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Oman Joins Ramsar, Designates Nature Reserve

= oman-flag2 May 2013: The Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar Convention) has reported that the Government of Oman has acceded to the Convention, becoming its 167th contracting party. The wetland Qurm Nature Reserve was designated as its first Ramsar site.

According to the Ramsar Secretariat, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the depositary of the Convention, has confirmed that it received the instrument of accession of Oman, as well as the name and map of one Wetlands of International Importance. The Convention will enter into force for this country on 19 August 2013.

Oman's first Ramsar Site, the Qurm Nature Reserve wetland, is located in Muscat, the capital city. It contains a mangrove forest and salt marsh facing the Gulf of Oman. This coastal wetland in the arid Arabian Desert and Gulf of Oman ecoregion provides shelter and habitat for juvenile fish and marine invertebrates, and serves as natural protection from tropical storms and cyclones. Activities carried out on the site include tourism, education and research.

Oman's designation contributes to one of the goals contained in the Ramsar Convention's Strategic Plan for 2009-2015, which is to reach a protected area of 250 million hectares by 2015. [Ramsar Press Release]