By Zainab Al Nasseri
The 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly recently decided to proclaim 3rd March as World Wildlife Day, to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora. The day is the result of the implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
In its resolution, the General Assembly reaffirmed the intrinsic value of wildlife and its various contributions, including ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic values, to sustainable development and human well-being, and recognised the important role of CITES in ensuring that international trade does not threaten the survival of any species.
In this regard, the Sultanate is making big efforts to boost and enhance wildlife in the country. Two main centres for the rehabilitation and multiplication of wildlife have been established so far in Barka and Musaira. In these centres, state of the art scientific tools are used for multiplication. To adapt with the outside environment, animals are soon after released followed by continuous observation from the centres to study the animal’s behaviour. The wildlife centres also seek to raise public awareness and work closely with local entities to encourage respect for the environment. There are also plans to provide educational programmes for school students and community societies to encourage them to help protect wildlife in the country.
However, wildlife is important to maintain an ecological balance of nature and maintain the food chain and nature cycles.
In Qayroun Herety, Dofar, efforts of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs are obvious through the arboretum in the area which reflects the ministry’s efforts to enrich green cover.
The arboretum includes all plants growing in Dhofar. These types of trees are also planted in fenced areas around Titam, Qayroun Herety, al Haq, and Taqa to restore green cover that was destroyed by desertification. The aims from establishing these fences spots are to enrich grass for animals, to save on water used for irrigation, and restore ground water levels. The Ministry has also built another spot for increasing plants in Sarfeet, Dalkot. Al Kadhi with trees being farmed for years now in the area.
These efforts, which are adopted earlier by the Sultanate, helped to reduce desertification impacts. They also conform to the Sultanate’s commitment to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) that was approved in December 1992 and signed on in 1994.