It is considered critically important for Jordan as a country to invest in one of its major resources, natural rangelands, to preserve one of the country’s principal assets on one hand and to contribute to the country’s economic development on the other hand. Investments in these areas until now are however limited and when made, have often contributed to land degradation and exhausting the natural resource basis (the rangeland’s natural capital).
Aiming at engaging the private investor community in the sustainable development of rangelands in Jordan, the International Union for Conservation of Nature – Regional Office for West Asia (IUCN ROWA) in cooperation with the Investment Commission and funded by The Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) as part of the Sustainable Dryland Landscapes in Africa & the Middle East project; gathered more than 25 Jordanian investors in Amman to introduce them to preliminary options for sustainable rangeland investments in Jordan. Such investments can be as resource assets (water, land, vegetation infrastructure) as well as in the organizational structures that are necessary for strengthening local governance of rangeland management.
Meanwhile, according to a study, done by the Jordan Government and supported by IUCN ROWA, a highly preliminary list of possible investment options were concluded. These options include:
- Sustainable water resource management (mainly groundwater but also surface water harvesting);
- Developing value chains and marketing of livestock products;
- Developing value chains for high value plant species typically found in the Badia;
- Setting-up mobile structures (mobile clinics) for payable services to range land users (notable veterinary, artificial insemination services and laboratory facility); and
- Range land users association, empowerment and governance.
Investors had the chance to explore how these kinds of investments can be promoted and see convincing arguments for private investors to engage in these activities and what further knowledge and information is necessary in economic and financial terms to make a valid business case.
Economic valuation studies undertaken in the rangelands in Zarqa Governorate demonstrate that there is great potential for developing rangeland resources in an economically viable way while ensuring that environmental objectives are met and resource basis is not degraded. For instance, a first cost-benefit assessment learns that:
- Benefits of adopting large-scale rangeland restoration outweigh the associated management and implementation costs.
- Such large-scale adoption could provide between 144 and 289 million JOD worth of net-benefits to Jordanian society over a 25-year time horizon.
- Pastoral communities could save up to 16.8 million JOD on fodder purchase by sustainably managing their rangelands in the Zarqa River Basin.
- Rangeland restoration is a cost-effective way of enhancing groundwater resources and limiting sedimentation in the King Talal Dam Reservoir. The value of enhanced groundwater recharge from large-scale Hima restoration is in the order of 188.5 million JD.
For more information, kindly contact:
Fidaa Haddad, Drylands, Livelihoods and Gender Programme manager at: