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.”


Hundreds of volunteers serve worshippers at Makkah’s Grand Mosque as Ramadan nears end

Hundreds of volunteers serve worshippers at Makkah’s Grand Mosque as Ramadan nears end
Updated 21 min 16 sec ago

Hundreds of volunteers serve worshippers at Makkah’s Grand Mosque as Ramadan nears end

Hundreds of volunteers serve worshippers at Makkah’s Grand Mosque as Ramadan nears end

JEDDAH: The culture of volunteer work is an important part of Muslim society throughout the year but especially during Ramadan. This is a time of deep faith during which positive behavior and selfless acts are encouraged.

Nowhere is this more evident during the holy month than in the halls of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, where volunteers from the public and private sectors and charities work tirelessly to maintain it and serve pilgrims from around the world.

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, represented by the General Administration for the Coordination of Voluntary Work, said it has been working to recruit these volunteers and provide them and staff at the mosque with the training they need to ensure that their work is carried out in accordance with all the precautions that are in place protect the health and safety of pilgrims.

It has made efforts to spread the culture of volunteer work, improve its effectiveness and increase volunteer opportunities by adopting the latest methods and best supportive practices. By the beginning of Ramadan, 132 volunteers were working at the mosque each day.

The presidency said that some of the most important volunteer activities include helping elderly and disabled people to move through the mosque, organizing prayer rooms and corridors, monitoring security cameras at the entrances, and ensuring that social distancing rules are followed.

The Saudi Red Crescent Authority has also stepped up its voluntary activities during Ramadan, and has deployed throughout the mosque medical and emergency teams equipped with the latest medical equipment and supplies.

The authority revealed that 500 of its volunteers are working at the mosque during Ramadan, and added that during the last 10 days of the holy month it aims to increase the number of hours of voluntary work. It also provides buses to transport volunteers from Jeddah and within Makkah to the Grand Mosque.


PM Imran Khan on Saudi-Pakistan ties: ‘Our relationship is marked by close cooperation in all fields’

PM Imran Khan on Saudi-Pakistan ties: ‘Our relationship is marked by close cooperation in all fields’
Updated 47 min 32 sec ago

PM Imran Khan on Saudi-Pakistan ties: ‘Our relationship is marked by close cooperation in all fields’

PM Imran Khan on Saudi-Pakistan ties: ‘Our relationship is marked by close cooperation in all fields’
  • We share a history of cordial relations with Saudi Arabia: Imran Khan

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have long-standing and historic fraternal relations, rooted deep in common faith, shared history and mutual support.
The people of Pakistan hold the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in the highest esteem. Our relationship is marked by close cooperation in all fields and we look forward to further strengthen this equation especially our economic ties for our mutual benefit.
Being home to the two holiest cities for the Muslims across the world, Saudi Arabia has a key role in unifying the Muslim Ummah.
Pakistan highly values this role that Saudi Arabia has consistently been playing. One of the key challenges faced by Muslims today is Islamophobia.
It is imperative that the Muslim world takes a united stance against the rising tide of Islamophobia and we all make concerted efforts to sensitize the West about our deep respect for our Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and our sensitivities about our religion being linked with terrorism.
I take this opportunity to appreciate various landmark initiatives taken by the visionary leadership of Saudi Arabia. One that requires a special mention is One that requires a special mention is “Saudi Green Initiative” and “Green Middle East Initiative.”
The threat that climate change poses to this planet and our region is real and it is high time for action. Pakistan has already initiated “Clean and Green Pakistan” and “Ten Billion Tree Tsunami.”
We believe that our priorities and goals in this regard are aligned and we can therefore learn a lot by sharing experiences. Pakistan will extend every possible support toward the success of the Green Initiative.
I look forward to my visit to Saudi Arabia and hope my interaction with the Saudi leadership will further strengthen our bilateral relations and will open further avenues for building a strong economic partnership as well as promoting people to people contacts.
I take this opportunity to pay my best regards to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the royal family and the great people of Saudi Arabia.
Long live Pak-Saudi friendship!

