The Hawf Area

Date of Submission: 08/07/2002
Criteria: (vii)(x)
Category: Natural
Submitted by:
Min. of Culture - General Organization for the Preservation of Historic Cities - President Office
Coordinates: 16°37'/16°41' N - 52°55'/53°04' E
Ref.: 1726

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The area as a whole including Dhofar region in Oman and Hawf region in Yemen has been described as a center of plant diversity, and as a 'fog oasis' in the Arabian Peninsula which is predominantly arid. Even if at the Omani side protection measures would be undertaken, particular protection of the Hawf pilot area would be justified from an international point of view because of the supposedly local ecological variation and lower land pressure at the Yemeni side. Overall low population densities in southern part of Yemen, concentration of population in urban areas, and the poor accessibility, have so far spared the natural environment in Hawf pilot area from the radical adaptation and biodiversity decline typical for many parts of Arabia and Yemen as a whole. Within Yemen, the Hawf pilot area constitutes the second largest area with a high tree cover and a high plant and animal diversity. Current threats mainly result from rapid population increase in the area and the absence of alternative income opportunities other than expansion and intensification of agriculture and pastoralism in the area itself. A GEF financed project for this area is now about to sign a contract with international and national consulting consortium, which will be in charge to prepare a sustainable community-based protected area management plan for Hawf pilot area.