Muscat – The Diwan of Royal Court launched a book titled Dhofar: Monsoon Mountains to Sand Seas. It was launched as part of activities of the 26th edition of Muscat International Book Fair.
The book is written by Dr Andrew Spalton and Dr Hadi Mussalam al Hikmani. Dr Hikmani, wildlife specialist and co-author of the book, said it has eight chapters, in addition to a general introduction. He explained that the first chapter of the book considers the great variety of natural landscapes in Dhofar, from fertile green mountains in the south to the towering sand dunes of the Empty Quarter desert in the north.
Other chapters describe the diverse flora and fauna, the climate, water resources and the traditional livelihoods of the people of the governorate. The final chapter is on environmental sustainability.
Spalton, a wildlife expert and former environmental affairs advisor in the Diwan of Royal Court, said that though Dhofar has been known since ancient times as the Land of Frankincense, it is today better known for its khareef season. “Dhofar is home to many species of wild plants and animals that are not found elsewhere in the world.”
He added that Dhofar has a long history, dating to nearly 13,000 years. “Until the end of the 20th century, the people there depended on land and sea to provide their livelihoods. Livestock grazing was the main activity of most communities, while fishing was the principal activity of the coastal communities.”
Today, the people live very modern lives but remain deeply connected to their traditional livelihoods, he added.
The book is the first comprehensive documentation of environmental diversity in the governorate, documented in rare pictures and supported by rich text and accurate information about plant and animal life, nature, climate and the people in the region.