Marathon, contest mark ESO Let’s Plant One drive

The Environment Society of Oman (ESO), an NGO officially accredited by the United Nations General Assembly, engaged with local school children in Dhofar to mark the launch of its 2013 campaign, ‘Let’s Plant One’.

The campaign raises awareness on the importance of preserving local flora and fauna and includes activities which have brought together 200 students from 16 different schools in Salalah to take part in a marathon, while 20 more students from Al Sultan Qaboos School in Salalah participated in a drawing competition to showcase their vision for a greener Oman, a press release said.

The campaign is funded by Port of Salalah and Ford Motor Company Conservation & Environmental Grants, with the marathon winners receiving bicycles to further promote a low carbon lifestyle and all activity winners receiving ESO certificates alongside cash prizes and gifts in recognition of their continued efforts.

As part of the campaign, volunteers, along with ESO team members, planted 2,000 trees and have committed to reintroduce native and indigenous species of trees to cover over 250,000sq m of desert, mountains, plains and coastal areas in the region before 2014.

On the occasion, ESO board member, Dr Mohsen Musalem al Amri, said, “Reaching children is the first step to changing behaviour and creating a new found sense of environmental awareness and preserving Oman’s natural resources. Our ultimate goal is to emphasise the importance of maintaining the environment, and through fun activities we can spread the message that mankind should be responsible for the wellbeing of our planet and even the smallest act can benefit future generations.”

‘Let’s Plant One’ campaign was recently inaugurated by H E Sayyid Mohammed bin Sultan bin Hamoud al Busaidy, Minister of State and Governor of Dhofar, at a kick-off ceremony.

It aims to conserve Oman’s natural heritage and actively involve the people in protecting unique habitats and resources.

ESO joined the global ‘Plant for the Planet - The Billion Tree Campaign’ organised by the United Nations Environment Programme, which encourages countries to become more resilient towards climate change by reducing emissions and deforestation.