Protected Areas Rangers in Oman: Positive Biodiversity Conservation

01 September 2013 | Article
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Natural resources are being utilized in a non sustainable way; Biodiversity in many parts of the world is being degraded and threatened due to many reasons such as poverty, weak awareness, and among other reasons, weak legislations and \or weak enforcement. 

Oman constitutes of desert and rocky plains, sandy areas and coastal lines. Despite its dry atmosphere, Oman is located in a highly bio-diversified region, especially where there are high concentrations of rain deposits. Terrestrial biodiversity is also a significant component of Oman’s biodiversity; with more than 1,204 various species of plants have been identified.

The wild life in Oman includes the Arabian Gazelle, Arabian Tiger, wolves, and striped hyenas, Sand Gazelle, Arabian Oryx, Nubian Ibex, Arabian Taher and Arabian Leopard. Most of these mammals are included in the at-risk to extinction list. More than 1,140 species of fish, 329 species of birds, 75 species of reptiles and thousands of invertebrates have also been identified. The Omani coastal lines are the host for five species of marine turtles. It is believed that several terrestrial species are extinct or are about to become extinct due to threats to their habitats. The most prominent reasons for the loss of biodiversity in Oman are overgrazing, destruction of natural areas, the introduction of alien species of animals, plants and herbs into the Omani environment and desertification.

The office for Conservation of the Environment (formerly known as The Office of Advisor for Conservation of the Environment) is sub-organisation within the Diwan of Royal Court, Sultanate of Oman. The office was established in 1974 and has established the first reserve in Oman for the Arabian Tahr in 1975 (Sareen Nature Reserve) and moreover re-introduced the program of Arabian oryx in the world in 1980 (now, Arabian oryx sanctuary). The office is also involved in the research on Arabian leopards in Oman. Under this office, the Oman Botanical garden has been established. Other research projects are carried out by the office related to conservation and public awareness.

With IUCNs help, the situation may be able to change. With a concept  to design and implement comprehensive training programs for protected areas rangers "enforcement officers" to gain required skills and improve their performance, biodiversity conservation could be acheived.

The project "Reduce Biodiversity loss through proper enforcement by building the capacity of enforcement officers" will be implemented by the Regional Office for West Asia, and be expected to enhance the ability of Protected Areas Rangers and effectively contribute to the protection of these PAs by building their capacities to properly enforce related law. 

Expected outputs:
1. Rangers are fully understood related legislations and legal obligations.
2. Laws are properly enforced through skilled and qualified rangers.
3. Awareness campaigns are implemented professionally
4. Forty one rangers are trained in a, b, c, and d.
5. Trainees exposed to patrol plans preparation, implementation and monitoring,
6. Rangers are educated about the importance of working closely with community leaders to support their patrolling plans,
7. Rangers gain knowledge of processing legal cases,
8. Training manual and Ranger Hand Book ready,

The training commensed on the 12th of September 2013 that grouped decision-makers, researchers and civil society members and nature conservationists in the state of Oman in a national ceremony.


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