By Muzna al Fahdiyah
Muscat: The environment Authority (EA) reviewed 168 projects and initiatives that were accomplished last year at a media briefing held on Monday.
The Environment Authority said it launched many projects that aim at conserving and sustaining natural resources as well as preserving wildlife in the local environment through modern scientific methods.
The Environment Authority pointed out that 714 sites were surveyed by the National Biodiversity Survey Project which resulted in the documentation of 40 species after surveying an area of 26,600 kilometres which represent 75 per cent of the total targeted area.
The gene bank was established with a view of preserving the genetic origins of wild animals. The gene bank also has an economic value by freezing the genes off-site to ensure its sustainability for a three-year period, it said.
Regarding the project for planting 10 million trees, the Environment Authority said that a total of 132,980 wild trees were planted so far and 11,126,876 seeds were planted. The Environment Authority stated that there was a significant improvement in the area covered with trees in the Dhofar Governorate compared to 1994 by 5.09 per cent.
The Environment Authority said it issued 603 environmental violations and dealt with 518 complaints and 88.
The Environment Authority staged a visual presentation that highlighted the most important biodiversity projects and initiatives and projects for protecting and preserving natural resources undertaken by the Authority last year. Those projects aimed at sustaining and preserving wildlife in the local environment through modern scientific methods by exploiting accumulated experience.
The visual presentation reviewed the efforts made by the national campaign project for combating invasive birds. As a result of the campaign a total of 442,440 invasive birds were eliminated as of January 2024, including 369,576 mynas, 72,864 crows. Information about invasive birds was included in educational curricula and college courses.
The Environment Authority reviewed its project for establishing a water and soil monitoring system. The project came out with an environmental map showing sensitive areas. It also reviewed its project for identifying the sectors with high emissions as the Sultanate of Oman monitors the five main sectors with high emissions which are targeted by the National Zero Neutrality Programme.
The Environment Authority said it implemented two projects to support and develop environmental monitoring action in the Sultanate of Oman by introducing modern technologies in which 18 drones were used to monitor various environmental pollutants. The second project is concerned with installing vehicle tracking devices to identify the locations that need special attention, monitor fuel consumption and environmental efficiency of vehicles.