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Investing in future generation: raising awareness in rural communities

Apr 03,2017

More than 35 participants including primary school students aged between 6-14, school staff, ICARDA scientists and others attended the awareness-raising workshop on sustainable management of the Badia ecosystem in Al Majedeah village.

Organized by ICARDA-led projects in the Jordan Badia, including the “Watershed Restoration in Badia Areas of Jordan - Technology Packages for Controlling and Monitoring Gully Erosion,” “Middle East Water and Livelihoods Initiative (WLI),” funded by US Forest Services (USFS) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), respectively, the event was held at Majedeah Primary Mixed School on 28 March, 2017.

The activity was conducted in close collaboration with ‘the Sustainable Environment and Economic Development (SEED)’ project, which is also funded by USFS and USAID.

 “The purpose of this event was to familiarize the local community on the projects’ activities in the village, and raise their awareness on the importance of maintaining a healthy ecosystem to sustain their livelihoods,” said Bezaiet Dessalegn, Manager of the WLI. The sessions took the form of interactive discussions led by Mrs. Mira Hadad, Ms Dima Al Qutub and Dr. Mohammed Alnsour from ICARDA and SEED projects on important concepts, project interventions, and future implications.

The students participated in role plays representing the Badia at different times including the past, present and the future to establish the fact that their environment changes over time due to natural and human actions. This session was then followed by a field visit to the project sites for practical demonstration of project interventions.

The half-day event enabled students to have a better understanding of:

  • Jordan’s vast Badia region commonly characterized by extreme water scarcity, erratic rainfall, and severe land degradation;
  • Pertinent challenges to improved livelihoods in the region including over grazing, unsustainable rangeland management practices;
  • Possible future scenarios for the Badia in light of projected effects of climate change and human interventions; as well as
  • Proven water and land management technologies and recommended ecosystem management practices including various water harvesting techniques and planting of climate resilient rangeland species to increase vegetation cover and reduce soil erosion.