The Environment Authority launched the ‘Turtle Commandos’ programme on Tuesday to protect, control and monitor sea turtles, with broad participation of Omani youth. The programme will continue for three months in Ras Al Hadd Reserve in the Wilayat of Sur.
The program aims to encourage the youth to volunteer for the environmental protection, educate the local community inside the reserve, protect, control, and monitor sea turtles that nest on the Omani beaches and clean the beaches of waste, especially after Cyclone Shaheen, which hit the Sultanate recently.
The participants are expected to learn the importance of turtles and then pass this knowledge to society.
The Authority said the idea of the Turtle Commandos programme emerged from several reasons. “Because of the global situation of the Corona epidemic, the difficulty of foreign tourism boosted domestic tourism. So, a large number of visitors visited the turtle reserve to watch turtle nests and hatch of baby turtles without being aware of the guidelines and laws of the reserve," It said.
Besides, there is a lack of guides inside the reserve to educate people about turtle habitats and other features.
"This led to the loss of control and protection of turtles in the reserve, in the past two years, and the programme seeks to find effective solutions to meet this challenge," said the Authority.
The programme looks into engaging 40 participants per week from all governorates of the Sultanate and working in various activities and workshops that achieve the programme's objectives.