The Role of Ecotourism in supporting socio-economic development in Ajloun Forest Reserve

Ajloun Forest Reserve
Published: 10 October 2018
Last edited: 10 October 2018
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Summary

 Ajloun Reserve covers 12 sq km from the remaining fragile and fragmented forest patches northern Jordan. The most important component of RSCN’s solution to integrate the local communities in its conservation programs was nature-based low impact ecotourism. We developed eco-tourism infrastructure and facilities (cabins, restaurants, trails) to attract nature lovers to stay overnights in the area, which only received limited numbers of day visitors before the establishment of the reserve. We linked the reserve with the surrounding historical and cultural attractions creating benefits and alternative income to the local communities, and assisted in the rehabilitation of local houses located along the hiking trails as stop points for food and beverage.  Our ecotourism product depends on natural and cultural resources, low level of technology with low negative impact on nature respecting the sites carrying capacity. 

Classifications

Region
West Asia, Middle East
Scale of implementation
Local
Subnational
Ecosystem
Forest ecosystems
Temperate evergreen forest
Theme
Access and benefit sharing
Biodiversity mainstreaming
Gender mainstreaming
Sustainable financing
Sustainable livelihoods
Sustainable tourism
Traditional knowledge
Hazards addressed
Land and forest degradation
Sustainable development goals
SDG 15 – Life on land
Aichi targets
Target 11: Protected areas

Location

Ajloun Forest Reserve, Ajloun, Ajloun Governorate, Jordan
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Impacts

   Eco-tourism and socio-economic projects  contributed in generating income to support conservation programs in Ajloun forest reserve. RSCN's solution created jobs “from nature”, changed attitudes towards conservation and helped people understand and value their natural heritage.

 

Ajloun Reserve became  an "Economic Driver " in the low-income governorate as it contributed in creating numerous job opportunities (45 full time staff). Our yearly protected area benefits report shows that in 2017 the reserve expenses were 369000 JDs mostly spent as salaries, goods and services procured from local communities.

 

Ecotourism  contributed in supporting educational and conservation programs at the same time by involving children around the reserve effectively to become  potential local community leaders in changing the perception / views of local community around the reserves and become more committed towards the protection of nature. 

 

Ecoutourism supports sustainable development programs at this rural area. It helps develop the infrastructure and provide the inhabitants with the needed services like eletricity , roads, water , and it helps to double the price of the lands . Moreover it became a special destination for Visitors all over the world  , and even an Escape for VIP Persons.

 

Contributed by

othman altawalbeh

Contributors

The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature