Muscat: A series of six sessions will discuss global warming, food shortages, marine treasures, and related issues, in the latest Science Cafe season, organised by the Oman Animal, Plant and Genetic Resources Center.
With speakers from across the country, including senior figures from industry, business and academia, attendees will hear first-hand how science is helping solve many of today’s great social and economic challenges.
‘It’s getting warm in here’, ‘Enough food for everyone’, Coral Reef: Ocean Treasure’, ‘What about a career in Agriculture’, ‘Living in an Antibiotic Resistant World: Are animals to blame?’, and ‘Got a Headache’ are the topics for the six sessions.
Kicking off on September 28, the new Science Cafe season will be held on the last Wednesday of every month at Moka and More Café in Al Ghubra.
Dr. Nadiya Al Saady, OAPGRC’s Executive Director and organiser of the Science Cafe programme, said,“Our audiences are people who are interested in science, but generally never have the opportunity to discuss their views with, and ask questions of, someone in the know. No scientific knowledge is assumed by the Science Cafe panellists, so anyone can come along and participate.”
Given its size and location, Oman has been blessed with a treasure trove of vibrant biodiversity, an abundance of which is reflected at the genetic level. This unique pool of genetic resources spans Oman’s animal and plant worlds, both domesticated and wild, the marine world, and the world of micro-organisms. Without a doubt, these rich indigenous genetic resources are of significant commercial value to Oman.
Awareness about biodiversity issues, points out Dr. Al Saady, is growing in the business community. In a survey carried out by management consultants McKinsey, 59 per cent of business executives said they see the global biodiversity crisis as more of an opportunity, than a risk for their companies.
“Omani businesses need to embrace the idea that biodiversity and profits are not mutually exclusive objectives. As the UN has discovered, tackling the loss of biodiversity could potentially become an industry worth $4 trillion to $5 trillion a year,” noted Dr. Al Saady.
The first of the six sessions will discuss global warming and the challenges which come with it. From a human perspective, climate change and accelerating biodiversity losses risks human security, impacting the food chain Oman depends upon, its water sources may recede or disappear, medicines people rely on may be harder to obtain as the plants and fauna they are derived from are reduced or disappear.