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Top priority for green innovation strategies

Prince Turki bin Nasser, presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) chief, opened the third Gulf Environment Forum (GEF 2012) at the Jeddah Hilton on Sunday.

The PME is organizing the forum with the support of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.

“Green economy, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and green innovation” is this year forum’s theme.

With the official support to the event, the Kingdom is aiming to demonstrate its commitment toward establishing an environmentally responsible region.

Fifty speakers, experts and decision makers from different countries are participating in the forum to discuss opportunities for protecting and preserving the environment in a period of great economic expansion.

The GEF 2012 has brought together the public and private sector organizations such as ABB Saudi Arabia, Ernst and Young, Ferrostaal, GE Power and Water, Marafiq, Saudi Binladin Group, Siemens, Soroof International and Worley Parsons Arabia.

Prince Turki toured the forum’s 100 sections where he confirmed that the forum presents many projects that serve the society and environment.

“I look forward to welcoming all stakeholders who are committed to ensuring a prosperous and sustainable Gulf region at the forum. This event is considered as a platform to bring public and private entities from the GCC countries and the wider international community together to discuss environmental enterprise opportunities,” he said.

“The Kingdom has made the environment a top priority in the development of economic and social projects in order to safeguard the environment and protect it from deterioration. We have several development plans which operate within the global system to preserve the environment,” he added.

Prince Turki said: “We work as part of a global system for protecting the environment and benefit from the environmental experiences worldwide.”

He added: Such forums would be very useful for the society especially in light of growing population and cities’ expansion. We want to learn from environmental experiences worldwide, take precautions and apply environmental standards.”

He said: “The forum helps to build networks of communication in terms of environmental issues, ensure the economic feasibility of alternative ways to generate energy in the Gulf region and focus on strategies for water-development and re-use in the Middle East. We also host this forum in preparation for participating in the Earth Summit in Rio 2012.”

According to Prince Turki, the logo selected was for “Green Economy, CSR and Green Innovation” because they are looking to achieve sustainable development, tackle poverty and help the GCC countries to benefit from Earth Summit 2012.

Egyptian Minister for Environmental Affairs Mostafa Hussein Kamel said many investment opportunities would emerge from GEF 2012.

“Egypt and the participating countries seek to take advantage of opportunities in the areas of green economy through a number of projects such as renewable energy, transportation, green building and waste recycling. Applying the green economy strategies will help in achieving sustainable development, killing poverty and building a better future,” he said.

Majedah Abu Ras, deputy executive Director of Saudi Environment Society, who is also the spokesperson of the forum, said Prince Turki gave much attention to the environment, which is why he announced two prizes, first one for protecting the environment and other for corporate social responsibility.

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