Saudi Arabia’s interest in environmental issues and projects is now being tailored to attract the country’s large youth population, now said to compose as much as 60% of the entire population of 28 million. In an article published in the Middle East Arab World’s leading English language daily, Arab News , an environmental interest group, Green Jeddah, is trying make the country’s youth more involved in dealing with issues of environmental problems in Jeddah and other major population areas in the country. We know that sewage leaks and garbage dumps threaten the Red Sea, but what other problems to Saudis face?
Largely composed of young female students, the NGO is involved in trying to find solutions to the problems of toxic wastes and environmental “degradation” that is affecting this Red Sea coastal city, which is also the country’s largest sea port.
As some Green Prophet readers may remember, Jeddah was the location of some wide scale sewage flooding back in November, 2009, which was caused by a sudden torrential rain storm that occurred during annual Hajj pilgrimage which killed more than 120 people.
The motto of this new environmental awareness organization is “we should live and let the environment live as well.”
Using different methods to make people more aware of environmental issues, Green Jeddah has hosted educational seminars to explain the benefits of recycling and being environmentally conscious.
Ms. Alaa Al-Mizyen, a banking and finance student at Dar Al-Hekma College and co-founder of Green Jeddah summed up; the goals of the organization by saying that “we identify ourselves with solutions and not problems” when addressing local environmental issues.
Green Jeddah is targeting the country’s youth population, since so many of them are under age 21, and as such are the future leaders of the country. The group is particularly interested in dealing with issues of pollution and toxic waste, both of which are prevalent in many areas, due to the country being a major petroleum exporter.
Saudi Arabia recently expressed interest in becoming a member of the AbuDhabi based International Renewal Energy Agency (IRENA) and is interested in building solar energy power facilities such as ones that will replace using oil with those fueled by solar energy to power the country’s many desalination plants.
Another co-founder of Green Jeddah, Lulwa Binmahfooz, put in another way in getting the country’s younger population to become involved in improving the environment: “The youth are like seeds. If you take good care of the seeds, they will grow and turn into flowers”.
Perhaps Green Jeddah will one day team up with Green Prophet in greening the entire region. We can only hope this will come to pass.
:: Green Jeddah blog
More Saudi Arabia environmental articles:
Saudi Arabia Seeks to Join International Renewable Energy Group IRENA
More Than 120 People Killed in Sewage flooding in Jeddah
Saudi Arabia to Replace Oil With Sun Power for its Desalination Plants