Lakshmi Kothaneth –
Aifth standard science textbook was an eye opener once again. The book described the composition of air, describing 78 per cent of air consists of nitrogen, 21 per cent oxygen and 1 per cent other gases. Carbon dioxide falls into this 1 per cent.
Of course, nitrogen is crucial in many ways, especially for plants, to produce food and even control fire.
While we are concerned, what we do not think about is the importance of Carbon dioxide, which is a must for the survival of plants and trees, which are providers of oxygen.
Is it not beautiful how nature has been created on interdependence? We take in the oxygen passed on by trees and plants and exhale the Carbon dioxide they need. Except at night, of course, the situation changes as plans are proven to emit Carbon dioxide as part of the respiration.
It is like an interlocking system, but man — just because he thinks he is superior to everything else in nature – takes it all for granted. We stop and take notice only when an issue becomes a cause of concern that could harm us.
Somehow, nature seems to get the balancing act right whereas we are always on the verge of going overboard even though we are part of the nature.
We crossed the limit with cattle for mass production and later debated about the environmental impact. We dug so many wells until the salt water encroached the farming land and ruined the soil.
We cut the trees to cause soil erosion. We produced so much of plastic until the oceans began to choke. We polluted the air so that smog has almost become a terminology that ought to be used in weather reporting. At the same time, we punctured a hole in the ozone layer.
Talk to a fifth grader and he/ she will ask why we didn’t think sooner? It seems since industrial revolution, we tend to commit wrongs and then run after damage control.
Once in a while, we are nudged by nature to toss a reminder that we are not superior but just part of the system.
An early morning drive to Jiddat al Harasis in Al Wusta Governorate shows how nature thrives in inter-dependency. The Acacia holds the dew drops on the tip of its leaves and gleam as the early morning sun spreads out the rays across the land.
Arabian gazelles and oryx stretch their necks to sip out the dew drops which drop to the ground once heavy, leaving the ground cool in contrast to the surrounding areas.
It is a morning ritual. You would almost want to stand still not to disturb the routine because soon it all would dry up as the sun would move onto another angle and glare at the ground.
We prefer to live in concrete world and would rather be thinking about strategies to avoid traffic blocks than visualise the gleaming dew drops. But if ever lucky to sight it, the scene can never be erased from mind.
With the latest partnership between Diwan of Royal Court, represented by the Office for Conservation of the Environment, and Al Madina Real Estate Company that would see the development of Al Khuwair Natural Reserve, the project is expected to open its doors to visitors by 2021.
This is where one can study local wildlife that will highlight Oman’s natural treasures.
This is one place everyone is going to enjoy, including the fifth graders, who can learn more about Oman’s wildlife not just from textbooks. After all, nature is what we inherit from our forefathers and what we must safeguard for the future generations.
Once the young ones know the true treasure, they will safeguard them for the future.