The Environment Society of Oman (ESO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Neal’s Yard Remedies, an award-winning natural and organic health and beauty brand, launching a Frankincense community outreach and tree planting campaign in the Sultanate. Aimed at safeguarding the future of the Omani frankincense trees (Boswellia sacra), this campaign kicked off in Sadah, Salalah, where more than 500 Boswellia sacra seedlings were distributed to participating local farmers and harvesters, students, and community members. Additional tree planting will take place over the next couple of months in the town of Mirbat.
Susan Curtis, Director of Natural Health at Neal’s Yard Remedies said, “This campaign is far from a short-term engagement with Omani local communities. We are working to mobilise local Omani knowledge in order to help protect the trees and harvest this fragrant gold in ways that are beneficial for the environment and the economy.” She added, “Oman has proved to be a great example in agricultural sustainability and our partnership with the Environment Society of Oman serves as a stepping stone to implement more environmentally responsible business practices.”
Dr Hamed Al Gheilani, Community Outreach Manager at Environment Society of Oman, said “The Boswellia sacra tree populations are in rapid decline due to exhaustive over-harvesting, livestock grazing, and insect infestation and we are working to reverse this.”
He added, “We are committed to raising awareness about this cause as well as to Oman’s unique environmental diversity through educating, and enabling communities to participate in preservation efforts.”
ESO has embarked on its preservation efforts in 2010 launching a Frankincense Research and Conservation initiative. The project focused on monitoring Boswellia sacra trees to determine the right frequency of tapping without adversely harming them. Boswellia sacra trees are unique to Oman, South Yemen and North Somalia and play an important role in the Sultanate’s heritage, economy, and culture.