The two trailblazers, Jenan Anwar Alasfoor and Ali Saleh Ibrahim, can now train their compatriots in Reef Check, a methodology for divers to turn out to be citizen scientists and assess coral reef well being, in Oman and elsewhere.
Both are graduates of an international placement programme run by worldwide conservation NGO Biosphere Expeditions. Jenan and Ibrahim initially took component in expeditions to assess the well being of Musandam reefs that Biosphere Expeditions has run for ten years given that 2008.
They each graduated from the expedition as Reef Check Eco Divers and went on to take a major part in the very first-ever neighborhood-primarily based reef survey in Oman in 2017. Jenan also became the head of budding NGO Reef Check Oman final year.
Jenan and Ibrahim then constructed their survey expertise and completed a marine biology distance studying course at the University of Exeter (UK). “With this under their belts, they have just made the historic achievement of being certified as Oman’s very first Reef Check Trainers. This means they can now train and certify others in the Reef Check methodology,” stated Biosphere Expeditions.
Jenan stated, “I am so proud to be a Reef Check Trainer now. I intend to train other Omanis and build a community-based survey programme. The more reef checkers we have, the better. And even if one is not a diver, we need help – and we can also work towards making a person a diver with the support of our partners.”
Jenan added, that Reef Check Oman is a volunteer programme. “We need lots of local talent to help us conduct frequent reef checks in Oman and train more Omanis to do the job.” Ibrahim stated that the reefs of Oman are a hidden jewel that needs urgent protection. “The more Omanis we can get involved, the more civil society will notice, which is crucial if we are to protect our country’s reefs.”
Dr Matthias Hammer, founder and chief executive of Biosphere Expeditions stated, “This is exactly what our placement programme is all about. Empowering local people to run their own conservation programmes. We hope it is another stepping stone towards a true community-based reef conservation programme in Oman.”
Information Source: Muscat Daily