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Don’t spoil environment, EA urges Khareef tourists

Muscat, July 25

With the advent of the Khareef season in the Governorate of Dhofar and the influx of tourists, the Environment Authority (EA) launched the environmental protection campaign to focus on the preservation and protection of the tourism sites.

Eight field teams have been formed targeting tourist areas with diverse topography. The teams carried out field visits to sensitise people about the environment by distributing leaflets and to book people who encroach green areas.

Ahmed bin Salem al Maashani, environmental systems specialist and field supervisor of the Environmental Protection Campaign, told Oman Radio: “With the advent of Khareef, the initiative seeks to educate visitors and residents about the importance of preserving green spaces in the Governorate of Dhofar. It also seeks to raise the environmental awareness of the people and tourists and ensure an environmentally sustainable tourist season.” Al Maashani said the aim of the campaign, which began in July, was to protect the biodiversity in the governorate by preventing encroachment, logging of trees and wanton dumping of waste.

The authorities urge people to be socially responsible and conserve the environment.

The programmes, initiatives and projects of EA are in line with Oman’s Vision 2040, which will positively reflect on the Sultanate of Oman’s global ranking on sustainable development.

Littering in tourist sites like springs, waterfalls and mountains spoils the beauty of these places and the health of visitors. It also affects cattle and camels which often unknowingly eat harmful waste including plastic during grazing.

One must also abide by safety measures displayed in the tourist sites and not dive into waterbodies where swimming is not allowed.

The coastal wilayats in the Dhofar Governorate, specifically from the Wilayat of Dhalkout in the west to the Wilayat of Mirbat in the east, are affected by the Khareef season as a result of the monsoon winds and the flow of clouds coming from the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.

The Khareef season is characterised by its cloudy and rainy weather due to the density of clouds and the temperature dropping to less than 30 degrees Celsius in the city of Salalah, while it drops more in the high mountainous areas surrounded by fog associated with light rain.

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