Taking a break on call of nature.
Biosphere Expeditions is a multi-award-winning not-for-profit participatory conservation organisation offering hands-on wildlife volunteer expeditions as an adventure with a purpose for everyone. Biosphere Expeditionsa€™ citizen science is for people from all walks of life who want to help support and conserve the biosphere that we all live in. It gives people a way to harness their enthusiasm and put it to good effect by coming to work on voluntourism projects simply using the money and time that they would have spent going on an ordinary holiday. Anyone can join our volunteer vacations for anything from a weekend to several months and at least two-thirds of your contribution will go directly into the wildlife conservation project locally, funding it long-term and sustainably.
What are its recent projects
Biosphere Expeditions works with many endangered species and habitats across the world. Examples include Arabian leopards in Dhofar (www.biosphere-expeditions.org/oman) coral reefs of the Musandam peninsula (www.biosphere-expeditions.org/musandam), snow leopards in the Altai Republic of Central Asia (www.biosphere-expeditions.org/altai), whales and dolphins in
the Atlantic Ocean (www.biosphere-expeditions.org/azores), leopards and cheetahs in Namibia (www.biosphere-expeditions.org/namibia) and jaguars in Brazil (www.biosphere-expeditions.org/brazil).
Tell us about your experiences with the Arabian leopard project
There are many tales of great cooperation with companies such as Ford and successful collaboration with government institutions such as the Office of the Adviser for Conservation, Diwan of Royal Court (whose field workers provide invaluable insights and guidance) and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (whose rangers we train and work with). On a more personal level, I have made many friends with local people and have been taken aback time and again by how welcoming and helpful people are. They are also very interested to find out more about the wild animals living on their doorstep.
In the field, I have many fond memories of walking the Dhofar escarpment, camping under a starry sky or diving the pristine Musandam coral reefs or getting there on a dhow.
How far such expeditions help a nation develop its eco tourism or help in raising awareness of conservation
The beneficiaries of such a project are many:
iu[logical not]The Arabian leopard population in Oman and the Middle East.
iu[logical not] Local people & communities. Children will benefit from education. Adults will benefit from a thriving protected area that abounds with wildlife, including the Arabian leopard, and which attracts tourism and therefore income.
iu[logical not] Local commerce. A protected area with plentiful wildlife including the Arabian leopard will attract many tourists.
iu[logical not] Humanity at large by preserving the worlda€™s most threatened leopard species.
In addition, Ford Motor Company and Biosphere Expeditions will jointly produce information materials & presentations for the media and Ford Motor Company customers and partners. The materials will be made available to Ford Motor Company and an annual press conference can be held in conjunction with
Ford Motor Company to update the media on the projecta€™s progress. This will not only highlight Ford Motor Companya€™s support for and commitment to environmental issues, but will also serve to keep plight of the
Arabian leopard and achieving the ultimate aim of its survival in Oman.
What are your future plans
All our projects are organised for the long-term, so we intend to keep going in Oman for years to come, because it is such a welcoming place with fascinating wildlife worthy of our attention and protection. Oman is a fascinating place of culture, heritage, landscapes, wildlife and people. I travel a lot and Oman is one of my favourite places. Ford Conservation and Environmental Grants has announced the application for 2010. Applications are accepted until September 15.
Muscat Press and Publishing House SAOC 2009
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|Publication:||Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)|
|Date:||Jul 26, 2010|
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