Saudi Arabia’s Climate Action Plan

Spotlight Activity: Saudi Arabia’s Climate Action Plan

Like other countries with coastlines and gradual slopes, Saudi Arabia is susceptible to sea level rise associated with climate change. This sea level rise puts coastal areas at risk of increasing erosion and inundation, which may destroy many of the countries’ wetlands & mangroves. Rising sea level may also risk contaminating the country’s groundwater with saline water, thereby reducing the country’s already scarce water supply. Global warming also puts coral reefs in the Red Sea, on Saudi Arabia’s West Coast, at risk, due to the process of coral bleaching associated with elevated sea temperatures. As a result of climate change, the Saudi Arabian deserts are also likely to experience prolonged droughts, which will have an adverse effect on the biodiversity of the area through reduced vegetation cover and terrestrial life.

Saudi Arabia plans to implement a process of sand nourishment, dune & salt marsh management, & sea dikes, all aimed at protecting coastal areas from increased inundation & erosion. To combat water scarcity, Saudi Arabia recognizes the need to build more desalination plants, and implementation of projects that reuse waste and agricultural drainage water. To protect biodiversity, the country plans to implement legal and institutional measurements, conservation & sustainable use practices, and strengthen environmental education and awareness at all levels. Saudi Arabia’s Climate Adaptation Plan can be found here: http://www.adaptation-undp.org/resources/assessments-and-background-documents/saudi-arabias-second-national-communication-official

Status: Right Direction

Saudi Arabia’s official climate change adaptation report submitted to UNDP in 2011 reflects a tremendously good understanding of the impacts of climate change, mitigation measures needed to combat the impacts on the coastal areas on both the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea, and solid policies and strategies to realize adaptation in the water sector and manage water vulnerability and demand arising from climate variability. Not only has Saudi Arabia started to set in place policies and strategies for adaptation to climate change severe impacts, but has also started to implement activities such as capacity building, conservation and protection of renewable natural resources and ecosystems, monitoring and evaluation of extreme weather trends such as drought and desertification, as well as international and regional cooperation, e.g. Convention to Combat and Control Desertification. However, adaptation in Saudi Arabia is still at an early stage and more needs to be done at a faster pace to better prepare for floods, droughts and other extreme weather events like the floods that happened in Jeddeh in 2009, 2011, and 2017.

Take Action

Please send the following message to the policymakers listed below:

We praise Saudi Arabia’s plans for taking good steps to build in the resilience and adaptation measures in the areas of sea-level rise (spatial planning, sand nourishment, dune management, salt marsh management, sea grass beds and sea dikes); water resources (more accurate hydro-meteorological projections; ecosystem protection and restoration; and demand management); desert ecosystems; and biodiversity. For this step to realize its potential and Saudi Arabia’s climate change vulnerability reduced, the country needs to expand and speed up these measures to manage climate change variability events. Environmental leaders and advocacy organizations should begin to inquire with the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture about Saudi Arabia’s immediate policies and strategies and the implementation program to enhance its climate change readiness level. They should also inquire with the Ministry about the status and timetables of implementation of the adaptation measures mentioned in its 2011 National Communication to the UNFCCC.
http://www.adaptation-undp.org/sites/default/files/downloads/saudi_arabia_snc.pdf
http://www.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/country-profiles/saudi-arabia/
https://gain.nd.edu/our-work/country-index/

Contact:
Abdurrahman Abdul Mohsen Al-Fadli
Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture
Toll Free: 800 247 2220
Or Eng. Mansour Bin Hilal Al Mushaiti, Deputy Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Toll Free 800 247 2220

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