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‘Sohar Port meets pollution norms’
Fahad Al Mukrashi
December 03, 2013 , 8 : 40 am GST
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A view of the Sohar port. Photo - ONA/File
The Minister of Environment and Climate Affairs says his ministry has issued 74,000 environmental approvals in past three years
Mohammed bin Salim Al Tobi, the Minister of Environment and Climate Affairs, said his ministry has issued a total of 74,000 permits and environmental approvals during the past three years, thus averaging an annual rate of 24,635 approvals.
Al Tobi said that before issuing these approvals and permits, experts had carried out inspections during the evaluation and study of the applications.
The figures were revealed when the Majlis Al Shura hosted the minister. Al Tobi pointed out that the ministry is developing policies and legislation necessary to preserve the environment, conserve natural resources, and monitor and evaluate climate change and reduce their effect.
As part of its responsibility towards environment and its keenness to ensure sustainable development, the ministry issued 38 different kinds of approvals, licences and permits to regulate the environmental fall-out of the projects and development activities taking place.
According to Al Tobi, in the field of sustainable industrial development, the ministry's policies aim at helping decision-makers and investors to adopt cleaner and safer technologies.
It helps the industrial sector to develop as a competitive, sustainable and environment-friendly sector, the minister said.
On the pollution created by the Sohar Port, Al Tobi said the latest reports regarding the environmental performance level indicate that the ratio of the gas emissions in the surrounding area is within the limits of the permitted international standards.
Al Tobi said that there are 42 wildlife conservation units in the country as well as 16 natural reserves, all aimed to protect the wildlife and natural habitats that abound in the Sultanate, the latest having been established in Jabal Al Akhdar reserve for landscapes.
The ministry recently established a pollution control centre near the Strait of Hormuz to monitor any violations committed by the ships that pass through the strait. It will also monitor the oil spills during loading and offloading operations when supply ships provide fuel as well as deal with ship and tanker accidents.
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