WADI, US Forest Service conclude 4-day Regional Seedling Summit

Ekhlas Masaid, who works at Sabha Community Nursery, run by WADI and the Hashemite Fund for the Development of Jordan Badia, explains the seed germination process at the nursery to participants of the MENA Regional Seedling Summit 2023, at Sabha Community Nursery, in Sabha, Al-Mafraq Governorate, Jordan, on Tuesday, May 9, 2023. (Handout: WADI)
AMMAN — WADI for Sustainable Ecosystem Development in strategic partnership with the US Forest Service wrapped up on Thursday, a four-day regional event in Amman that brought together ecosystem restoration and seedling production experts from Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Tunisia, Morocco, Moldova, and the US.اضافة اعلان

Accoridng to a press statement, the aim of the MENA Regional Seedling Summit 2023 is to exchange knowledge and experiences amongst participants in the fields of seedling production, ecosystem restoration and other related fields.  The participants took part in field visits to nursery and out-planting sites in various locations of Jordan, representing the different ecosystems of the Kingdom, such as Sabha in Mafraq Governorate, Al-Majidiyah, Madaba, Jerash and Al-Salt.

Environmental and agricultural stakeholders in Jordan also took part in the event, including representatives from the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture, the US Embassy in Amman, the US State Department, ICARDA-CGIAR, the Hashemite Fund for the Development of the Jordan Badia, and the Disi Women Cooperative, among others.

The US Forest Service-International Programs Director Valdis E. Mezainis spoke of the “noble work” of restoring land as he kicked off the summit on Sunday.

“There is nothing more noble than to restore a piece of land to its original health, and that is the work that you’re all doing, and to be able to do that you have to have the commitment of the people, the country, and the communities [that need] economic development,” Mezainis told participants.

For his part, WADI Director Tariq Abu Taleb said that it is “a great opportunity to learn from all participants who share WADI’s goal for restoring forests and rangelands for climate resilience, community livelihoods, and long-term water security, and addressing different challenges that we are all facing in the MENA region.

At the end of the summit, the participants agreed to form a regional network that can aid in exchanging experiences and lessons learned, to achieve the highest possible success rate for seedlings propagated for ecosystem restoration purposes.

Other organizations that took part in the summit include Lebanon Reforestation Project and the Association for Forests Development and Conservation from Lebanon, Agence Nationale des Eaux et Forets and High Atlas Foundation from Morocco, Tunisia’s General Directorate of Forestry, and Hebron University from Palestine.

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