PRIVATE BOOST FOR NATURE HOTSPOTS
In the first stage, a protected area will be given to an experienced firm
MUSCAT: Oman’s nature preserves are to be run by the private sector, in a bid to breathe new life into them as tourist destinations.
Suleiman Al Akhzami, Director General of Nature Conservation at the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, said they are planning to hand over one of the protected areas to local or international investors with experience in operating in protected areas. “This includes the Qurum Nature Reserve in Muscat,” he said.
The handing over of the project to private companies is in cooperation between the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs and the Ministry of Tourism, under the management of Tanfeedh.
“In the first stage of the Tanfeedh project, we will be working in one protected area, once we complete this first stage. We will then use this initiative as a model for the other 17 protected areas in the Sultanate,” a ministry official said.
This is being done to promote the economic diversification of the natural reserves of the country, without compromising the environmental balance, while creating a partnership that enables all sectors of society to contribute constructively to the development and conservation of protected areas.