A hospital in Dammam has launched an initiative for cultivating trees for newborns. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Cairo: Each baby born at a hospital in eastern Saudi Arabia is set to get a tree planted in his/her name under a ground-breaking agreement struck between the medical facility and a pro-government institution.

The Maternity and Children Hospital in Dammam and the climate neutrality company netzero co-signed a memorandum of understanding launching an initiative for cultivating trees for newborns with the aim of consolidating health environmentalism and the kingdom’s efforts to protect the national and regional environment.

“This memorandum includes planting a tree for every newborn and for children diagnosed with diabetes, heart diseases and blood disorders,” head of the hospital’s operation Saad Al Dousari said.

He added in media remarks that the hospital will get a list of children’s births and sites of trees, with the initiative also to incorporate afforestation digitalisation and follow up on environmental benefits of every tree that will be cultivated.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has unveiled a series of pro-environment measures aimed to address climate change. In March 2021, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched the Saudi Green Initiative (SGI), a plan pursuing three overarching targets, namely emissions reduction, afforestation and land regeneration, as well as land and sea protection.

Envisaged as whole-of-society action, SGI strives to unite all of the kingdom’s work to combat climate change under one umbrella with clear-cut objectives including accelerating green transition. The Saudi government has designated March 27 as an official day to annually celebrate the SGI anniversary.

Last October, Saudi Arabia unveiled at a MENA Climate Week in Riyadh an ambitious initiative to plant 10 billion trees.