The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture held today "The Saudi Arabia Preparatory Workshop for Hosting the G20 Meetings in 2020 in the Fields of Environment, Water and Agriculture". The workshop was chaired by HE Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Eng. Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadley, and attended by HE Minister of State and member of the Council of Ministers, and the Secretary-General of the G20 Saudi Secretariat, Dr. Fahad Al-Mubarak, and leaders and heads of international organizations concerned with the environment, water and agriculture sectors.
In a statement, Al-Fadhli said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with its responsibility and its active membership in the G20, attaches the utmost importance to its national policies and strategies which aim at addressing key issues including food and water security, sustainable agricultural development and environmental balance. Pointing out that the Kingdom works hand in hand with Arab regional organizations as well as international organizations to establish and promote these principles.
Al-Fadhli added that despite the challenges facing the agriculture sector and its implications for food security; climate change and water scarcity, as well as the rising prices of agricultural products and imported inputs, the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has worked hard to address these challenges by establishing principles of Smart Agriculture and Good Agricultural Practices, and developing methods used for productivity improvement, in addition to attracting Arab and foreign institutions active in the field of modern technologies, with the aim of finding a variety of new food resources based on artificial intelligence and digital technology.
Al-Fadhli concluded "We hope this workshop will be fruitful and will lead to practical proposals and recommendations that will help responding to these challenges and developing the environment, water and agriculture sectors to achieve the desirable outcomes, God willing."
For his part, Al-Mubarak outlined the functions of the Secretariat, a first-ever legally and financially independent Saudi secretariat of the G20, and the purpose of its establishment, which was coordinating efforts amon ministries in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, international organizations and G20 members to make the 2020 G20 summit a success. He also highlighted the importance of the G20 in ensuring health and promoting well-being for all, addressing financial crises, preserving global food security, achieving sustainable agriculture and conserving natural resources and reducing waste.
During the workshop, these international organizations shared the most important topics and issues
in these fields at the regional and global scale, which can be discussed during the Saudi Arabia's presidency of the G20 in 2020. These key topics are the development of natural resources to reduce degradation, desertification and climate change, water scarcity, sustainable food security, agricultural systems, the use of technology in agriculture, reduction of food waste, investments in agriculture and low agricultural productivity.
It should be noted also that the international organizations attended the workshop were: the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD), the Arab Centre for the Studies of Arid Zones and Dry Lands (ACSAD) , the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Islamic Organisation for Food Security (IOFS), the Center for Environment & Development for the Arab Region and Europe (CEDARE), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and the International Center for Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).