Oman's Musandam enhances efforts for environment protection
September 19, 2015 | 9:46 PM
by ONA

Khasab: The Governorate of Musandam has nature and terrain that are different from the rest of the governorates in the Sultanate.

Its terrain is very rugged, with towering mountains and pockets of water scattered along its sea coasts, besides its bays and islands. The terrain of Musandam is linked to its varied environment and wildlife, which are homogeneous on land and at sea.

The role of the Government, represented by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, is very essential in the efforts aimed at preserving the environment, as is the concerned agency.

The Department of Environment and Climate Affairs in the Governorate of Musandam carries out numerous tasks, aimed at protecting the wildlife and preserving the environment.

Among some of the actions carried out by the Department of Environment and Climate Affairs in the Governorate of Musandam is the cleaning of coral reefs from pollutants of all kinds. The annual cleaning campaign for coral reefs was started in 2004, but since 2011 the campaign’s frequency has increased to two to four per year.

Among the most important locations that have been cleaned in the Wilayat of Khasab are the Khour Sham area, Khour Ghop Ali, Ras Kamzar, Al Khail Island, Umm Al Suqoor Island, Ras Al Sheikh Massoud and Khour Hablin. Many locations have also been cleaned in the Wilayat of Diba, such as Khour Hafah, Khour Mu'alla, Ras Al Mankas, Lima Island, Lulu Island and the Qubal area.

The coordination in carrying out these campaigns is maintained by the Nature Conservation Department with diverse, touring companies, and diving clubs in the governorate and volunteers from the local community, who conduct diving campaigns in marine areas in the wilayats of Khasab and Diba, along with the ROP Coast Guard, the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

In order to maintain the environment of Musandam, the Department of Environment and Climate Affairs in Musandam monitors marine organisms, of which there are plenty in the clean water areas that are free from contamination.

The dolphin, locally called Al Daghas, is always present in Khour Sham in the Wilayat of Khasab as it has enough food, and is suitable for such marine creatures. Very few cases of dead dolphins have been reported on the shores of Musandam. Most recently, one case was reported in the Wilayat of Bukha in April, where the dolphin’s death was related to natural causes.

Another similar case was reported in Ghop Ali in May 2015. The Department of Environment and Climate Affairs in the Governorate of Musandam had taken appropriate measures to investigate the causes of death and document them. Among the marine creatures present in area are a type of turtle called "Hamas" by the locals.

The coast of Musandam is also exposed to oil pollution during varying and continuous periods each year. The most important causes of oil pollution are oil tankers, commercial vessels, waste from oil tankers (ballast water and washing tanks), side products of oil exploration, and oil spills that occur during loading and unloading in neighbouring ports, and oil spills from unidentified ships.

There are several procedures to be followed while dealing with oily contaminants, including, the role of members of the community, in cooperation with the competent authorities, while reporting such marine pollution cases.

The Department of Environment and Climate Affairs in Musandam has to report the cases to the Pollution Operation Centre at the ministry by filling out an Oil Report to respond to such cases, depending on its density, quantity and proximity to the coast.

Environment preservation efforts in the Governorate of Musandam include the painting of tree trunks as many types of trees and plants face different kinds of damage leading to their death or their growth becoming stunted.

The Department of Environment and Climate Affairs in Musandam has carried out 13 campaigns during the last three years to paint the trunks of trees in various wilayats of the governorate.

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