The Sultanate of Oman celebrated Tree Day

    09 Nov 2021

    The Sultanate of Oman celebrated Tree Day on October 31, with events and announcements marking the day. As an environment-friendly country, it has taken many measures to protect and conserve the environment – be it the turtle reserve or protected areas in terms of sensitivity towards wildlife and flora and fauna, the country’s records are very high.

    There is a decent limit to high-rise buildings in the country, and people generally don’t mess with the environment. Still, it is a task for policymakers to strike a balance between development and conservation of the environment.

    It is for everyone to decide how to cut the consumption of gases that are warming the environment, Oman Observer states.

    National and international days in the name of Tree Day, Earth Day, Water Day, or even days in the names of animals and plants are great reminders for those sitting over the fence and waiting for their turn to be the victims.

    The current generation has witnessed all kinds of environmental disorders in the forms of cyclone, sudden rain, forest fire, earthquake and many other maladies, but still not ready to do corrective measures thinking their boundaries are safe without realising that nature does not have any boundaries. It is anywhere and everywhere.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) came out with a ‘COP26 Special Report on Climate Change and Health’ months before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), which began in Glasgow on Sunday. The conference has attracted world leaders as a mark of their commitment towards the environment.

    The WHO report highlighted priorities for safeguarding the health of people and the planet that sustains us. “The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on the intimate and delicate links between humans, animals and our environment,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

    “The same unsustainable choices that are killing our planet are killing people. WHO calls on all countries to commit to decisive action at COP26 to limit global warming to 1.5°C – not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s in our own interests,” he said.

    Climate change is an issue that can be addressed collectively. Despite having the best environmental practices, a country cannot sit satisfied that it is doing enough to protect the environment. It has to be proactive in convincing others, even its neighbors, to adopt the best practices because the bad environmental practices are not only to harm the country in question but also to its neighbors and others. This is the time for everyone to understand that the countries have their boundaries, but nature does not.

    It is for everyone to decide how to cut the consumption of gases that are warming the environment. The governments have a huge responsibility to draw policies and make their people aware of environmental disorders.

    Why fighting climate change is crucial for Oman

    The UN Climate Change Conference, currently held in Glasgow, is happening at a time when all countries, including the Sultanate of Oman, are facing the consequences of climate change, Oman Observer states.

    The climate change consequences have been serious for the Sultanate of Oman, regularly facing one or two tropical storms, sometimes even a cyclone, every year, leading to floods and damages to houses and vehicles.

    Summers have also been getting hotter, with temperatures consistently touching 45 degrees Celsius and above for days. With a vast coastline bordering both the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, the Sultanate has been regularly facing the wrath of tropical storms since 2007.

    Cyclone Gonu that hit the country in 2007 and inflicted damages was the first in several decades.

    According to Tropical Cyclone Research and Review, “Tropical cyclones are not uncommon over the Arabian Sea. However, many of these storms rarely reach the coastal areas of Sultanate of Oman with tropical cyclone intensity, and from historical data, they very rarely enter the Sea of Oman. Gonu was the first destructive tropical cyclone to affect Muscat after the 1890 cyclone.”

    Since then, the governorates of South Sharqiyah, Al Wusta, and Dhofar have been on the frontline in the battle against the low-pressure systems, the cyclone Gonu and even the recent Cyclone Shaheen have shown that the northern parts of the country are not spared from extreme weather conditions.

    “Advancements made in weather forecasting have helped to save human lives by activating the emergency or disaster management mechanisms, but how can we protect immovable properties like houses, offices or strategic infrastructure like roads,” said sources in the Sultanate of Oman Meteorology and the Ministry of Transport and Communications and Information Technology (MoTCIT).

    It may be noted that in the past decade, MoTCIT or the erstwhile Ministry of Transport (MoT) is forced to spend thousands of riyals in restoring the road connectivity after tropical storms that often lead to floods and heavy rains.

    Weather experts have warned that evacuation of people or shifting human habitation from the coastal areas may make sense under the circumstances due to increased frequencies of floods, but in the long term, it will create a demographic imbalance and pressure on infrastructure due to increased density.

    Despite its dependence on revenues from oil, Sultanate of Oman has only to gain from the measures to reduce carbon emissions and minimize the consequences of climate change and global warming.

    The Sultanate of Oman delegation at the conference, led by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources and the Environment Authority (EA) supported the measures needed to reduce the adverse impact of climate change, especially limiting the annual temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of this century from current predictions of over 2.5 degrees Celsius.

    The Sultanate of Oman supported the view that human behavior is one of the main causes of climate change and increased frequency and severity.

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    Check the Natural wonders of Oman – places where you may get into nature watching here.

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