In the first stage, a pro­tected area will be given to an ex­pe­ri­enced firm

Times of Oman - - FRONT PAGE - RAHUL DAS

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.

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