Drones used for dispersal of 300,000 wild Sidr seeds in Riyadh’s Summan region

https://saudigazette.com.sa/article/615562

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH —
 The Authority for the Development of Vegetation Cover at King Abdulaziz Royal Reserve in Riyadh has deployed drones on Tuesday for the dispersal of 300,000 seeds of wild Sidr over large areas in Fayyad Al-Summan region. This is part of the authority’s afforestation campaign titled “Let’s make it green.”

The authority said that the aim of the seed dispersal is to restore the natural habitats of the reserve, gradually increase their diversity and density, and develop the vegetation cover therein, in a way that contributes to achieving environmental balance, preserving biodiversity, combating desertification and improving air quality.

The authority has adopted the experiment of deploying drones in the dispersal of seedlings as one of the promising techniques in addition to reducing the time spent on dispersal operations.

In April 2021, the King Abdulaziz Royal Reserve launched the first phase of its afforestation campaign, aimed to plant 500,000 seedlings.

The campaign is being carried out, in cooperation with the Special Forces for Environmental Security (SFES) and the National Center for Vegetation Cover Development and Combating Desertification.

Sidr tree is a sturdy and deep-rooted tree of which the average size is normally between 7-8 meters high. Its branches are soft and gray-yellowish. The flowers of the plant are yellow as well as the round Sidr fruits which turn reddish when ripe. The fruits of the Sidr tree, whose sees are rich in protein, have a high nutritional value that boosts energy and strengthens immunity.

The Sidr leaves, which are rich in calcium, iron and magnesium, have a therapeutic effect that fights many ill health conditions. Their strong anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties are used in the making of natural wound disinfectants while the oil extracted from the resin is used for deodorants. As an anti-inflammatory agent, the Sidr leaves soothe swollen eyes, abscesses, furuncles and, on the other hand, combat obesity as well.

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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