Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) signed a Letter of Agreement (LoA) in support of provision of services related to the formulation of national adaptation planning for the Sultanate in order to reduce vulnerability to impacts of climate change, including by building adaptive capacity and resilience.
Historically, Oman’s socio-economic heritage has largely depended on agriculture. The physiographic changes emanating from climate change confront the Sultanate of Oman to immense challenges which require an improvement of response capacity towards both, mitigating the impact severity on the one hand, and the capability to adequately adapt to the progressive development of irreversible realities on the other hand.
Agriculture, and the water sector in Oman are impartially connected, both being heavily prone to the said impacts. In recent years, insufficient sustainable water management led to a growing problem of soil salinization. In addition to that, sea water intrusion was identified as the principal problem caused by groundwater overdraft in the coastal aquifers.
The government of Oman realizes the severity of the situation and acknowledges that the adoption and endorsement of sustainable development approaches for the development of the agricultural sector;
In this context, the government of Oman (Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries) with the support of FAO emphasizes in the national strategy of agriculture and rural development (SARDS 2040) on the need of measures to ensure that future agricultural and rural development activities are economically viable and environmentally sustainable, thus contributing to the overall well-being of the Omani people. In addition, according to the Oman Salinity Strategy (2012), a comprehensive solution to the salinization problem considering the type of salinization, soils, groundwater movement, socio-economic impacts and feasible managerial and institutional responses is required. Therefore, the present action is to support the formulation the formulation of national adaptation planning proposal.
According to the LoA, SQU, as service provider, will collect and consolidate all inputs and information related to the country’s current situation in the context of climate change adaptation for the agricultural sector in Oman, and identify in collaboration with FAO , National Designated Authority (NDA), the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries (MAF) and other relevant stakeholders the outcomes, outputs and activity areas following the GCF guidebook to be refelcted in NAP readiness proposal for agriculture.
SQU will draft one National Adaptation Planning Readiness for agriculture proposal, following closely Green Climate Fund (GCF) requirements. SQU, as service provider, will present the national adaptation planning (NAP) readiness proposal to be validated at national stakeholders’ workshop and incorporate comments to produce a final document to be shared with FAO Oman and the NDA.
The letter of agreement (LoA) in this regard was signed on 30 December 2018 by Nora Ourabah Haddad, FAO Representative for the Sultanate of Oman and Dr. Rahma Al-Mahrooqi, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Postgraduate Studies and Research, SQU.