The people of the wilayat of Bidiyah in North Sharqiyah have come together as a family to combat desertification and spread environmental awareness among members of the community.
Spearheaded by Dr Mohammed Said al Hajri, the project started in October 2019. “The initiative aims to plant wild trees such as sidr and al ghaf, and control desertification. It also aims to reduce pollution and global warming, restore sand and soil stability, maintain plant diversity and preserve the natural environment,” Dr Hajri said.
“We have planted 1,800 trees so far. On Saturday – December 19 – the team planted 700 wild trees in collaboration with the Environment Authority, be’ah, the Omani Women’s Association and other volunteers. The people of Bidiyah will continue planting wild trees – 10,000 in all – over the next five years to support the ecosystem. In its next phase, the initiative will focus on planting vegetation in the sandy areas of Al Qur and compensate for trees lost in some other areas. Volunteers use the best modern irrigation techniques to conserve water resources,” Dr Hajri said.
He and his team of volunteers have also replanted trees to prevent soil erosion.
“We had temporarily stopped our planting activities during the COVID-19 closure,” he informed.
“We cooperate with some bodies such as the office of the wali of Bidiyah, the Environment Authority, Bidiyah Municipality, be’ah and the National Field Research Centre for Environmental Conservation in the Diwan of Royal Court.”
According to Dr Hajri, this initiative of the people of Bidiyah is in keeping with the national project to plant 10mn wild trees across Oman which is aimed at increasing and improving vegetation cover in pastoral and degraded natural areas, as well as encouraging community participation towards preserving wild plants and plant diversity.
“The team will continue to plant wild trees such as al ghaf, sidr and asmar in the next five years. Our efforts will also help attract tourists, which in turn will support the national economy. We thank all the different organisations that support us in achieving the goals of the initiative,” Dr Hajri said.