The High Commission for Riyadh Development (HCRD) organized on Tuesday the first workshop on the role of the media in creating environmental awareness supporting a long-term strategy for sustainable development. The workshop took place as part of the activities of Aramco\'s ongoing cultural program in the capital. It brought together journalists, officials and experts on environment under the umbrella of the Higher Committee on the Environment Protection (HCEP), chaired by Riyadh Governor Prince Sattam. The HCEP monitors the environmental situation in the city and helps in developing a comprehensive environmental protection program, which is implemented by 17 firms in the public and private sector. Ibrahim Al Shaya, director of the Environmental Planning and Public Utilities at the HCRD, spoke on the role of the commission in the protection of the environment in the capital. He discussed the objectives, policies, plans and 50 programs covering pollution, waste management, water resources, natural resources and other areas in addition to wildlife and environmental management. Mohammed Al-Tayash, media environment consultant at the HCRD, said that the environmental awareness drive seeks to highlight the importance of partnership and responsibility for all segments of society. He noted that the HCRD has developed a plan to strengthen aspects of environmental information in the city, with the participation of various media. Director of Riyadh Radio, Sales Marzouqi, dwelt on the importance of media in promoting environmental awareness. He announced that a weekly radio program would broadcast environmental news in collaboration with consultants specialized on environmental affairs. Abdullah Al-Rifai, chair of New Media at the University of Imam Muhammad bin Saud, said that everyone who carries a smart phone in his pocket is an \"institution of independent media.\" He called for investment in new technologies and social networking sites to highlight environmental issues. Broadcaster Salem Al-Suleiman moderated an open forum during the workshop on the objectives and outcomes of the HCEP\'s work. The discussion also touched on a number of environmental issues existing in the city and their solution.