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LOVE YOUR ENVIRONMENT

6 Jan 2021 By HUBERT VAZ

Do you love your environment? If you do, you will protect, preserve and be passionate about every aspect of it. It is just like a real ‘love affair’ – a life-long commitment! 

The sultanate, represented by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, celebrates Oman Environment Day on January 8 upon the directives of His Majesty, Late Sultan Qaboos bin Said, to embody the role played by the sultanate in preserving the environment and support efforts made to protect the country’s natural resources.

January 8 is an annual environment event in which the sultanate celebrates the environmental developments at local and international levels in the field of environment protection, and emphasises the contribution of society and government and private institutions in the protection and conservation of natural resources.

The UN-established World Environment Day, however, is observed on June 5 every year to bring increased awareness to worldwide environmental concerns, like climate change, deforestation, pollution of the world’s oceans, and unsustainable development that could harm plant and animal species. Since its inception, World Environment Day has spread to over 140 countries and has had its main celebratory event held on all the six inhabited continents.  The day calls for attention to the need to protect the earth and its life forms, the vital importance of water, the need to protect the ozone layer, the ill effects of excessive deforestation, the plight of ‘wildlife crimes’,  and leaving behind a beautiful planet for future generations.

 

It’s time to make a difference

“Last year has truly been a year of change for all of us here at ESO, and we are taking everything we’ve learned in 2020 into this new year. This pandemic has taught us so much on both, individual levels and as an organisation, we’ve had to continue our work, no matter what, and were able to quickly adapt to achieve some great results in the last year. We’ve also been very lucky to have such incredible support from both organisations and the general public, which helped us achieve our goals and continue our efforts in raising awareness in terms of a sustainable lifestyle and preserving Oman’s rich natural heritage,” says H H Tania al Said, president, Environment Society of Oman.

“Kicking off the new year with Oman Environment Day, we need to come together and work towards creating a positive impact on the country’s environment, as well as prepare ourselves for a more sustainable and eco-friendly future. Tomorrow we celebrate Oman Environment Day. It is also a time of year when we think about making New Year’s Resolutions. Let’s all think about individual actions we can take in our own lives to positively impact Oman’s Environment, because together we can make a difference – it’s time!” she added.

 

Here are some things you can do to save Oman’s environment. These tips have been adapted from ‘Fifty Simple Things You Can Do To Save Oman’s Environment’ second edition, Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs:

 

Save water

  • Use only as much water as you need – have short showers, don’t turn the tap on full
  • Fill the sink with water while washing dishes – no running taps while brushing teeth
  • Fix leaking taps
  • Water plants at night or early morning
  • Use a bucket to wash cars instead of a hose
  • Use brooms to sweep dry leaves, don’t wash them off
  • Use bowls to wash vegetables and recycle water for watering plants

 

Keep water clean

  • Use falaj water properly – Don’t use it for washing
  • Keep afalaj free from rubbish
  • Boil water for safer consumption
  • Prevent spread of malaria, fill puddles with soil
  • Monitor septic tanks and sewage drains
  • Dispose household chemicals and used oil properly, don’t discharge these into the ground to pollute ground water supplies
  • Contact civic authorities for advice

 

Save energy

  • Turn on lights only when you need them
  • Use natural daylight as far as possible
  • Use energy saving bulbs and appliances
  • Turn off the television/computer when you are not using them
  • Use air-conditioners efficiently – don’t leave doors open
  • Switch off unnecessary appliances when you leave home
  • Avoid unnecessary car trips – save petrol, drive within speed limits

 

Minimise waste

  • Avoid individually packed items – avoid using disposables
  • Buy products in bulk, than in individual containers
  • Re-use paper
  • Avoid aerosol cans that are not friendly to the ozone-friendly
  • Re-use plastic bags, don’t dump them in garbage
  • Use cloth/reusable shopping bags
  • Pass on used clothes/toys to the less fortunate
  • Say ‘No’ to plastic bags

 

Keep Oman clean

  • Do not litter – discard rubbish in bins
  • Avoid dumping hazardous waste and litter which can harm animals (broken glass, etc) on land and in the sea
  • Keep a handy garbage bag/bin in your car
  • Discard rubbish in rubbish bags to facilitate civic staff  and curb spread of diseases
  • Play an active role in cleanliness – join community clean-up drives
  • Do not let children play near garbage bins/dumps

 

Look after land

  • Drive on graded roads when possible
  • Don’t crush plants/flowerbeds while driving off road
  • Plant native trees in your locality
  • Learn about plant life in Oman and their conservation

 

Protect wildlife

  • Do not hunt or disturb wild species – Don’t tamper with birds’ eggs
  • Make your own bird sanctuary – create watering holes, provide grain/nuts
  • Learn about Oman’s wildlife/marine life
  • Avoid frightening turtles on beaches – do not use flashlights where they nest
  • Avoid driving/littering on beaches to avoid harming marine life
  • Visit reserves and strictly follow guidelines
  • Avoid damaging corals – do not collect corals/live shells
  • Do not anchor boats near coral reefs

 

Share your views on environment

  • Join debates and competitions
  • Write letters to the ministry, sharing useful information. Letters can be addressed to: Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, Pollution Operations Monitoring Centre.  Tel: 2469366/24691082,  or to
  • Ministry of Fisheries Wealth, General Directorate of Fisheries Resources Development. Tel: 24696369
  • Join the Environment Society of Oman as a volunteer

 

 

 

 

 

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