GREEN MEANS GO

Oman 2018 | GREEN ECONOMY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to HE Mohammed S. Al Tobi, Minister of Environment and Climate Affairs, on its many projects currently underway, the positive effects of using renewable energy in Oman, and upcoming initiatives.

HE Mohammed S. Al Tobi
BIOGRAPHY
HE Mohammed S. Al Tobi is the current Minister of Environment and Climate Affairs. He has 18 years of experience working with Petroleum Development Oman (PDO). He holds a degree in human resource management and is member of the Shura Council for Nizwa as well as the Environment Society of Oman (ESO).

What is the role of renewable energy sources in industrial growth and environmental conservation?

The Sultanate's approach to generating electricity using renewable energy sources such as sun and wind will have a positive effect through several aspects, including reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions and reducing the pollution caused by emissions and waste generated by non-renewable sources of fuel, resulting in a significant improvement in quality-of-life indicators for current and future generations. The diversification of energy sources is one of the policies adopted by the government to achieve energy security and provide what is needed in light of population growth and expansion in the industrial sector and other strategic sectors. In addition, opening the way for renewable energy will contribute to economic diversification and such projects will reduce long-term greenhouse gas emissions, diversify energy sources, reduce dependence on low energy, create sustainable growth, promote environmental awareness, reduce pollution caused by the use of fossil fuels, and enhance the energy security of the country.

What will be some of the ministry's concerns in the coming years?

We continuously work on development programs using the lean approach, which the ministry has already started with some of its applications, in addition to enhancing human resource capabilities at various levels to prepare for dealing with future changes. The ministry is keen to complete the process of full electronic transformation of various services provided to clients, increase efficiency and effectiveness in the methods and approaches of environmental management, and implement the recommendations of the global advisory study on re-engineering procedures to achieve further development and modernization to keep pace with the contemporary world. We will continue to activate cooperation frameworks with various international bodies and organizations specialized in environmental management and human development. In the field of environmental policies, the ministry seeks to build a culture of voluntary environmental compliance through various incentive tools to enable entrepreneurs and industry to comply with environmental laws. Also, we plan to contribute and participate in the preservation of the environment and conservation of natural resources. Furthermore, this industry will continue the work on nature reserves management development by allowing the private sector to invest in ecotourism and activating the management protection approach to provide financial resources to protect wildlife components and the sustainability of ecosystem services. Moreover, we are focusing on continued cooperation with universities and scientific research institutions to carry out further joint applied research to strengthen the scientific foundation in order support decision makers.