Wild Jordan – About Wild Jordan

 

What are we?

Wild Jordan is a branded division of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) and is responsible for socio-economic development, including all eco-tourism operations. Our name and logo are different for marketing purposes, but all of our work and the revenue we generate contribute to RSCN’s mission to conserve biodiversity throughout Jordan.

Our main purpose in life is to develop viable nature-based businesses within and around RSCN’s protected areas in order to bring tangible economic and social benefits to local communities and generate financial, political, and popular support for nature conservation throughout the Kingdom.

Helping Nature… Helping People

Through Wild Jordan, RSCN has been able to adopt a people-centered approach to protecting nature. Business ventures are being developed using the natural assets of protected areas to create economic and social benefits for local communities. Thriving eco-tourism and handicraft enterprises have been established, bringing jobs to hundreds of people. Such ventures are making nature conservation important to the lives of local communities, while providing alternatives to hunting and overgrazing, which continue to pose threats to wildlife habitats.

As protected areas are costly to run, RSCN charges entrance fees at all its sites. The income from these fees and from tourism and crafts goes directly to support conservation programs and local people. Therefore, as a visitor, or a purchaser, you will be contributing directly to the protection of Jordan’s natural heritage. We appreciate your support.

How it all began

RSCN introduced its revolutionary people-centered approach to protected area management in 1994 in the Dana Biosphere Reserve near Petra. Working directly with local village and Bedouin communities, income generating projects were created that use the Reserve’s natural beauty and wildlife to generate employment opportunities and alterative livelihoods. These included small handicraft enterprises, like the famous ‘Dana Jewelry’, and a range of tourism facilities, including a campsite, guesthouse and eco-lodge. Such ventures continue to make nature conservation important to the lives of Dana residents and create a constituency of local support for the Reserve, which, in the past, was often a source of conflict with local people. Dana today is firmly on the ‘tourism map of Jordan’, attracting over 30,000 visitors a year; and it has won four international awards for sustainable development. Read the full Dana Story.

Inspired by the success of the Dana initiative, RSCN has been replicating the Dana approach in all its protected areas and in 2003 it created Wild Jordan as the ‘business arm’ to supervise and manage these socio-economic programs. Mixing the tools of business with a strong conservation philosophy, Wild Jordan develops innovative income generating programs that build on locally available skills and on the tourism potential of each protected area. As a result, visitors can now find unique nature crafts to purchase in Wild Jordan nature shops and enjoy a range of visitor facilities and tour programs that are constantly being developed; and all of them are proudly managed by local people. Wild Jordan has also opened an exciting Center in downtown Amman that sells and promotes all its crafts and tourism programs, including city walks. The Center is perched high above old Amman and has a well-known whole food café / restaurant with stunning views over the old city.

This piece is taken from the website of Wild Jordan.

See on-line at: http://www.rscn.org.jo/orgsite/Group1/AboutWildJordan/tabid/162/Default.aspx

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