By Hana Namrouqa

AMMAN – Starting this year, millions of native trees, some under the threat of extinction, will be planted within a “Green Corridor” that extends from Irbid in the north to Aqaba in the south.

The Green Corridor, announced on Tuesday, is a sustainable agro-forestry initiative that aims at expanding Jordan’s limited green cover, protecting biodiversity and enhancing local communities’ living conditions, according to organisers.

The joint initiative between the French embassy and the Royal Botanic Garden (RBG) entails creating small forest clusters in selected sites across the country.

“The initiative aims at expanding the country’s green cover and at the same time reviving villages located along the Green Corridor by generating job opportunities,” HRH Princess Basma Bint Ali, founder and president of the RBG, told The Jordan Times.

She made the remarks on the sidelines of an information meeting to announce the initiative and rally support from embassies and related ministries and agencies.

“The Green Corridor aims at appreciating and preserving Jordan’s native plants and trees, fighting desertification and increasing rainfall,” Princess Basma noted.

Small forests to be planted under the initiative in different areas will support income-generating projects, such as beekeeping and mushroom cultivation.

French Ambassador in Amman Corrine Breuzé underscored the importance of the project in enhancing the environment and improving rainfall in the Kingdom, which suffers from an acute water shortage.

She urged embassies, related ministries and private sector companies to support the initiative, noting that it seeks to preserve biodiversity in the country.

The Green Corridor will create protected habitats for small plants to grow in, encourage a return of birds, insects and animals, and ultimately revitalise the land and bring more rainfall, according to the RBG.

RBG Executive Director Tariq Abutaleb, who briefed the audience on the Green Corridor and how to benefit from the RBG experience, told The Jordan Times that interested sponsors will be invited to participate in the Kingdom’s first Diplomatic Forum on the Environment, which will be held on June 13.