September 28 2022 6:04 AM E-paper Subscribe Sign in My Account Sign out

Enjoying and preserving nature

(Photos: Twitter)
After a harsh, long winter, during which almost every weekend the weather was accompanied by a depression, spring is finally here.

Last Friday, a huge number of people headed to the northern part of the country to enjoy Jordan’s beautiful nature. The traffic of that day was trending amongst social media users, but the next day one shocking post was almost neglected.اضافة اعلان

Mohammad Rababa Abu Nayef, a farmer in Umm Al-Namel, Al-Kourah District in Irbid Governorate, wrote on a post on his Facebook account that he lost around 40 acres of wheat after the spike in visits, wondering whether there is “a possibility of thinking of a solution that keeps the internal tourism active and preserve our agricultural crops”.

Sadly tourists could not differentiate between wild grass and planted wheat, and drove over the crops, sat on them, and some even barbequed on them, doing great damage to the farmers and owners of these lands.

The farmers took it upon themselves to educate people on social media, explaining that plowed land appears lined, which means it is planted and waiting to be harvested, and asking that people not sit on plots of land that look plowed.

Jordan food security facts

A UN policy brief titled “Toward the implementation of the food security strategy in Jordan in 2021”, published by Al Mamlaka, showed that food security, especially after the pandemic, is now an alarming issue for Jordan, where 53 percent of the population is now food insecure, and that 3 percent of families are suffering from food insecurity.

The brief also mentioned that Jordan imports $4 billion worth of food and agricultural produce, which is more than 90 percent of the country’s food needs.

These shocking numbers and Abu Nayef’s post where highly talked about and shared amongst environment activists on social media platforms.
... Food security, especially after the pandemic, is now an alarming issue for Jordan, where 53 percent of the population is now food insecure, and that 3 percent of families are suffering from food insecurity.
Many farmers mentioned that they face this issue yearly, and that although they welcome visitors of all nationalities and encourage domestic tourism, they would prefer that it did not affect their source of livelihood.

Ministry of Environment spokesperson Ahmad Obeidat told Jordan News that a partnership project is being discussed by the ministries of environment and tourism ministries to address this issue.

Waste left behind

Another big issue was the waste left behind by the visitors and hikers last Friday at Um el Namel and many other tourist sites, like on either side of Al-Urdon Street, where waste and coal, some still smoldering, was strewn all over

Obeidat said that serious work needs to be done to raise awareness and educate the Jordanian tourist, and raised the issue of dumpsters at tourist sites, often sorely missing.

How to leave no waste in nature

A good way to start is by repackaging food in containers before leaving.

If you would like to cook fresh food during a picnic, try to remove non-edible parts of the food at home, before packaging it. If not, pack the inedible leftovers and make sure you throw them in dumpsters upon leaving.

Come prepared with reusable cutlery, water bottles and cloth napkins, and always keep a trash bag near everyone to make it an easier task.

If you wish to barbecue, use existing fire pits if you are visiting an established campsite or if there none is available, try to build small fires and burn all the wood to ash before leaving.

Sprinkle well with water to make sure the fire does not rekindle, after which try to collect the cold ash in a non-flammable trash bag.

You can take this bag with you if there is no dumpster around, and you should always keep a bag in the car for the ride snacks.

So let us discover our beautiful country, but let us also keep it clean and safe. Above all, let us respect the hard work of the farmers who feed us.

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