 5 million trees in the Kingdom by the end of 2030 using treated wastewater.

In the Kingdom, we face environmental issues, a growing population, the fourth industrial revolution, and increasing waste is encouraging us to change the way we behave.

Mansour bin Saad Al-Kredes, Shoura Council member

“Planting 1 billion trees in the Kingdom will boost the cause,” said Al-Mojel.

Highlighting the significance of the study, Al-Mojel said: “It identifies and diagnoses the environmental problems and works out the appropriate solutions. It also provides a great deal of information, statistics and data that make it an essential reference for students and researchers of environmental sciences, and paves the way for further studies.”

Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Kathiri, Saudi Gulf Environmental Protection Company chairman, and Walid bin Khalil Zebari, professor of water resources management at Gulf University, echoed Al-Mojel’s comments, saying that the goals of Vision 2030 include a clean environment and good public health.

Zebari said: “We need to change the pattern of consumption in order to realize the Sustainable Development Goals, which are a blueprint to achieve a better and sustainable future for all.”

Sustainable Development Goals were established in 2015 by the UN with a 15-year time frame.