The planting of 50 billion trees across the Middle East is the equivalent of restoring 200 million hectares of degraded land. A fifth (10 billion) trees will be planted within Saudi Arabia’s borders, with the remaining 40 billion set to be planted across the region in the coming decades. Achieving this target will help to generate new employment opportunities and strengthen the resilience of remote communities. The trees will also provide numerous other benefits, including stabilizing soils, protecting against floods and dust storms and helping reduce CO2 emissions by up to 2.5% of global levels.
Saudi Arabia is creating a number of regional centers and programs that will be instrumental in providing the knowledge and expertise needed to successfully implement this unprecedented tree planting effort. This infrastructure will also help to attract investment, strengthen cooperation in key areas and enhance knowledge exchange, leading to a better future for global humanity.
A tree planting governance framework was agreed by founding member countries during a ministerial meeting in Riyadh in October 2022. The governance framework was formally endorsed by Heads of State during the 2022 MGI Summit in Sharm El Sheikh.
The Regional Center for Climate Change Studies will facilitate knowledge transfer and provide data to spur innovation of new solutions.
A region-wide cloud seeding program will help increase precipitation, providing cleaner air and improved conditions for vegetation growth.
An early storm warning center will enable proactive and preventative steps to reduce the impact of adverse weather events.
The Regional Center for Sustainable Fisheries Development will ensure that marine life thrives, while livelihoods are safeguarded.
The Middle East and Africa’s involvement in the fight against climate change is critical not just for the region, but for the world. The goals set under the Middle East Green Initiative are inspiring countries to do more to make a carbon free future possible, engendering global impact.