Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, Oman has used World Turtle Day to open a new Eco Centre that will focus on environmental education and the efforts of the hotel in sea turtle protection.
Children from the Our Planet School attended the official opening and were guided through the new Eco Centre by the hotel’s mascot Turtle Ranger, Mohammed Al Hasani. Other guests included government officials, guests, staff and members of Five Oceans Environmental and the Environment Society of Oman (ESO).
As part of the celebrations, the resort also held a turtle sand sculpture competition.
“The objective of the eco centre is to encourage education into the conservation of the natural environment that surrounds us here in Muscat and to raise awareness of the extensive work that Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa undertakes in order to protect the endangered sea turtles” Dirk Salzsieder, the resort’s resident manager and head of the CSR committee said in a Gulf Digital News report.
“After six months of planning, gathering information and creating our concept we are thrilled to officially be opening the eco centre today. We hope that this area will provide a fun and exciting environment for both children and adults alike to learn more about Muscat’s environment,” added Salzsieder.
The dedicated eco centre will offer insight into Oman’s natural environment and ecology. A daily ‘turtle talk’ will also present children with fun eco activities.
Green, hawksbill, loggerhead, leatherback and olive ridley turtles make up the five endangered turtle species out of a total of the world’s seven marine turtles according to World Wildlife Fund.
The constant attack by humans has seen turtle numbers decrease dramatically, hunted for their eggs, skin and shells, as well as accidentally being caught and tangled in fishing nets. Habitat destruction and global warming has also resulted in damaged and diminishing nesting sites. Even the temperature of sand can determine the sex of turtle hatchlings.