Represented by the Environment Authority, the Sultanate of Oman joined other countries across the world to mark the UN-led World Environment Day on Sunday, June 5 with the theme ‘Only One Earth’.
This day is celebrated every year to raise awareness about degrading environmental conditions and to encourage people globally to take positive environmental actions, to help create a better future.
“World Environment Day provides a global platform to inspire positive change towards our lives. Where the environment is life, therefore, it must be preserved in order for that life to continue”, the Environment Society of Oman said in its twitter handle.
In Oman, however, the day is celebrated on January 8 to raise awareness about the need for environment protection with emphasis on the contribution of society and government and private institutions in the protection and conservation of natural resources.
Since its inception, World Environment Day has spread to over 140 countries and has had its main celebratory event held on all the six inhabited continents.
The theme of the World Environment Day 2022 reflects the three crises of the earth, which are climate change, the loss of biodiversity and the risks of pollution and waste.
In fact, the Sultanate of Oman is one of the leading countries in dealing with all issues related to the environment and climate, and it is keen on supporting international solidarity to address the problem of climate change and its negative effects.
Climate change is now affecting every country on every continent. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives, costing people, communities and countries dearly today and even more tomorrow.
Oman has resolutely endeavoured to honour its international commitment to achieving these goals by creating long-term strategies and short and medium-term plans and programmes, whilst relying on the United Nations 2030 Agenda as a central pillar to take action to combat climate change and its impacts The Oman Vision 2040 and the 10th Five-Year Plan both underscore the fact that Oman takes the 2030 Agenda seriously and has devised the necessary policies, initiatives and programmes to ensure the achievement of desired goals by the internationally agreed deadline.
However, Oman is not considered safe from global climate change, as its geographical location near the sea and oceans make it more vulnerable than any other country in the region.
“It is located within the high temperature zone, which is characterised by great variation between the upper and lower temperatures, especially during the summer, and the negative effects on various ecosystems, such as vegetation and biodiversity”, says the report by National Committee for the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Despite this vulnerability, Oman has been making all-out efforts to adapt in many different areas, such as tropical cyclones, coastal erosion, rising sea levels, the fisheries, the marine environment, water scarcity and desertification, flood protection, energy security and food security.
“In order to achieve the objectives of protecting the marine environment and the conservation of marine biological resources, the country has given special importance to the implementation of studies, the establishment of marine conservation zones and the promulgation of legislations”, the report points out. Other initiatives include the implementation of coastal zone management plans, the rehabilitation of degraded areas and the cultivation of mangroves in its various governorates, in addition to campaigns to clean the environment and control turtles and marine mammals, as they are important for the sustainability and balance of the marine environment.
As part of its participation in the Clean Seas Campaign of the United Nations Environment Programme, an integrated programme to clean coral reef environments was implemented in 2018.
An Action Plan has also been developed to Combat Desertification and Land Degradation, which included the development of a natural resource registry for containing water sources, vegetation cover and soil.
The country also implemented several projects to alleviate land degradation and combat desertification, in which many scientific and research institutions participated in order to ensure quality of implementation and access to reference information at the national level. The most important projects implemented are the fog harvesting project in Dhofar Governorate, the draft land degradation map and the land rehabilitation of areas affected by desertification factors. These projects identified degraded areas and lands prone to degradation, the development of a spatial database and a monitoring system based on high-resolution satellite data.