Eco-Worry: The Omani Border Fence


I traveled to Oman in the summertime of 2012. Other than Muscat being the hottest city I have ever sweated in, it seemed really calm, quiet and peaceful. Other parts of Oman did as well. Boring and safe. With Yemen adjacent to it and a long coast that is threatened by Somali pirates, it was a wonder that the Sultanate felt so calm. With the fear that chaos could seep into its borders from its neighbor, Oman has basically been on the down low building a fence that spans the length of its border with Yemen. Good fences make good neighbors and all of that is not exactly how ecologically conscious groups feel about this border fence. Regional conservationists are concerned the ecological consequences have not been considered. You might think there is nothing to save in such a sandy, deserted environment, but the southern portion of the Omani border with Yemen has rugged peaks and valleys and thick forests. There are frankincense groves everywhere and around 200 Arabian leopards parol the area’s mountainous region–and that is the only habitat they’ve got left. Read more on this possible ecological disaster at Al Jazeera.

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