Saudi Arabia has key role to play in tackling climate change, British-Saudi environment forum hears

Saudi Arabia has key role to play in tackling climate change, British-Saudi environment forum hears
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Updated 09 April 2021

Saudi Arabia has key role to play in tackling climate change, British-Saudi environment forum hears

Saudi Arabia has key role to play in tackling climate change, British-Saudi environment forum hears

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA) and the British Embassy in Riyadh have this week hosted a series of virtual discussions on the environment.

The forums took place weeks after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced ambitious green initiatives for both the Kingdom and the Middle East.

“Climate change is a real problem that affects all of us,” UK deputy ambassador to Saudi Arabia Richard Oppenheim said during the third and final discussion held on Thursday. “We need to raise awareness about this issue and work together to take the necessary measures to reduce the harmful effects of climate change by reducing carbon emissions and using modern technologies.”

The UK-Saudi discussions have been held as part of the “Together For Our Planet” campaign run by the UK embassy.

The campaign aims to raise awareness leading up to the COP26 (26th session of the Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) being held in the UK in November.

The final event discussed the importance of media in spreading the environment message, women’s contributions to environmental awareness, and environmental issues to which the public is most responsive.

The other discussions covered recycling and the effects of discarded plastic and how to raise climate change awareness.

On Thursday, six speakers from the private, public, and media sectors led the group discussion.

They included: Abdullah bin Sulaiman Al-Braiki, associate professor of ecology and adviser to MEWA, Majda Mohammed Abu Rass, founder and chairwoman of the Saudi Environmental Society (SENS), Fahd Al-Aqran, director of the Saudi Press Agency, Noor Osama Nugali, assistant editor-in-chief of Arab News, Abdulrahman bin Sulaiman Al-Trairi, a writer and political analyst, and Saad Al-Qassim, founder of Jeddah Now .

Al-Braiki described the success of government initiatives like the “Let’s make it green campaign” launched by MEWA last year.

He said more than six million trees had already been planted in the Kingdom - well on the way to the campaign’s 10 million target. The new green initiative now aims to plant 10 billion trees in Saudi Arabia.

Abu Rass said public understanding of environmental matters played a big part in changing behavior.

“The problem of environmental pollution is closely related to patterns of behavior towards the environment and the lack of awareness about environmental issues,” she said.

“When a woman is aware of the importance of the resources the family uses, this will have a great impact on the environment.”

Al-Aqran said: “The media has a significant and necessary role in raising environmental awareness among individuals and societies.”

Nugali said Saudi Arabia had an important role to play in tackling climate change.

“As a leading global oil producer, Saudi Arabia is furthering its ambitions to combat climate change,” she said. “The Saudi Green Initiative, announced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was received by everyone with a warm welcome and enthusiasm. We look forward to a brighter and greener future.”


ThePlace: Tayeb Al-Ism one of Saudi Arabia’s most stunning natural attractions

ThePlace: Tayeb Al-Ism one of Saudi Arabia’s most stunning natural attractions
Updated 1 min 55 sec ago

ThePlace: Tayeb Al-Ism one of Saudi Arabia’s most stunning natural attractions

ThePlace: Tayeb Al-Ism one of Saudi Arabia’s most stunning natural attractions
  • Small streams run through the stones and groves of palm trees dot the inside of the valley

Tayeb Al-Ism is one of Saudi Arabia’s most stunning natural attractions. Visitors to the valley enjoy one surprise after another. The valley is located on the Gulf of Aqaba, 15 kilometers north of the coastal town of Maqna.

Palm groves and granite massifs surround the valley’s entrance, which is located between two massifs that appear to be split in half.

After leaving their cars, visitors follow a pedestrian bridge that gives hikers the impression that they are about to embark on a magical journey. Small streams run through the stones and groves of palm trees dot the inside of the valley.

Shade and the large number of streams help to regulate the temperature, ensuring conditions in the heart of Tayeb Al-Ism are always pleasant.

Moses is believed to have spent his voluntary exile in Madyan, the ancient name of the Gulf of Aqaba, and reached Tayeb Al-Ism, hence the name “Valley of Moses.”


Who’s Who: Sultan Al-Qahtani, spokesperson of KSA’s Citizen Account Program

Who’s Who: Sultan Al-Qahtani, spokesperson of KSA’s Citizen Account Program
Updated 14 May 2021

Who’s Who: Sultan Al-Qahtani, spokesperson of KSA’s Citizen Account Program

Who’s Who: Sultan Al-Qahtani, spokesperson of KSA’s Citizen Account Program

Sultan Al-Qahtani has been the spokesman and communication general manager of the Citizen Account Program since 2018.

Al-Qahtani, who received a bachelor’s degree in English translation from King Khalid University (KKU) in 2007, is an ambassador of the Charity Orphans Care Foundation (Ekhaa).

His KSA Awla initiative, which he started in 2010, has succeeded in helping thousands of young men and young women find suitable jobs. Moreover, he is a member of the Saudi Media National Association since 2020. 

After graduation from KKU, Al-Qahtani joined King Abdul Aziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba), where he worked as a creativity prize administrator for nearly 16 months.

During the same period, he served at the leading mobile service provider, Zain KSA, as a marketing administrator for 10 months and as an application supervisor for five months. He also led Zain’s public relations team for more than a year.

