and Biodiversity Protection in Oman
sultanate of Oman has always struck a judicious balance between the
needs of development and the environment. Industrial construction projects
have to have a certificate from the Ministry of Regional Municipalities
and the Environment before they are allowed to go ahead. Before issuing
a certificate, the ministry examines the possibility of damage to the
environment and ensures that all measures have been takes to minimize pollution from waste products.
a wide variety of wildlife, some of which is now extremely rare. Strict
laws exist to protect wildlife from being hunted, and nature reserves
have been established to prevent encroachment on the natural habitat of species, such as leopards, hyenas, oryx, gazelle,taher, ibex, desert
foxes, antelope and wild cats. Thirteen different kinds of whales and dolphins
have been recorded and some 400 species of birds are to be
found in Oman at different seasons of the year.
breeding beaches at Ras al-Had are a protected site to which entry is
only allowed with permit from the ministry. The Daymaniyat islands,
north west of Muscat, are designed as a bird sanctuary to which entry
is restricted during the breeding season. The Wadi al-Sarin in the Wilayat
of al-Amerat is home to the Arabian taher, a mountain goat unique to
Oman, and the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary on the Jiddat al-Harasis, where
the Arabian Oryx has been re-introduced was listed as a World Heritage
Register. At the same time the project boundary was extended to hold
increasing numbers of oryx-latest estimates put numbers in the herd
at just under 300-which roam at will.
oryx in the wild was exterminated in 1972. In 1976, HM Sultan of Oman
decided that a way should be found to allow their return to Oman. This
was done and in 1982 the first oryx were released into the wild from
the captive herd.
care is taken to protect endangered species, foe example, the houbara
is protected in Oman, which has the largest population of bustard in
Arabia. In January, 1996, an international meeting was held at Sultan Qaboos University to discuss how to protect this shy desert bird which
has been hunted nearly to extinction. The meeting was arranged by the
Ministry in conjunction with the International Union for Conservation
of Nature (IUCN).
Plant and Trees:
as wildlife, Oman's plants and trees are of great scientific interest.
In Ja'alan a rare tree (cordia perrottetii). which occurs in Dhofar,
was discovored earlier this year. It is believed to be the last of its
kind in Northern Oman and is perhaps a survivor from a bygone age when
the monsoon climate extended over more Oman.
water salinity in the coastal plains of Batinah in Northern Oman.
pollution to ground water
of water as a result of long drought periods
high winds drives the desert sands into the arable and the cultivated