Omran Organizes Advanced Coral Reef Protection Course for MECA Staff
In line with its commitment towards the protection and conservation of Oman’s environment and sustaining its marine life, Omran launched an intensive Coral Reef Protection and Net Removal Course for employees of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA) from November 11th to 13th. The internationally recognized course was amongst the first of its kind to be conducted in the region. The training is part of Omran’s campaign ‘Together We Protect Marine Life’ run in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA).
The ongoing Omran ‘Together We Protect Marine Life’ campaign aims at preserving marine life and raising the awareness on the matter among various segments of society, and is the second to be conducted by Omran following the success of Omran’s first coral reef cleanup campaign which took place in Khasab in April 2014. The previous activity included workshops for youth and adults as well as a practical coral reef and beach clean-up sessions conducted in Khasab.
The Coral Reef Protection and Net Removal Course training course was engineered and conducted by Five Oceans Environmental Services (5OES), who specialize in providing training in the field of diving with advanced program specially designed to achieve the objectives of the session. Prior to the practical course, the trainees underwent a theoretical course that took place at the Omran Head Office in Al Khuwair. The practical course was then started in Dibba from November 11th and 13th. The course covered underwater search and recovery techniques, advanced buoyancy control, coral reef conservation, first aid modules as well as the proper disposal of recovered nets without affecting the environment.
Commenting on the training, Eng. Abdul Wahid Al Farsi said: “Oman has been blessed with a rich and abundant marine life, of which coral reefs play an integral part, and Musandam is such a popular tourist destination due to its rich marine life. However the reefs are also extremely delicate and prone to damage, and any damage can have a significant impact on the local marine life which is heavily dependent on the coral reefs eco-system for survival. Therefore the regular cleanups carried out by MECA staff are extremely vital with the cooperation of Golden Tulip Dibba staff and the local community.”
“This is why the training programme is absolutely invaluable for MECA staff. It provides them with all required training in the use of specialized equipment and techniques that emphasize safety underwater, while effectively removing any entangled nets, more commonly called ‘ghost nets’, from reefs without further damaging corals, as well as keeping themselves and their diving partners safe at all times.” he added.
Abdulwahid bin Hasan Al-Kamzari, one of the coral reef cleanup trainees from MECA said: “It was a really useful training, and it enhanced our skills in cleaning coral reefs through the use of modern diving equipment. Additionally, the training raised awareness on the importance of preserving our precious marine environment. We would like to thank Omran for their efforts and support, and we are looking forward to more training initiatives to keep us updated to what is new in this field.”
Omran also hopes this pioneering course could, in the long run, lead the way in advancing the training and education of divers who wish to volunteer during reef clean-ups, helping to build a network of knowledgeable divers who can help protect Oman’s valuable coral reefs.
The ‘Together We Protect Marine Life’ coral reef cleanup in Dibba will include a number of activities and programs to raise the awareness on the importance of preserving reef coral in cooperation with the local community. Various activities were presented including building awareness of the importance of protecting the sultanate’s rich and beautiful marine life among school children, as well as educating fishermen about the importance of reef coral in insuring and sustaining fisheries.
This event is the second event to be organized by Omran and follows the success of Omran’s first coral cleanup campaign in corporation with Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA)that took place in Khasab. The previous ‘Together We Protect Marine Life’ campaign was held in collaboration with Atana Khasab in on April 22, in commemoration of ‘Earth Day’ and included various activities including building awareness of the importance of protecting the sultanate’s rich and beautiful marine life among the community, as well as cleaning the beaches in the area in addition to cleaning the coral reef.