Reaffirming its ongoing commitment to safeguarding the environment for the benefit of present and future generations, Omran has wrapped up the second phase of its “Together We Protect Our Marine Life” campaign last Thursday in the Wilayat of Dibba. Held with the aim of protecting undersea marine life and ecosystems while promoting environmental awareness among all segments of society, the campaign included a practical scuba diving skills course for divers from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA), as well as interactive school workshops for children and a community awareness program.
An intensive 3-day dive training course was held on November 11th in the Wilayat of Dibba, and this was followed by a wide-ranging underwater clean-up of the local coral reefs. During a number of dive sessions held over two days, the team of scuba divers from MECA delicately removed discarded fishing nets and other debris from the coral reefs, all the while adhering to international coral reef protection standards, thus ensuring that no ecological damage was made to the fragile reef ecosystem. The dive team also made sure that all materials collected were disposed of according to environment protection rules. Meanwhile, on land, the Dibba beaches underwent a thorough clean-up with discarded fishing nets and other refuse being removed. Both activities were held under the supervision of Five Oceans Environmental Services L.L.C, which also delivered the dive training course.
Commenting on the importance of environment sustainability in all segments of society, Eng. Abdul Wahid Al Farsi, Acting Chief Communications Officer at Omran, noted: “We, in Omran, realise our commitment and responsibility towards the community, and we take it very seriously. We also believe in the importance of protecting and sustaining the environment for a better future for all. Hence, this campaign in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs aims to convey a vital message to all the stakeholders, concerned authorities and individuals. The message is that protecting the environment is the responsibility of us all, and to do that we need to join hands and support one another to make the difference we seek.”
“We are very committed to the cause, we are absolutely proud of what we have achieved so far, and we will definitely work towards more achievements in the future. I would like to thank everybody who contributed to the success of this campaign, from its first phase in Khasab and now in the second phase in Dibba. We are proud and happy with the tremendous cooperation from the local community in both towns, which allowed us to achieve our objectives of the campaign. I would also like to extend our sincere thanks to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, the staff members of Atana Hotels in Khasab and Golden Tulip Dibba for their constant support and commitment to the cause,” he said.
Meanwhile, as part of its ongoing efforts to promote the awareness in the local community of environmental issues and the importance of protecting marine life, 73 students from Dibba School participated in various awareness activities focusing on the importance of protecting the marine environment. Students were taken through various interactive classroom sessions, and also took part in the beach clean-up activity. One of the central objectives of the campaign is educating the next generation of Omanis on preserving and maintaining the delicate marine life and ecosystems in the sultanate, and the positive benefits for the environment and the economy. Additionally, a number of employees from the Golden Tulip hotel in Dibba, and fishermen from the local community took part in the beach clean-up and awareness activities.
On her part, Elayne Looker, a marine scientist with Five Oceans Environmental Services L.L.C. said, “We are glad to have successfully concluded the training course and to see the participants getting involved in the interactive sessions. They were eager to learn and were very engaged and interested in the subject of the course. The students have learned a lot about the best international practices in relation to protecting the environment in general and the marine life in particular. I am sure each of them will be the best ambassador in the future for protecting and sustaining the environment.”
Commenting on the success of the “Together We Protect Our Marine Life” campaign, Aida Al Jabri, a specialist for preservation of the marine environment from MECA, said, “We are glad to have joined hands with Omran in such a great initiative to protect and sustain the marine life. I personally believe my participation with the Omran team in their first phase of the campaign in Khasab was one of the most significant experiences in my life. And that was what encouraged me to take part in this event in Dibba. I am looking forward to participate in more events in the future in order to protect our beautiful environment for the future generations.”
“Together We Protect Our Marine Life” is one of Omran’s many community and environmental CSR initiatives, founded on the firm belief that tourism development and environment sustainability go hand in hand. As Oman’s leading tourism developer, Omran places a top priority on environmental care and protection, and sees this as the foundation for a successful and responsible tourism sector in the sultanate. Thus, Omran implements these key environmental and social concepts throughout all levels of their business operations, contributing to social welfare, development of the national economy, protecting the environment and sustaining cultural heritage.
In April 2014, Omran first launched the “Together We Protect Our Marine Life” campaign in the Wilayat of Khasab, which included cleaning the beach and coral reefs, and also included a number of awareness activities for all segments of the local community, such as school students and fishermen. The campaign has achieved huge success and acceptance from all members of the community, which led to the second phase of the campaign to be held in the Wilayat of Dibba, complete with an intensive and advanced training session for divers, as well as conducting a number of awareness activities for all the members of the local community.