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MENAFN - Muscat Daily - 18/09/2012

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(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) H E Mohammed bin Salim al Toobi, Minister of Environment and Climate Affairs, has issued decisions to restructure five national committees to focus on managing environmental issues and promote sustainable development.The committees on environment and sustainable development, biodiversity, biosafety, the national committee for the International Union for of Nature and the special committee to follow up and implement the United Nations Convention to combat desertification have been revamped.Decision 91/2012 states that the national committee for environment and sustainable development will be chaired by the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA). It will also include a number of other ministerial departments besides The Research Council (TRC) and SQU.According to H E Toobi, the committee shall prioritise various environmental issues and arrange them in accordance with Oman's developmental pattern to achieve the objectives of sustainable development. It will also aim at strengthening the country's role in various international conventions and organisations.The committee will study the benefits of such participation by evaluating the technical support received, implementing the decisions of the conferences and following up on their outcomes in Oman.H E Toobi issued a second decision (92/2012) restructuring the national committee for biodiversity.It shall implement programmes, plans and projects for promoting biodiversity and prepare a plan of action as part of the national strategy. The committee will coordinate with concerned authorities to prepare policies and regulations in this regard.It will create strategies for biodiversity at a national and international level and work on a proposal mechanism that stimulates the participation of non-governmental entities.The minister said the panels will prepare half-yearly reports on implementation of the national strategy on monitoring biodiversity. It will also review and evaluate the strategy in a comprehensive manner after an initial implementation period of five years.The third ministerial decision (93/2012) restructures the panel on IUCN, a global environmental organisation. The committee will examine ways to take advantage of the IUCN's technical working groups and its expertise. It will prepare proposals and projects for requesting support from IUCN in various fields related to environmental sciences and conservation of natural resources.H E Toobi's next ministerial decree (94/2012) restructuring the national committee on biosafety shall examine the legal obligations of the biosafety protocol and determine responsibilities of concerned government authorities. It will also consider establishing a national centre for biosafety technology.The final decision (95/2012) restructures the special committee to follow up and implement the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The committee will be headed by the Director General of Natural Conservation under MECA.H E Toobi said the committee shall monitor the implementation of the UN's conventions, coordinate efforts and propose projects and budgets needed to combat desertification. It shall also be responsible for supervising the projects and assessing their outcome.


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