MUSCAT: The Sultanate of Oman, represented by the Environment Authority (EA), is working on the final phases of the Nature Reserves Strategy. The EA has recently announced two nature reserves and is seeking to add more reserves in different governorates over the upcoming period. Currently, the country has both wild and marine reserves.
Engineer Sulaiman bin Nasser al Akhzami, Director-General of Nature Conservation at the Environment Authority, said that the EA is preparing the nature reserves strategy after conducting an assessment of nature reserves and setting a unified national framework for reserve management plan. The nature reserves in the Sultanate of Oman are known for their rich biodiversity and many species can be sighted; some of them are only found only in the environments of the Sultanate of Oman. These species live in beaches, coral reefs, sand dunes, mountain valleys and other natural sites.
The Environment Authority has offered a group of investment opportunities in nature reserves to the private sector in different governorates since the end of last year. In addition, another investment package was offered this year and will be awarded in the coming period, he said.
The EA’s specialists undertake the responsibility to highlight the economic, social and cultural values associated with the nature reserves, the official said, indicating that nature reserves are meant to provide an opportunity for current and future generations to enjoy such a beautiful natural heritage.
Al Akhzami pointed out that development of nature reserves continues but requires financial allocations. Private sector initiatives are being unveiled constantly and this will contribute to the development of nature projects that will be announced upon completion of the construction work for each project.
He noted that the financial details will be disclosed after the final signing and that the investment opportunities currently in place constitute a source of financial income for the Authority through rental values and direct environmental contribution but also through stimulating economic activities around nature reserves and providing job opportunities for nationals. — ONA