ESO, partner conclude frankincense tree planting and awareness campaign

The Environment Society of Oman (ESO) and Neal’s Yard Remedies, have concluded a campaign to promote awareness and preservation of frankincense trees in Dhofar.
Since the start of the Frankincense Community Outreach and Tree Planting Campaign in August 2019, 2,600 frankincense seedlings have been planted, 200 flyers were distributed, illustrating appropriate frankincense planting and irrigation instructions in English and Arabic, and communities across the governorate have been provided with information on sustainable harvesting techniques.
The campaign was conducted in eight different areas across the governorate, including 12 schools, as well as among women’s associations, farmers and local community members.
Suaad al Harthi, Executive Director at ESO, said, “We are extremely pleased with what this project has achieved in the past 18 months. Frankincense has been around for centuries and remains one of the world’s most treasured commodities, as well as being integral to the Omani identity. “
He added, “Yet, due to several factors putting the tree at risk, it has become increasingly important for us to bring back awareness to its ecological and cultural value, and the adoption of sustainable harvesting techniques. We would like to thank our friends at Neal’s Yard Remedies, who, through this campaign, have helped us secure this sacred legacy for future generations.”
Susan Curtis, Director of Natural Health at Neal’s Yard Remedies, added, “We believe that our mission to enhance and protect people’s health and well-being starts with the very first seed. That’s why we work with communities around the world supporting low-impact farming practices. Frankincense is known for its many health and wellness giving properties and we are delighted to see that Oman plays an active role in its preservation. We’re thrilled to have been part of this project with ESO, and helping them protect this very special part of our beautiful planet.”
Frankincense trees, or Boswellia sacra, are unique to Oman, South Yemen and North Somalia and play an important role in the Sultanate’s heritage, economy, and culture. Yet harsh methods of tapping, overharvesting, and climate change, have had a negative impact on their growth.
ESO has been addressing this concern since 2010 when it launched ‘Sustainable Harvesting of Frankincense Trees’, an initiative that has made valuable scientific contributions on the correct frequency of tapping and generating a sustainable yield without adversely harming the trees.
For more information on ESO’s activities and how you can help, visit www.eso.org.om.