The event, created by the United Nations has grown to be one of the largest global platforms for environmental outreach. Tens of millions of people participate online and through in-person activities, events and actions around the world.

Land restoration is a key pillar of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a call for the protection and revival of ecosystems all around the world and 2024 will mark the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification.

The 16th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 16) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) will be held in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, from December 2-13, 2024.

Saudi Arabia is only the second country in West Asia to host World Environment Day. It was chosen because it ‘has shown leadership in addressing drought, desertification and land degradation internationally’ and The Kingdom is the driving force behind the Group of 20 Global Land Initiative, an ambitious effort to reduce degraded land by 50% by 2040. The country is also leading the Middle East Green Initiative, a $2.5bn push to counter climate change by bolstering regional cooperation and financing green infrastructure.

Its construction industry, valued at $120.4bn in 2021, is poised for expansion with an anticipated annual average growth rate (AAGR) of 4% or more from 2023 to 2026, driven by investments in transportation, renewable energy, housing, and tourism projects, aligned with the Vision 2030 initiative – the country’s plan to reduce its dependence on oil, diversify its economy, and develop public service sectors. Notable projects include The Line smart city by NEOM; Oxagon research & technology facility; the Mukaab, a 400m tall cube-shaped skyscraper and Trojena, in Tabuk, a place of retreat, adventure sports and cultural festivals.