• Imran Khan is the prime minister of Pakistan.


The ancient caravan route between Taif and Makkah

The ancient caravan route between Taif and Makkah
Updated 07 May 2021

The ancient caravan route between Taif and Makkah

The ancient caravan route between Taif and Makkah
  • Hussein bin Salameh ordered the construction of two paths — one for camels and one for pedestrians — to facilitate the exchange and trade of goods in the Kingdom.

JEDDAH: The ancient stone road known as the “caravan route” linking Taif and Makkah is a cultural legacy of great historical value. It was constructed more than 1,000 years ago and was used regularly by pedestrians up to the 1960s.

At the time the road was built, movement between Taif and Makkah was restricted by Al-Qarah Mountain, researcher Hammad Al-Salimi explained. So Hussein bin Salameh ordered the construction of two paths — one for camels and one for pedestrians — to facilitate the exchange and trade of goods in the Kingdom.

The winding road made it possible to cross the mountain and was a remarkable feat of engineering, considering the limited technology available at the time of its creation.

“The roads were paved with stones, which made them resemble staircases winding between the top of the mountain in Al-Hada, the Karr below Al-Qarah Mountain, Shaddad and then Wadi Noman,” Al-Salimi said, adding that a third road, for cars, was built in the mid-1960s, during the reign of King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud.

Al-Salimi said that the two original paths are “important monuments, which should be preserved and maintained because they are part of the Al-Qarah Mountain system and complement the beautiful image of this mountain.”

Historian and writer Saleh Al-Judi explained that — before cars were common in the Kingdom — people would use the route to travel between the two cities, a journey taking around three days. The passage through the mountain, he said, is around six kilometers. In the middle of the route, he added, is a well-known site called Al-Rukb.

He said the route is mentioned in histories from the fifth Hijri century (1009-1106 CE), which say that it had room for pedestrians and animals alike. Al-Qathami stressed the importance of preserving the road as an historical landmark, as it is an important artery linking Taif and Makkah.


Saudi leaders send condolences to Algerian president over flood victims

Saudi leaders send condolences to Algerian president over flood victims
Updated 06 May 2021

Saudi leaders send condolences to Algerian president over flood victims

Saudi leaders send condolences to Algerian president over flood victims

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Thursday sent a cable of condolences and sympathy to Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune for those killed in torrential rains and floods that hit several Algerian states.
The king said: “We learned of the news of the torrential rains and floods in several Algerian states, and the resulting deaths, and we send to Your Excellency, the families of the deceased, and the Algerian people our warmest condolences and the most sincere sympathy,” Saudi Press Agency reported.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also sent a similar cable to the Algerian president.RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Thursday sent a cable of condolences and sympathy to Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune for those killed in torrential rains and floods that hit several Algerian states.
The king said: “We learned of the news of the torrential rains and floods in several Algerian states, and the resulting deaths, and we send to Your Excellency, the families of the deceased, and the Algerian people our warmest condolences and the most sincere sympathy,” Saudi Press Agency reported.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also sent a similar cable to the Algerian president.


KSrelief chief meets Beninese envoy to Saudi Arabia

KSrelief chief meets Beninese envoy to Saudi Arabia
Updated 06 May 2021

KSrelief chief meets Beninese envoy to Saudi Arabia

KSrelief chief meets Beninese envoy to Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief), Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, met the ambassador of Benin to the Kingdom, Mataero Fadel, in Riyadh on Thursday.

The meeting discussed the development of projects implemented in Benin, and ways to enhance them.

Fadel praised the professional excellence of KSrelief and its service to the needy around the world, especially to groups in Benin, pointing out that the center is a milestone in the field of humanitarian work.

This Ramadan, KSrelief distributed 164 tons of food baskets to thousands of families in Benin, as part of the humanitarian aid provided by the Kingdom, through KSrelief, to friendly countries during the holy month.