Participants at the Environment and Sustainability International Conference in Jubail discussed the importance of conservation and protection of natural resources. They reviewed the most important scientific solutions to reduce the effects of global warming on vegetation in the Arabian Peninsula and the impact of climate change on desertification.
At the opening session, Dr. Judy Krzynanowski spoke about the importance of applying environmental friendly chemical processes, as well as having appropriate awareness to reduce gas emissions. As for the pollution levels, she confirmed that levels are high in many parts of the world, and according to WHO statistics, 9 to 10 people breathe polluted air, and that toxic gases caused 4.2 million deaths in 2016, while air pollution caused an estimated 3.8 million deaths in the same period.
She added; “We have plant species and types that improve air quality, and some of them can be sampled for study to convey the condition of weather and soil for us, some of these plants are sensitive to the emission of toxic gases such as palms that not only reveals the dates conditions, but also reveals the quality of the atmosphere in general”. She pointed to the efforts of the World Health Organization in the development of data for the organization of smart cities and allowed air rates., Jubail Industrial City has gtt ahead to provide several good practices in the field of air purification, the adoption of some initiatives and proactive goals to improve the environment.
Dr. Ahmed Al-Farhan, from King Saud University, reviewed the impact of global warming on the vegetation cover in the Kingdom and the Arabian Peninsula, going over the Kingdom vegetation cover map, that comprises forests, desert plants, grazes. the vegetation cover in the Kingdom covers mmore than 300 km. with about 55 of plantspecies.
He also mentioned that some of strange plant species invaded the Arabian Peninsula, while some desert originated plant species are extinct, as a result of the absence of fertilization processes that affected the vegetation and disturbances occurred during fruits ripeness as a consequence of climate change, impact on the environment, depletion of groundwater resources, and drought, which have impacted vegetation cover over the last 20 years.
Dr. Farhan revealed that there are major predictable changes at the international level over the next 100 years, because of a rise in temperature by 1.5 degrees Celsius, melting in the ice in high areas, and the disappearance of some animals and plant species that will be extinct at the local level. Furthermore, Sixty years from now, we will witness diversity in the difference in precipitation and quantity of rain.
The paper on conservation and protection of natural resources delivered by Mr. Maesh Nakhil Khanwalwal from Al-Farabi Company, discussed the issues related to the conservation of electric power, the identification of the best energy conservation opportunities, the presentation of environmental friendly systems with high efficiency of energy that conserve electricity, the importance of using good thermal efficiency by appropriate equipment, and exploiting all opportunities to raise energy efficiency and reduce consumption through using new machines and permanent maintenance.
Dr. Mohammed Al Shamsi of the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology highlighted the impact of desertification on the loss of millions of dollars in the international economy, which is equal to the total domestic production of 162 countries in the world due to soil degradation, which resulted in the loss of millions of hectares of soil and the loss of fertile soil in different places in the world; exposing more than 250 million people to be affected due to the lack of water, food scarcity, poverty and migration due to the lack of basic infrastructure given that The Middle East is one of the most affected areas of the desertification.
Dr. Mohammed Al-Ahamri of Maaden Company highlighted the irrigation methods that are harmful to water, causing depletion of groundwater and the need to replace them through modern irrigation methods, revealing that 95% of the oases in Al-Ahsa were depleted due to land exploit and lack of proper irrigation methods.
The conference discussed plastic recycling techniques, the feasibility of using wind energy in Jubail Industrial City, the sustainability of petrochemicals, innovative and sustainable waste management solutions, and application-based learning through the design, development of an eco-friendly and smart city model, and green building principals. At the end of the conference, many specialists proposed solutions and policies aimed at ensuring best practices that would contribute effectively to preserving the environment and natural resources for environmental sustainability.