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Saudi Arabia and UNEP to mark World Environment Day with major event in Riyadh

June 2, 2024 at 2:30 pm

Children from schools in Firmat Argentina, play with a giant Planet Earth balloon as part of activities commemorating the World Environment Day on 06 June 2024 [Patricio Murphy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images]

Saudi Arabia and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) will celebrate World Environment Day on 5 June under the theme “Our Land, Our Future”. According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the ceremony will be held at the King Abdulaziz International Conference Center in Riyadh with dignitaries, officials, experts, and specialists from various countries in attendance.

The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA) said the event will showcase the Kingdom’s commitment to environmental protection and sustainable development, aligning with Vision 2030 goals. The focus will be on land restoration, combating desertification, and building drought resilience.

Last month, Deputy Executive Director of UNEP, Elizabeth Mrema, spoke of the urgency of action, stating: “Now is the time to act on commitments to prevent, halt and reverse ecosystem degradation. We are the first generation to fully understand the immense threats to the land – and might be the last one with a chance to reverse the course of destruction.”

The event will also reinforce the G20 Global Land Initiative, launched during Saudi Arabia’s G20 presidency in 2020. It aims to promote national and international collaboration to rehabilitate ecosystems, supporting sustainable development goals.

In addition, the Kingdom will host the sixteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP16) of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in Riyadh this December.

World Environment Day, marked annually on 5 June, was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972. Over the past five decades, it has grown to be one of the largest global platforms for environmental outreach, with tens of millions of people participating online and through in-person activities, events, and actions around the world.

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