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SQU signs sustainability research cooperation agreement
May 1, 2018 | 9:43 PM
by ONA
Dr. Rahma bint Ibrahim Al Mahrooqiyah, SQU’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Postgraduate Studies and Research, and Dr. Nadiya Al Sa’adi, Executive Director of OAPGRC, signed the agreement. Photo-ONA
 
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Muscat: A programme on research cooperation was signed by Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) and the Oman Animal Plant Genetic Resource Centre (OAPGRC) of the Research Council on Tuesday.

Signing the programme aims at protecting and sustainably using the Sultanate’s unique biological resources. Dr. Rahma bint Ibrahim Al Mahrooqiyah, SQU’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Postgraduate Studies and Research, and Dr. Nadiya Al Sa’adi, Executive Director of OAPGRC, signed the agreement.

The Sultanate has diverse and unique genetic resources, including over 1,200 species of plants, more than 1,200 species of fish, 10 livestock species, 128 breeding species of birds, more than 130 coral species, 5 turtle species and an unknown number of microorganisms.

Without a doubt, these rich, indigenous genetic resources have significant cultural, historical, social, health and commercial value, not only to the Sultanate, but also to the region and the rest of the world.



The programme between SQU and OAPGRC opens new avenues to investigate, protect and sustainably use Oman’s unique biological resources. The Research Cooperation Programme is intended to contribute to increased cooperation between the two organisations in relation to research, capacity building, joint research projects, and training.

The Research Cooperation Programme also encompasses several joint projects. The first of these concerns the mapping and assessment of changes in vegetation patterns due to urbanisation in Dhofar Governorate mountains by using Remote Sensing and GIS techniques.

When asked about the potential impact of the research cooperation programme, Dr. Rahma Al Mahrouqiyah said, “SQU is one of the leading research institutions in the Sultanate. We are always looking for opportunities to build research networks and develop the Sultanate-specific knowledge and skills across fields and throughout the country to establish a stronger research culture in the Sultanate and to deepen the effect of research output and value in diversifying the economy.

“OAPGRC has been a long-term partner of SQU, supporting numerous research projects. This cooperation programme with OAPGRC will pave the way for further partnerships between the two organisations”.

Dr. Nadiya Al Sa’adi stated, “OAPGRC was established in 2012 in response to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s order to review the Sultanate’s opportunities to protect its globally significant genetic resources. Our mission is to promote the recognition, sustainable exploitation and valuation of genetic diversity inherent in the Sultanate’s animals, plants and microorganisms as a natural heritage resource.

“It is our vision to develop as a collaborative hub for all animal and plant genetic resources activities, promote the sustainable use of knowledge across economic sectors and social segments, create value from excellent research and practical innovation, and share our work with the world of international science.

“SQU’s expertise will help us to build recognised local capacity in the field of genetic resources and promote the sustainable use of animals, plants and microorganisms”.

The signing ceremony was attended by Dr. Sergey Dobretsov, Director of the Centre of Excellence in Marine Biotechnology at the SQU and Dr. Yaseen Al Mulla, Director of the Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System Research Centre, SQU.

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