Implementation of the Convention
Measures Taken to Achieve the 2010 Target
During the last decade, Jordan has developed a package of environmental policies and strategies related to Biodiversity and natural resource management. The most recent are the National Biodiversity Strategy (2003), and the Jordan National Agenda (2005). The number of reserves and their total size is a key indicator for achieving the 2010 target. 6 new reserves are in planning, and a new national target has been set for protected areas: it is to be 12% of Jordan’s total land surface in 2012 and 15% in 2017. Specific actions include: species assessment, Red-Data Book for endangered species, identification of rare, endemic and endangered species, establishment of a national center for the conservation and exchange of germplasm, establishment of a special herbarium for algae and fungi, identification, conservation and management of aquatic plants and relic species, especially in the sand dunes, the Dead Sea and the Jordan River habitats.
Initiatives in Protected Areas
Jordan realizes the fragile nature of ecosystems owing to the socio-economic, physio-geographic and climate conditions of the country. In 1922, the first conservation efforts started with an afforestation project where a network of 23 forests and rangelands have been declared and established, after which several projects were implemented and the number of rangeland reserves increased. Jordan’s unique geographical position makes it an important passage and resting area for migrating birds. In 1995, Bird life International in cooperation with RSCN defined and globally declared 27 areas in Jordan as important bird areas covering a total area of 7600 km2, or about 8.5 % of the total area of Jordan. Seven of these sites are already protected areas and the other ten are proposed. On the other hand, thirteen important wetland areas were identified to help protection of nationally and internationally important water birds and other threatened birds.
Initiatives for Article 8(j)
Jordan has a long tradition of pastoral communities dating back to pre-Islamic times. They are one of the two main groups forming the Jordanian population, the other being nationalized Palestinians. They are not recognized as an ethnically different group, sharing mostly the same arab and muslim traditions as the rest of the population. Most of them settled down in cities and they play important economic and political roles in the Kingdom. Limited number of studies, carried out by government institutions, universities, NGOs and the private sectors involved input from these pastoral communities, especially relating to biodiversity. The Badia Research and Development Center (BRDC) is trying to incorporate their traditions and values in projects aiming at improving their ways of life, and Jordan’s NBSAP aims for the same goal. The agro-biodiversity project, which includes a participatory approach and training and capacity building of farmers in use of plant genetic resources for income generating small enterprises, is one way these communities are being involved in all stages of project development and management.