Spotlight: Whose nature?

Humans are the best beneficiaries of nature and perhaps the worst enemies when it comes to taking care of it and giving back against what they get. It is impossible to give back to nature in the same proportion what we get, but it is possible for everyone to behave responsibly when it comes to the garbage disposal at remote tourist spots or serene places where tourists love to visit.

It is painful to see piles of garbage left by visitors after full-scale enjoyment in the lap of nature. It is not only aesthetically incorrect; this behaviour has a manifold harmful impact on nature

Uli Bruderlin, a coordination trainer and an author, is in love with Salalah and its adjoining places. He finds Salalah a unique destination for the availability of mountain, desert, plains and sea at one place. “All these four elements are available within the radius of 80 km and they are so nicely connected that you don’t find
any difficulty in reaching them.”

But the only things that hurt Bruderlin is the behaviour of some tourists who do not care for the cleanliness of the beautiful gift of the nature that Salalah has and leave behind piles of garbage after their visit to some places of touristic importance.

He appreciated the availability of municipal services in the remotest of the places. “But it is up to the people to take advantage of those facilities and dump the post picnic garbage in designated places or carry them in their cars to dispose of in the nearest available garbage bins.”

The most dangerous are the plastic food packets, which the innocent animals fall prey to by eating them due to the aroma of food and food leftovers into them.

“They not only choke the animal’s respiratory system, but they also affect their appetite due to plastics’ non-bio degradable nature… the irresponsible behaviour of beachgoers or those who live in the coastal areas cost dearly to environment as one study suggests that nearly every seabird may be eating plastic by 2050,” said a group of scientists working on the safety of marine species.

It is very common to see that some people leave plastic bags and empty bottles after their regular parties on weekends either on beaches or on mountains. Similarly,
sometimes careless fishermen leave their torn nets at the beaches. They do not understand the gravity of their negligence. To humans, plastic products are items of comfort, if not a necessity. But to marine animals can be a floating minefield.

Though Omani authorities are alert on environmental issues, it is impossible, however, for any authority to keep the entire tourist places plastic waste-free unless all other stakeholders, including individuals, do not take an active part to address the issue.

The hospitality operators need to play a pro-active role in this regard because they are majorly benefited from the beaches and places of tourist interests.