Need to create awareness for better environment

By Kaushalendra Singh — SALALAH: Jan. 8 – The Directorate of Environment in Dhofar has lined up several activities to mark Omani Environment Day which falls on January 8 every year. Among the activities are mass plantation in some enclosed areas and beach cleaning to raise general awareness for Omani flora and fauna and send the message of cleanliness of beaches to keep the marines safe from waste that are hazardous to them.
The activities include plantation of native plants in Titam, Salalah College of Technology and College of Applied Sciences. The beach cleaning has been planned at Dahariz, which has turned out to be the busiest beach after the Hafa where some construction is going on.
The plantations have been planned on Tuesday and Wednesday, while the beach cleaning would take place on Thursday.
Commenting on the activities an official of the Ministry of Environment said, “By selecting some enclosed locations we try to protect and conserve native plants so that those rare plants grow properly, as we seek support from those institutions or establishments where such seedlings are planted.”
“Previously also we did this with very high success rate. Today those plants are fully grown and giving us reason to go ahead with more such locations and with active support of local people who need to know the importance of protecting the native plants of Oman,” said the official.
On the occasion of Omani Environment Day several government and non-government entities come together to spread the message of ‘safe environment’ in more successful and meaningful way.
Many public institutions, such as the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs and the National Field Research Centre for Environmental Conservation of the Diwan of Royal Court take steps to take up the cause of environment more vigorously.
Oman’s care for environment, according to the official, has drawn attention from many national and international agencies and there has been continued cooperation between the Sultanate and the United Nations in projects related to climate change, the protection of the ozone layer as also to improve efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Some of the Sultanate’s environment projects to conserver rare Omani species like turtles, leopards, Arabian Ibex, Arabian Gazelle, Sooty Falcon, and Houbara Bustard survey project, has evoked very good response from environmentalists. They projects are so unique in nature that some of them have attracted attention of a large number of tourists.
Among the Sultanate’s governorates, Dhofar has distinction of being the richest in flora and fauna. One of the most important and widely known species are Luban or Mughereh (bowsellia sacra), which grows naturally in the arid areas of Dhofar mountains. This tree has distinction of becoming the most famous tree since ages. In old times luban was considered an expensive commodity and today the tree’s gum known as frankincense is very popular for cosmetic, medicinal and incense purposes.
Dhofari luban is great in demand from all kinds of tourists coming to Salalah. Recently it has gained commercial recognition and being exported many Arab, Asian and European countries. Omani Environment Day, according to the official, “reminds us of our duties and challenges of conserving the environment by creating awareness among the people and adopting the best practices to make them successful and sustainable.”