National afforestation mitigates climate change impact — experts

The National Afforestation project involves planting some 127,000 dunums that are available for afforestation across the Kingdom. (Photo: Flickr)
AMMAN — The Ministry of Environment has announced the launch of the National Afforestation Project, which involves planting 10 million trees across the Kingdom as part of a 10-year plan that aims to increase the vegetation cover, reduce carbon emissions, combat desertification, and preserve biodiversity.  اضافة اعلان

The project, according to the ministry’s director of Nature Protection Department, Belal Qteishat, will provide permanent work opportunities for the local communities in the afforestation areas, create small projects, and provide bodies of water in the Badia and desert areas to facilitate basic services to visitors.

The project will be based on studies and scientific analyses to identify the targeted geographical areas that will be planted and determine the types of trees suitable for each geographical location, the rain map, as well as the needs of the ecosystems and local communities, Qteishat said.  He added that the project involves planting some 127,000 dunums that are available for afforestation across the Kingdom, in addition to increasing the number of trees in existing forests.

In cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Industry will work on developing nurseries to grow trees that are suitable for the nature of the targeted ecosystems.

As part of the project, Qteishat said a work team will carry out a social campaign to support proper behavior towards forests and address negative habits that lead some individuals to cause harm to forest areas.  

Environmental expert Hussein Keswani praised the project as an effective contribution by Jordan to global efforts in combating climate change, adding that the initiative also provides numerous economic benefits, enhances tourism, and serves the local communities.  He also noted the benefits of plantation to underground water. “Planting trees could help improve the quality of underground water,” he said. 

Keswani called for raising awareness among local communities of the important impact of forests for the ecosystem and strengthening partnerships with locals as a key factor for the success and sustainability of the project.

Safaa Jayousi, a climate change expert, said that the afforestation project will help Jordan meet its commitments towards the Paris Climate Accords, aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change.

Jayuosi stressed the importance of protecting existing trees from violations such as illegal logging and uprooting for construction purposes.

His Majesty King Abdullah last week visited the “Roots Project”, which was launched in Al-Qasr area in Karak Governorate in 2012 to increase the green cover.

During the visit, His Majesty noted that it is everyone’s duty to protect forests and preserve the ecosystem, calling for the expansion of forests and the cultivation of species appropriate to the Kingdom’s environment.

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