G20 has key role in safeguarding the planet, says minister

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman urged G20 leaders on Thursday to take firm measures and “effective and coordinated” action to combat the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (G20 Saudi Arabia)

RIYADH (RAHNUMA): The world needs to strengthen cooperation to reduce land degradation, habitat loss and coral reef conservation, said Saudi Deputy Minister for Environment Dr. Osama Faqeeha on Tuesday.

Speaking at a G20 meeting briefing on the highlights of the Environment Working Group, Faqeeha underlined the importance of preserving the environment for a sustainable future.

He said that the Saudi presidency is pursuing collective efforts and taking concrete actions to safeguard the planet.

The deputy minister said conserving the earth’s environment meant protecting marine and terrestrial environments and working towards reducing marine pollution such as plastic littering.

“Around 12 million hectares of land are lost annually due to land degradation, including deforestation,” he added.

Moreover, land degradation affects about 60 percent of people directly or indirectly and contributes to massive habitat and ecosystem service losses, he said, adding that deforestation and other land use are also responsible for 24 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

G20 Saudi Arabia is leading the international community in working toward minimizing land degradation and deforestation to conserve biodiversity and meet climate goals.

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