Saudi Green Initiative agriculture projects ‘to start in 4 years’

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SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt: The Kingdom’s State Properties General Authority has announced that it would start implementing the Saudi Green Initiative’s agricultural and environmental schemes within the next four years.

The SPGA, which is responsible for all public real estate in the Kingdom, has a strategic plan aimed at the sustainable use of all state land.

Nabeel Al-Hakbani, the authority’s chief strategy officer, told Arab News that he was “very, very optimistic” that all the projects would be fully operational “within just a few years.”

“We strongly believe that you will see tangible outputs, at least for the first milestone, which is to establish the legal framework for our initiatives,” he said.

“So a year from now, we think that we will finish 25 percent of our workload, we will launch the legal and legislative umbrella of our initiatives (and) within three to four years we will go with the full-scale implementation of our initiative, along with our strategic partner the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture and its subsidiaries.”

The SPGA, an independent body that is linked to the prime minister, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is financed by a government fund under the Ministry of Finance and partners with the Public Investment Fund on several environmental and agricultural initiatives.

Al-Hakbani said the SPGA also works with the National Center for Vegetation Development and Combating Desertification and the private sector to reduce CO2 emissions and increase the number of trees planted by 2030.

As part of the Saudi Green Initiative’s goals, announced by the crown prince last year, the Kingdom aims to plant 10 billion trees by 2030, while also reducing emissions by 278 million tons per annum and protecting over 30 percent of its terrestrial and marine areas.

The authority took part in the second SGI Forum that was held on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference, or COP27, in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt this past week.

“We believe our initiative is a game changer, (especially) once you see the government itself incorporate it and enhance it, and also encourage individuals and the private sector to work hand in hand with us,” Al-Hakbani said.

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