Oman promises steps to protect biodiversity

MUSCAT — Oman is determined to preserve its unique biodiversity and develop it in a way that ensures the sustainability of the country’s bio species, the sultanate’s top environment official said.

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Published: Sun 31 Oct 2010, 9:36 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 8:29 AM

Sayyid Hamoud bin Faisal Al Busaidi, Environment and Climate Affairs Minister, also underlined that Oman had always extended its full support to international efforts in this regard, especially after 2010 was dedicated as a year for biodiversity.

“It reflects the sultanate’s keenness to join the international agreements in this field,” he said on the sidelines of the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan.

Delegates from nearly 200 nations attending the conference, consisting of environment ministers and key officials, on Friday agreed to a sweeping plan to stem the loss of species by setting new 2020 targets to ensure greater protection of nature and enshrine the benefits it gives to mankind.

Environment and Climate Affairs Minister, Sayyid Hamoud, who led the Omani delegation, said protecting biodiversity was one of the pillars of sustainable development in Oman, especially because the country had a unique environment “that qualifies it to be a sanctuary for rare wild animals and a scientific centre for environment researches”.

“This has helped the sultanate to enjoy a prestigious position among countries of the world”.

He added that the outcome and recommendations of the conference would have profound influence at the scientific, professional and applied levels “as they will contribute to achieving sustainability for bio species in the world. They will also solve a large number of international issues in this field”.

Oman signed the Biodiversity Convention during the UN Environment Conference (Earth Summit) which was held in June 1992 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. It was ratified through a royal decree in 1994.

Five arrested for using fake notes

The number of cases involving fake currency notes is rising in Oman of late with the police arresting five people. Last week, the Royal Oman Police (ROP) had announced the arrest of a six-member gang charged with circulating counterfeit banknotes. In the latest incident, two citizens from the wilayat of Musanah were taken into custody while they were trying to buy a mobile phone card using fake currency notes. The shop salesman became suspicious when they asked for a RO3 prepaid card and gave him a RO50 note. He checked the note and found it was not genuine. He informed the police which led to the duo’s arrest.In another case, an expatriate was arrested when he tried to change fake 100 dollar bills into Omani currency at a money exchange in Al Khoudh. The cashier discovered the money was counterfeit and contacted the Al Khoudh police station.Two others were detained when they tried to pay their bill at a hotel with fake notes.

Cooperation pacts signed with Tunis

Oman’s Ministry of Social Development has signed cooperation agreements with the Tunis-based Arab Centre for Training and Research (Kawthar) and the Tunisian Ministry of Women, Children and the Elderly Affairs. Dr Sharifa bint Khalfan Al Yahya’eeya, Social Development Minister, inked the Memoranda of Understanding for the sultanate. She is currently on an official visit to Tunisia. The first MoU aims at strengthening cooperation in family affairs, social welfare, exchange of expertise and investment in human development. The second pact is meant to enhance collaboration in social work. Meanwhile, Dr Sharifa chaired the fifth session of the Arab Women Organisation’s 3rd Congress which focused on the issue of women and the social dimension in sustainable development.

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