THUWAL – KAUST has signed an agreement with Imar Engineering Consulting, leader of the consortium mandated to provide the implementation plan for the Saudi Green Initiative’s Greening Saudi project, to provide scientific and technical leadership for the project and to partner with Imar for delivering its global strategy.
The agreement signifies the official start of key scientific and technical studies between the two organisations. The agreement was signed under the auspices of the university’s president, Dr. Tony Chan, and the CEO of the Center for Vegetation Development and Prevention of Desertification, Dr. Khalid Al-Abdulkader, of the Center for Agriculture (CDA) from KAUST.
The CDA provides the scientific and technological basis for strategic planning for an optimized, sustainable and environmentally viable increase in Saudi Arabia’s plant footprint. This will describe which species to plant where, when, by whom and why – as well as how to sustain the proposed implementation in a sustainable way. This provides an integrated system of reforestation strategies and initiatives for the different habitats of the kingdom.
The main challenges of the Saudi Green Initiative’s reforestation program are plant survivability and ecological sustainability. Water, of course, is central. Globally, KAUST is at the forefront of scientific research and development in these areas.
Eng. Khalid Al Othman said: “From the beginning, we have been looking for capable and reliable partners to join forces with to form a strong consortium that covers all the expertise, capabilities, knowledge and skills needed to collectively do the work and fulfill this important mandate,
“And here we are hand in hand with KAUST working on the exploration, accumulation and analysis of knowledge to establish a deep and solid scientific basis of understanding to develop a solid, comprehensive, practical implementation plan. and achievable for a broad, ambitious mandate”
The Saudi Green Initiative was created to lead the work necessary for the Kingdom to meet the commitment made at COP26 to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2060. The Saudi Green Initiative has three main objectives: to reduce shows ; protect land and sea; and Greening Saudi.
Greening Saudi, a key part of the initiative, is tasked with planting 10 billion trees across Saudi Arabia, turning the desert green and rehabilitating 40 million hectares of land over the next few decades. In addition to carbon sequestration, planting trees can improve air quality, reduce sandstorms, combat desertification, and lower temperatures in adjacent areas.
The task of overseeing the achievement of this target has been entrusted to the National Center for Green Cover, headed by Dr. Khaled Abdulkader. Strategies, feasibility studies and implementation planning are undertaken by a consortium led by Imar Engineering Consultants.
Dr. Chan said, “KAUST and the Center for Desert Agriculture are proud to be part of this work… This agreement will enable work for a central part of this national study.
He also said, “It is fantastic that the Kingdom is placing science at the center of the strategic planning for this remarkable project, and we are proud that KAUST can make such an important contribution.
“As a university of science and technology, whose mandate is not only to do top-quality research, but to carry out this research for the benefit of the Kingdom and the world, we are delighted that our scientists can use their knowledge and their experience to help the Kingdom meet its commitments at COP26 and improve the environment for all in this vast country.
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