34 charged with violation of Saudi environmental laws

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Saudi environmental police have stepped up the crackdown against illegal logging at the onset of the winter season in the Kingdom . SPA)
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Saudi environmental police have stepped up the crackdown against illegal logging at the onset of the winter season in the Kingdom . SPA)
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Updated 07 January 2021

34 charged with violation of Saudi environmental laws

RIYAD: The Special Forces for Environmental Security (SFES) in Riyadh announced on Wednesday that it has initiated legal proceedings against 34 people accused of violating laws prohibiting the sale or transfer of local wood.

The perpetrators include 21 Saudi citizens, nine Sudanese, two Pakistanis, one Yemeni and one Indian, charged with possession of more than 52 tons of local wood that they were intending to sell.

The legal action is in line with a campaign carried out by the Ministry of Interior, represented by the Special Forces for Environmental Security, and other authorities in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture.

Tasked with protecting the environment, wildlife and biodiversity across the Kingdom and to enforce laws and regulations in conservation areas, the FES currently has 1,100 employees.

Brig. Gen. Saher bin Muhammad Al-Harbi, the SFES commander, said in an exclusive interview with Arab News last month that the number will grow to 10,000 in the next four years.


Crown prince announces new 5-year strategy for kingdom’s economy

Updated 25 January 2021

Crown prince announces new 5-year strategy for kingdom’s economy

  • Crown prince pledges 1.8m new jobs
  • PIF to invest $40bn a year until 2025

JEDDAH: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday launched a new five-year strategy for the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund as Saudi Arabia drives toward achieving its Vision 2030 goal to diversify the economy away from dependence on oil.

The Public Investment Fund (PIF) will pump at least $40 billion a year into the local economy, double its assets to $1.07 trillion, contribute U$320 billion to non-oil GDP and create 1.8 million jobs by 2025, said the crown prince, the fund’s chairman.

“We’ve launched many vital sectors and investment projects in Saudi Arabia and the private sector is a strategic partner for the PIF,” he said.

“The new strategy comes to represent a major pillar in achieving the aspirations of our country and aims to achieve the concept of comprehensive development.”

The 2021-2025 strategy will focus on launching new sectors, empowering the private sector, developing the PIF’s portfolio, achieving effective long-term investments, supporting the localization of sectors and building strategic economic partnerships.

“Our goal is to make our country a pioneer for the new human civilization,” the crown prince said. The PIF would “contribute to supporting development and economic diversification efforts in the Kingdom, in addition to consolidating its position as the preferred global investment partner.”

PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan said: “Over the past four years, PIF has demonstrated its important role in contributing to the Kingdom’s economy, in line with the ambitions of Vision 2030. Up to the end of 2020, we tripled assets under management to nearly $400 billion, created 10 new sectors and generated 331,000 direct and indirect jobs.

“And as part of our strategy, we will continue to drive the economic transformation of Saudi Arabia and enable the private sector. We also partner with innovative, transformative and disruptive companies around the world to consistently serve as an important catalyst for the development of the industries and opportunities of the future.

“Core to our strategy is our focus on funding new human futures by improving quality of life, driving environmental and economic sustainability, and developing new sectors and jobs.”

Meanwhile Fahad Al-Mubarak was appointed governor of the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) on Sunday, replacing  Ahmed Al-Kholifey, who becomes an adviser at the royal court.