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Oman - Country Profile

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Status and Trends of Biodiversity

Overview

Oman’s land consists of gravel desert plains, sand and mountain ranges and coastal lines. Despite its arid climate, it is an area of relatively high biodiversity, especially in the regions with a higher level of precipitations. Terrestrial biodiversity is an important component of Oman’s biodiversity as rangelands and woodlands are found to harbour a diverse array of plant species (more than 1208 have been identified so far). The plant communities include 78 endemic species. In addition, some 11 plant species are currently considered to be endangered or critically endangered, out of 1204 occurring in Oman. The country’s fauna include the Arabian gazelle, wolf, striped hyenas, sand gazelle, Arabian Oryx, Nubian Ibex, Arabian Tahr and Arabian Leopard. Some 1,142 fish species, 329 bird species, 75 reptile species, and thousands of invertebrate species have been identified. Five species of turtle are found in the coast of Oman. Main threats to biodiversity in Oman include overgrazing, loss of habitat, overuse of and damage to coastal and marine ecosystems, invasive species, as well as population growth and use of modern technology.

Number and Extent of Protected Areas

Oman has established four protected areas, accounting for 9.6% of the total land area of the country. Oman has also set up two marine protected areas.

Percentage of Forest Cover

Forests in Oman cover 2,000 ha and other wooded areas cover 1,303,000 ha.

National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan

Major features of National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

Oman completed and adopted its National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan in 2001. Oman’s NBSAP presents a vision for Oman of a society that is conscious of the role and issues related to biodiversity, convinced of its responsibilities towards future generations and determined to use natural resources in a sustainable manner and in harmony with all other living things. In support of this vision, the Strategy incorporates a series of guiding principles that provide a foundation for implementation. The main strategic goals identified in Oman’s NBSAP include: safeguarding habitats and productive renewable resources for rational and sustainable exploration; conserving habitats, plant and animal biodiversity, especially of those uncommon and also of special interest; improving the understanding of ecosystems and increasing resource management capability; developing legislation that insures the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources; developing incentives that will promote biodiversity conservation and provide employment for local people; and equitably sharing the benefits of sustainable resources, including genetic resources. The NBSAP proposed a series of priority actions under the following themes: conservation of natural resources, terrestrial and freshwater fauna, marine life and fisheries, terrestrial and aquatic flora, agriculture resources, energy resources, mineral resources, industry, technology and services, urban environment, water resources, public participation, social and spiritual values and quality of life.
 

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  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme