The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature – Current Projects

Further Institutional Strengthening of the RSCN to enhance its Effectiveness as the Primary Agency for Eco-tourism Development in Jordan

Start date 2007
End date 2008
Funded by USAID

Carefully targeted to specific institutional needs, this project is improving RSCN’s ability to manage its eco-tourism operations effectively and maintain its role as the primary agency for eco-tourism development in Jordan. Activities are centered on introducing web-based systems for tourism booking, sales and marketing and overall financial management, on the redevelopment of the RSCN and Wild Jordan websites. There is also a component for supporting the integration of the private sector into handicraft design.

Integrated Water Resources Management & Conservation in Mujib Nature Reserve

Funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and Wetland International, the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) has started a new project to conserve the significant water system in Mujib Nature Reserve

The project’s vision is to promote an integrated approach for water-resource planning and management to achieve durable conservation goals for the natural water system in Wadi Mujib at the local level. In addition, the project will contribute to the national and international effort in wetland and natural water ecosystem conservation and management by introducing this new integrated approach as a model that can be replicated in other areas in Jordan and in the Middle East region.

Sustainable Use & Conservation of Herbal & Medicinal Plants

Start date 2003
Expected end date 2008
Funded by the Global Environment Facility, through the World Bank

This project aims to improve the conservation of medicinal and herbal plants in three main ways: (i) in situ protection; (ii) ex-situ cultivation; and (iii) by encouraging sustainable use by local communities. The project is focused on the Mujib Nature Reserve, which supports a wide range of wild herbal and medicinal plants.

Conservation & Sustainable Use of Biodiversity in Dibeen Forest

Start date 2002
Expected end date 2007
Funded by the Global Environment Facility, through UNDP

Through this project, RSCN has been able to establish a nature reserve in the forests of Dibeen in north Jordan and to introduce socio-economic programs for local communities that support sustainable use of forest resources. Dibeen represents one of the best remaining examples of natural pine-oak forest in the region and supports over 17 endangered species and other globally significant biodiversity.

Integrated Eco-System Management in the Jordan Rift Valley

Start date 2007
Expected end date 2013
Funded by the Global Environment Facility, through the World Bank

The Jordan Rift Valley is an integral part of the Great Rift Valley and provides a globally critical land bridge between Africa, Europe, and Asia that supports a large variety of ecologically diverse habitats of international importance and funnels millions of migrating birds between these continents each year. The Valley is of strategic economic importance for its natural resources, including the Jordan River, Dead Sea, and Gulf of Aqaba. In encompasses the most productive agricultural land resources in Jordan and hence has become a focal area for infrastructure and tourism development, land conversion and climate change – all of which threaten its unique ecological and cultural values.

Integrated Ecosystem Management (IEM) is defined as a holistic and participatory approach to land use that balances and manages ecological, social and economic components of ecosystems to ensure that biodiversity and ecological processes can be sustained under development pressure and social change. This approach will be applied in the Jordan Rift Valley through small-scale, targeted interventions in the current land use planning framework and through the setting up of a network of conservation sites that are developed as models of the IEM approach. 

A network of sites is to be established along the Valley, consisting of four high status protected areas (PAs). ( Yarmouk, Jabal Masuda, Fifa and Qatar) in addition to seven collaboratively managed Special Conservation Areas (SCAs). The PAs cover a total area of 56.950 hectares and are all delineated on the JVAs land- use master plan. Map 1 

Protected areas: Fifa, Qatar, Yarmouk River Valley, and Jabal Mas’uda
Special Conservation Areas: Wadi Ibn Hammad , Tal Al-Arbaeen, Humrat Ma’in, and Rahmah

To learn more about this project click here.

 International climate change specialist first mission overview:

Integrated Ecosystem Management in the Jordan Rift Valley project putting across its’ interest in climate change effect on Jordan ecosystems, enlisted Landmark Practice Company in order to provide simulation of the vegetation response, vegetation disturbance and the response of key indicator species to potential future climate changes.
The landmark Practice delegated Prof. S. Harrison to be the International Climate Change Specialist (ICCS) and head of the work team. The National Climate Change Officer (NCCO) from the Project Management Unit (PMU) is responsible to coordinate with Prof. Harrison to work on the climate change proofing task.
ِA Landmark Practice International Climate Change Specialist first mission for the IEM-JO project was mobilized to RSCN headquarter in Jordan from October 5th to 8th 2009, the first day was for the office work and the rest two days were for field visits. The mission was led by Prof. Sandy Harrison, Mr. Doug Kelly, and Mr. Chris McDermott. 

The objective of the mission consisted of several key issues. First was to concur on the study method, second was to inform RSCN staff about the tasks of climate change team, third was to sign the contract of the International Climate Change Specialist, meet with the PMU and RSCN staff and finally conduct field trips to project sites in order to assess vegetation types and vegetation cover in the sites.
The ICCS and her team met with the PMU team for the first time and the NCCO was introduced to them by the Project Director. The site visit schedule was illustrated to the ICCS and her team. There was a good discussion with the team that focused on the ICCS work plan and the method adopted to fulfill that work plan as well as on the possibility of applying the species-level vegetation (LPJ-GUESS) molding as the second stage of modeling.
The ICCS made a presentation to the PMU, RSCN staff and other interested parties. The presentation included the goals of the climate change team, tools to achieve those goals, illustration of the Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its’ fourth synthetic report (AR4) CO2 scenarios, clarification of global modeling approach scaling to same mean global temperature change (GSI), clarification of species-level modeling approach, comparison between species-level modeling and global modeling approaches and the deliverables expected from the climate change team and a time table for them.
In addition, they met with IEM-JO Project team and responsible RSCN members. The ICCS explained the method of work in detail and illustrated the data sets needed to be available to them in order to start running the Global vegetation-fire model (LPX) otherwise they will run low-resolution simulations (0.5 x 0.5 degrees).Discussion was held on the training needs of the NCCO and what is the best destination and best programming language for him to train on.
Next, the ICCS met with the NCCO in order to discuss the ecological and environmental parameters that should be tracked and introduced to the models. The ICCS and NCCO prepared a yearly work plan for the ICCS. At the end the ICCS and NCCO prepared a draft training plan and schedule for the NCCO.
Site visits were done and the ICCS and her team explored the sites properties and observed the variety in the ecosystems and vegetation types in the IEM-JO sites within Jordan rift valley. The ICCS team accompanied with the NCCO and the Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Mr. Laith Al Moghrabi conducted fast site visits to the four Protected Areas (PA)s- Yarmouk, Fifa, Qatar and Jabal Masuda. On the way three Special Conservation Areas (SCA)s were visited which are – Yarmouk, HumratMa’in and Rahmmah. The visits took two days to be completed in 6th to 7thOctober, 2009. The ICCS got familiar with the sites and defined the criteria to be applied in the models for each site and which plant functional groups represented in the sites.
The ICCS work, which included the training needs, was prepared and agreed upon and a list of data requirements with certain resolution in order to achieve the best modeling approach accordingly was requested.

By: Hussien Al-Kisswani
National Climate Change Officer/ IEM-JO project

Regional Training & Capacity Building Program

Ongoing program
Funded by the Hanns Seidel Foundation

This long running program promotes and delivers training courses and capacity building initiatives throughout the Middle East region. It builds upon the accumulated knowledge and professional experience of RSCN in the fields of natural resource management and sustainable conservation approaches. An annual training program is prepared and delivered by RSCN’s Regional Training Unit, which works directly with a group of regional partner organizations, both government and civil society based.

Biodiversity Conservation through Eco-tourism in the Mashreq Region

Start date 2005
Expected end date 2010
Funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

This project contributes to the conservation of areas of high biodiversity value in the Middle East and North Africa region by stimulating eco-tourism as an income source and vehicle for community and institutional development. It is working on two pilot eco-tourism developments, one at Jaboul Lake in northern Syria and one in the Bekkar Valley in Lebanon. It has also created an interactive network for eco-tourism practitioners that can be accessed through

Pilot Program for Sustainable Resource Management in the Ajloun Forest Region

Start date 2006
Expected end date 2010
Funded by the European Commission through the Hanns Seidel Foundation

Sustainable forest management in the Ajloun region of Jordan is the focus of this 4-year project. Using RSCN’s tourism program in the Ajloun Forest Reserve as a catalyst, new nature related businesses are being developed to provide alternative livelihood options to forest clearance and woodcutting for poor rural villagers living around the Reserve. Ultimately, the project aspires to mainstreaming these sustainable livelihood options into government land use strategies for the Ajloun area.

International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

Start date 2006
End date 2008

Since 2006, RSCN has worked in cooperation with IFAW, aiming to enhance biodiversity protection in Jordan. through this partnership, IFAW and RSCN have collaborated on several activities, such as providing training to build the capacity of regional CITES enforcement officers, supporting the progress of the rangers and environmental police unit, in addition to annually organizing Animal Action Week, the first event of its kind in the Arab world, to increase public awareness, especially among youths, about the importance of biodiversity conservation.


This piece is taken from the website of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature.

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One Response to “The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature – Current Projects”

  1. Ecosystem Says:

    Many animal conservation placements are with animal rehabilitation centres or reserves. Ecosystem

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