Dubai: Saudi Arabia has imposed a permanent ban on the planting of palm trees along roads as well as in parks and gardens across the Kingdom, Okaz Newspaper reported.
The move comes as part of the measures to prevent the spread of the red palm weevil and in line with the recommendation of the permanent committee concerned with the prevention of the red palm weevil in the Kingdom.
The committee, which was constituted as per a decision of the Council of Ministers, is headed by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, with membership of the ministries of interior; municipal and rural affairs and housing; finance; media and transport, in addition to various chambers of commerce and industry.
In a circular sent to emirs of all the 13 provinces of the Kingdom last month, the committee recommended a halt to the plantation of date palm trees as part of measures to prevent the spread of the red palm weevil as well as to maintain the level of low prevalence rates among the palm trees in the Kingdom.
Restrict and reduce
Subsequently, the emirates directed the respective mayoralties and municipalities in all regions of the Kingdom as well as the contractors who have won contracts for such plantations not to plant palm trees in parks and roads.
It has been clarified in the circular that the ban will be applicable only to the plantation of date palm trees in future projects, without removing the already planted ones.
Nearly two years ago, the committee issued a directive to restrict and reduce the cultivation of palm trees on the roads. It also recommended at the time to preserve trees on roadsides and not to be subject to unfair mowing.
The committee also stressed that there won’t be any plantation of palm trees on median strips of roads and that the afforestation shall be restricted to the sidewalks.