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Pioneers Coral Reef Cleaning Initiative in Khasab along with Atana Khasab Resort
Kick starting their corporate social responsibility programme for 2014, Omran launched an initiative to conserve its marine environment by holding a series of events to clean the coral reefs and beaches in Khasab, while educating local residents and students in the area.
Omran has been championing the cause to contribute positively to the community by assisting micro businesses, empowering small entrepreneurs as well as supporting local events which bring people together for a cause. This initiative, in cooperation with Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA) brought together over 180 volunteers including staff from Atana Khasab Resort, teachers and student from Khasab and Qada schools and 16 divers from MECA and Omran.
Abdul Wahid Al Farsi, VP External Affairs at Omran commented on the decision to highlight the importance of marine conservation in Musandam. He said, "Celebrating Earth Day 2014, Omran launched a two-day campaign in the Wilayat of Khasab titled 'Together We Protect Marine Life'. This schedule was instrumental in raising awareness amongst a large number of people about the importance of caring for and protecting Oman's rich and beautiful marine life. All ages of people played their part inremoving litter from the beaches in addition to cleaning the precious coral reefs. We were thrilled to see such an enthusiastic response from local residents of the area and hope this will form the basis for educating the next generation of Musandam on the importance of preserving their unique marine environment."
In addition to its stunning sights, the Musandam Peninsula also house kaleidoscopic coral reefs that lie just below the surface, making it one of the best diving sites in the country. Omran, along with its new local hotel chain Atana,has taken a lead role in initiating environment campaigns with its key stakeholders involving the community and visitors in protecting the rich diversity of the region.
Hilal Al Nabhani, Head of the Coastal Zone Management Section at Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs around the following: "This campaign is very important to engage with students, and the society from the Wilatat so they can see for themselves some of the dangers of neglecting the coral reefs and throwing waste or the fishing nets in the sea. This not only has an effect on the marine life but rather affects on diving tourism in Musandam and could cause some divers to reflect a bad image of the country."
He added: "This awareness campaign for the community, helps us continue our effort in protecting our beautiful marine life in Musandam. I hope that more fishermen and members of the society understand and identify the coral reefs locations and helps avoid ways that could cause damage to the coral reefs that take years to grow."
"Omran did not just fund this project but rather initiated and originated it from the first place. I urge more companies to contribute and support the ministry in executing similar activities and events," said Al Nabhani.
Omran is placing a special focus on the Wilayat of Khasab. The coral reef cleaning programme is in addition to the promotion of self-support communities with initiatives such as 'Zaree' - the income generating programme that offers a window into the world of Oman's famed hospitality by demonstrating local traditions and values to tourists through a rich spread of diverse activities in the northern region of the Sultanate.
As Oman focuses on developing the tourism sector to help the diversification of the economy, Omran has formulated a four-point agenda as part of sustainable tourism, which includes minimising negative, environmental impacts; generating greater economic benefits for local people and enhancing the well-being of host communities; improving working conditions and access to the industry; involving local people in decisions that affect their lives and making positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage.