Despite its arid climate, the Sultanate of Oman is an area of relatively high biodiversity, which urged IUCN Regional Office for West Asia to explore areas of collaboration and partnership with the governmental and non-governmental sectors in Oman. A team from IUCN ROWA has undertaken a mission to Oman responding to the Ministry of Tourism request to discuss a proposed eco-tourism development project in the Bandar Khiran area.
The IUCN team met with the HE Dr. Rajiha Abdul Amir, Omani Minister of Tourism to discuss possible collaboration between the ministry and IUCN in particular for the Bandar Khiran area. The team also met with the ministry's advisory and technical team to review the action plan for the eco-tourism development project and gave their comments and guidance to the ministry’s team to further enhance the project dimensions. The meeting followed a site visit to Bandar Khiran to understand the environmental characteristics of the site.
The team also met with the Omani IUCN members including the state member; Ministry of Environment & Climate Affairs and the Environment Society of Oman (ESO) to discuss areas of support and joint issues of concern to the members in Oman.
The IUCN team; Business & Biodiversity Programme Officer Majdi Salameh, Protected Areas Programme Officer Khaldoun Alomari, Marine Programme Officer Dr. Mohamed Eltayeb, also met with Omran Co. which is a governmental company dedicated to enhance and develop the tourism sector in Oman. Omran expressed their interest in joining IUCN membership.