RIYADH — The Deputy Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Eng. Mansour Bin Hilal Al-Mushaiti said that the estimates of the National Center for Waste Management (MWAN) indicate that in 2035 recycling will contribute to an income of about SR120 billion annually.

Eng. Al-Mushaiti made these remarks during his speech at a symposium entitled (Circular Economy) organized by the Riyadh Economic Forum. He added, according to a study by the World Bank the annual environmental burden on the economy has cost about SR86 billion annually.

Among the costs of the annual environmental burden on the economy, Eng. Al-Mushaiti said that 8 billion of them are the result of mismanagement of waste, which does not currently exceed 5%.

He also stressed that the circular economy is considered as one of the priorities of the environment system to achieve sustainable economic growth, in addition to preserving the environment and reducing pollution in accordance with the Vision 2030’s objectives.

"Maximizing the benefit of resources by reducing consumption, avoiding waste, reusing or recycling waste, will contribute to transforming waste into a useful wealth instead of being an economic, environmental and health burden," Eng. Al-Mushaiti noted.

Since the establishment of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA) in 2016, it has begun its journey to achieve sustainability with a vision that seeks to preserve the resources and sustain the environment and achieve water and food security and quality of life.

Eng. Al-Mushaiti said that Saudi Arabia has worked hard to achieve more environmental development, and among the examples that prove this, is the Crown Prince’s announcement to plant 10 billion trees in the coming decades.

This is in addition to protecting vegetation cover by 30% and achieving zero carbon neutrality in 2060, as well as recycling 94% of waste in 2035 instead of wasting it in landfills.

As for management of the water system, he said that it adopts an integrated management approach that begins with harvesting rain and preserving non-renewable groundwater in addition to producing with high efficiency from desalination.

While in the agricultural sector, Eng. Al-Mushaiti confirmed that poultry production jumped to more than 70%, in addition to achieving sufficiency in local products such as dairy and eggs and sufficiency in vegetables by more than 85%.

Eng. Al-Mushaiti indicated that the agricultural sector's consumption of water has decreased by 10 billion cubic meters annually.

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