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Oman: protect native plants campaign in phase 2

Second phase of ‘Let’s Plant One’ campaign launched in southern region

Gulf News

Salalah: The Environment Society of Oman (ESO) on Saturday launched the second phase of a two-year-long campaign — ‘Let’s Plant One’ — to plant indigenous trees with a ‘planting ceremony’ at Dhofar University.

“We plan to plant 12,000 native and indigenous trees by April 2014 covering a total of 250,000 square metres of desert, mountains, plains and coastal areas in Dhofar region,” said a spokesperson for the ESO.

Funded by Port of Salalah and Ford Motor Company Conservation & Environmental Grants, ESO’s ‘Let’s Plant One’ campaign aims to raise awareness across Oman on protecting native trees and safeguarding the local ecosystem.

“As part of the global Billion Tree Campaign by the United Nations Environment Programme to fight climate change, we are committed to reinforce our efforts at a national level to further enhance sustainable environmental development and protect the indigenous trees of Dhofar and beyond,” pointed out ESO Board Member, Dr Mohsin Bin Mussalam Al Ameri, in his presentation.

“Our goal is to encourage the people of Oman and its residents to collectively spread the knowledge on global warming and raise awareness on its impact on our planet. We want to create synergy between mankind and our natural surroundings to place the Sultanate on the map as a nation paving the path for the protection of the environment and its resources for generations to come,” he said.

ESO has identified locations such as educational institutions, diwan schools (schools run by the royal court), port area, Hasik, Rabkut, Dalkut and Jebel Samhan Nature Reserve for the plantation of native plants. Most of the locations are protected areas.

Sayyid Mohammad Bin Sultan Bin Hamoud Al Bu Saidi, Minister of State and Governor of Dhofar, took part in the tree-planting activity marking the campaign’s official launch.

The four-day campaign will comprise tree planting activities, a marathon, a drawing competition, awards ceremony and seminars at the Salalah College of Technology, diwan schools, Jebel Samhan’s Nature Reserve Visitors’ Centre and the deputy governor’s office as well as schools in Rakhyut, Dhalkut and Rabkoot.