Ajloun Forest Reserve, Azraq Wetland Reserve included on list

By Johanna Montanari

AMMAN — Two Jordanian nature reserves are listed on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas as the best-managed protected areas in the world, the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) noted on its Facebook page last week.

The list is “the first global standard of best practice for area-based conservation”, listing reserves that are effectively managed and fairly governed with the aim of increasing the number of natural areas “delivering long-lasting conservation results for people and nature”, according to the IUCN’s website.

The two nature reserves listed are Ajloun Forest Reserve and Azraq Wetland Reserve.

According to the RSCN website, the Ajloun Forest Reserve in northwest Jordan was established by the society in 1988.

Comprising an area of 13 square kilometres, it offers a number of hiking trails for tourists and houses a captive breeding programme for the locally extinct roe deer as well as being an important area for birds.

Azraq Wetland Reserve was established by the RSCN in 1978 with the aim of conserving the “uniquely precious oasis located in the heart of Jordan’s eastern desert”, according to the website.

It is a major station for migratory birds on the African-Eurasian flyway.

The RSCN is an independent national organisation established in 1966 under the honorary presidency of His Majesty the late King Hussein, with the public mandate to care for and protect the Kingdom’s biodiversity, the website said.