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Saudi Arabia plants over 12m trees to reverse desertification

An aerial picture shows cars at a roundabout planted with shrubs and plam trees in the Saudi capital Riyadh, on March 29, 2021 [AFP via Getty Images]
An aerial picture shows cars at a roundabout planted with shrubs and plam trees in the Saudi capital Riyadh, on March 29, 2021 [AFP via Getty Images]

Saudi Arabia has planted more than 12 million wild trees and shrubs in a bid to combat desertification.

According to the Saudi Gazette, the National Centre for Vegetation Development and Combating Desertification (NCVC) planted the trees while starting the Integrated Management and Sustainable Development of Pastures Project, which is part of the Kingdom's National Pasture Strategy Initiative, in line with Saudi Arabia's Visio 2030.

The project aims to develop floodplains and gardens by planting more than 12 million trees and shrubs across 100 locations. By 2030, it also seeks to rehabilitate more than 225,000 hectares of pasture land in several regions.

In May, Saudi Arabia's NEOM, in collaboration with the Centre, launched a "regreening" initiative to plant 100 million indigenous trees, shrubs and grasses, in accordance with Vision2030.

Desertification is a form of land degradation that turns fertile land into non-productive desert, as a result of poor land-management. Desertification reduces the ability of land to support life, affecting wild species, domestic animals, agricultural crops and humans. The Middle East is particularly vulnerable to drought and desertification, with many countries in the region facing rising temperatures and longer and more frequent droughts, placing pressure on water supplies and food production.

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