Reserves have plans in place to cope with weather, tourism

Snow covers one of the reserves of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature. (Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN – The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature worked over the last couple of days, which witnessed very cold weather conditions, to protect reserves in Jordan, and implement plans in place to deal with tourists.اضافة اعلان

RSCN Director Khaled Al Irani told Jordan News that the staff and inspectors working in the reserves are mainly people from their respective regions, which ensures that they are present in the reserve all the time, especially on days when difficult weather conditions prevail.

"Our duty is to preserve what is in and around the reserves borders, so we are working to help the local community and individuals, in addition to monitoring the environmental situation within a reserve's borders," said Irani.

The largest RSCN intervention is to “help people from the local community and tourists, as weather conditions are natural conditions that rarely cause significant damage to nature, unlike in cities whose infrastructure is affected”, he said.

RSCN has administrative plans for each reserve, depending on location and circumstances, he added. These plans entail inspection tours, security and environment monitoring, and area zoning to determine how safe a reserve is for tourism.

Irani said that the reserves most vulnerable to accumulation of snow, such as Dana, Dibeen, and Ajloun reserves, did not suffer any significant damage during the last two days of inclement weather, but that the Shawmari, Azraq, and Burqu reserves, located in the eastern regions, were affected by the torrential rains, which is good because they supply the groundwater and increase the grazing areas for animals.

Amer Rfou, director of Jordan’s largest reserve, Dana, in Tafileh Governorate, told Jordan News that the reserve has a plan of action and is in continuous cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Tafileh Tourism Directorate and RSCN, and that closure of the reserve is agreed upon in cooperation with the administrator of the Tafileh Governorate.

He added that the inspection teams are working around the clock in the reserve to prevent any violation, such as hunting, logging or grazing. The inspectors’ tours are done jointly with members of the community and Ministry of Agriculture employees, and that safe places are provided for the inspectors to stay on the reserve to ensure its protection all day.

Rfou said the reserve is closed to tourists during bad weather, to protect them from any potential danger, but Dana guesthouse is usually totally opened to tourists, and is stocked with all necessary provisions in case of weather emergency.

In cases of total closure, tourists are notified in advance so they can extend or cancel their reservations.

"Tourists rarely cancel their reservations in such cases, as there are people who prefer this cold weather to spend their time in the Tafileh Governorate, specifically for the beauty of nature there," said Rfou.

Last time weather conditions were adverse, the guesthouse did not stop working, and that those in charge of it provided the visitors with all requirements, including heating and supplies, Rfou said. However, the tourist paths in the reserve were closed to preserve the safety of visitors, said Rfou.

The reserve covers a large area at different altitudes, ranging from 1,600 meters above sea level to 100 meters below sea level, so the animals are safe in different weather conditions, as they move by nature to the most appropriate area within the reserve, he added.

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