A reforestation project in desert country, Jordan aims to plant 10 million trees in 10 years.
Forests make up only one percent of the desert kingdom’s territory, according to Jordan’s agriculture ministry, though Jordan also has an estimated 23 million orchard trees, half of them olives.
Fires are the biggest problem for Jordan’s wooded areas, according to the country’s agriculture ministry.
Forest fires strike almost every year in the Middle Eastern country due to high summer temperatures, in a trend scientists expect to intensify with climate change. Last year, there were 499 fires in wood and forest areas.
The blazes are often started by picnickers’ barbeques or carelessly discarded cigarettes.
The aim of the reforestation programme is to create forests in Karak and Tafila provinces, south of Jordan’s capital city, Amman. In each area, 30,000 trees will be planted including commonly found trees such as eucalyptus, jujube and carob.
The campaign began in Kufranjah, described as “Jordan’s lungs”.
The kingdom also plans to work on fire prevention by setting up monitoring posts and patrols, providing its civil defence with specialised vehicles and carrying out forest surveillance using drones.
It is expected that the greening campaign would also benefit bees and honey production. Jordan produces an average of 250 tonnes of honey a year.
Image Source: AFP
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living.