For four months, Al-Qahtani worked for the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) as a media and public relations officer.

In October 2012, he started a new job with the Saudi mining firm Maaden, where he provided protocol support to the company’s president in regard to his visits, conferences, tours, and social functions. In December 2013 he moved to SAP, a producer of software for the management of business processes, where he managed marketing events and social media activities in Saudi Arabia.

In April 2017, Al-Qahtani joined the General Entertainment Authority, where he was the media relations manager for nearly a year before moving to the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority (Monsha’at), where he administered its communication department for six months.


Worshippers at Two Holy Mosques thoroughly screened from coronavirus disease

Worshippers at Two Holy Mosques thoroughly screened from coronavirus disease
Updated 41 min 55 sec ago

Worshippers at Two Holy Mosques thoroughly screened from coronavirus disease

Worshippers at Two Holy Mosques thoroughly screened from coronavirus disease

MAKKAH: Worshippers deemed resistant to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) attended the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah to perform Friday prayers.

All those taking part in worship were required to show Tawakkalna app proof of immunity to the virus and follow strict health and safety protocols.

Entry was allowed for people who had received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, those where 14 days had passed since their first jab, and individuals who had recovered after contracting the virus.

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has stepped up cleaning operations to 10 sessions a day at the Grand Mosque.


Saudi, Palestinian Authority foreign ministers hold call

Saudi, Palestinian Authority foreign ministers hold call
Updated 14 May 2021

Saudi, Palestinian Authority foreign ministers hold call

Saudi, Palestinian Authority foreign ministers hold call
  • Prince Faisal bin Farhan affirmed the Kingdom's condemnation of illegal practices carried out by Israeli authorities

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister spoke to the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riyad Al-Maliki on the phone on Friday.

During the call, Prince Faisal bin Farhan affirmed the Kingdom's condemnation of illegal practices carried out by Israeli authorities, and the need to immediately stop the country's escalatory actions that violate all international norms and conventions.

Prince Faisal called for the completion of efforts aimed at finding a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue which would enable the Palestinian people to establish an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and in accordance with international legitimacy decisions and the Arab Peace Initiative.

Meanwhile, Jordan’s foreign minister said he had discussed with Prince Faisal targeted efforts to “stop the Israeli aggression on Gaza and the attacks in Jerusalem and the rest of the Palestinian territories,” as a means of ending the current escalation.

“Occupation is the basis of the conflict, and launching an effective political movement to end it is a priority that we are working on with our brothers and partners,” Ayman Safadi tweeted.

Safadi also spoke to his Omani and Egyptian counterparts regarding the escalation in “occupied Palestinian Territories.”

Prince Faisal also received a phone call from Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi during which the two ministers discussed the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The foreign minister also discussed the conflict between Gaza and Israel with his Sudanese counterpart Mariam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi.


Saudi Arabia steps up inspection tours for virus violations

Saudi Arabia steps up inspection tours for virus violations
Updated 15 min 1 sec ago

Saudi Arabia steps up inspection tours for virus violations

Saudi Arabia steps up inspection tours for virus violations
  • Health Ministry reports 927 new cases, 1,608 recoveries, 12 deaths
  • A total of 7,134 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

JEDDAH: Jeddah municipality is working with the Saudi authorities to intensify its field inspection tours on the waterfront during the first days of Eid Al-Fitr to check for violations of the precautionary measures against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The municipality teams carried out 180 inspection tours that detected 69 violations and closing nine sites.

The municipality has put in place field plans to cover the North Corniche, Saif Beach, the Palestine Street Promenade and the Central Corniche, using the necessary equipment to clean the sites at regular intervals, in addition to carrying out intensive sanitization campaigns in seating areas, children’s playgrounds and disinfecting waste containers.

It stressed that it will step up joint field efforts with relevant authorities in the markets, waterfronts and public facilities to follow up on compliance with health preventive measures to control the spread of the virus, especially during the Eid days that are witnessing large turnouts of visitors.

The municipality urged people to comply with precautionary procedures and report any violations on the toll-free number 940 or the “Balady” mobile app.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia reported 12 more COVID-19-related deaths on Friday. The death toll now stands at 7,134.

The Ministry of Health reported 927 new cases, meaning that 431,432 people have now contracted the disease. Of these, 8,551 remain active, 1,323 of them in critical condition.

According to the ministry, 265 of the newly recorded cases were in Riyadh, 262 in Makkah, 128 in the Eastern Province and 69 in Madinah.

In addition, 1,608 patients had recovered from the disease, bringing the total to 415,747 recoveries.

Saudi Arabia has so far conducted 17,868,871 PCR tests, with 56,495 carried out in the past 24 hours.

Saudi health clinics set up by the ministry as testing hubs or treatment centers have helped hundreds of thousands of people around the Kingdom since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Among those testing hubs are Taakad (make sure) centers and Tetamman (rest assured) clinics.

Taakad centers provide COVID-19 testing for those who show no or mild symptoms or believe they have come into contact with an infected individual, while the Tetamman clinics offer treatment and advice to those with virus symptoms, such as fever, loss of taste and smell and breathing difficulties.

Appointments for either services can also be made through the ministry’s Sehhaty app.

Saudis and expats in the Kingdom continue to receive their COVID-19 jabs, with 11,253,029 people inoculated so far.