AMMAN — Their Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania on Tuesday joined Jordan’s youth in planting trees at the Kamalieh Forest on the occasion of Arbour Day.
King Abdullah and Queen Rania listened to a briefing from Royal Court Chief Yousef Issawi on the procedures that were followed to rehabilitate the forest, which was scorched by a fire in the summer of 2017, according to a Royal Court statement.
Issawi noted that 9,000 trees of oak, carob, cupressus, Greek juniper and bay laurel have been planted in the forest since the fire, and that more 3,000 trees will be planted during 2019.
He said that the forest has been rehabilitated through standard measures for dealing with fires, including opening secondary roads and building water reservoirs.
He added that forestation projects have been implemented under Royal Initiatives in Mujib with a total area of 20,000 dunums over two phases, expecting this scheme, the largest of its kind since the 1970s, to conclude this year.
Issawi referred to another forestation project on the sides of Sharhabil Bin Hasna Dam in the Jordan Valley with a total area of 1,000 dunums.
Issawi noted that three new forests in Tafileh, Karak and Ajloun will be established during 2019, as part of a Royal Initiative to increase green areas and preserve forests, in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and the private sector.
Minister of Agriculture and Environment Ibrahim Shahahdeh reviewed the Agriculture Ministry’s procedures aimed at maintaining forests in the Kingdom, noting that the Arbour Day celebrations include several activities nationwide to plant large swathes of land with trees that are favourable to each region of the country.
Shahahdeh pointed out that the two ministries have prepared some 3 million saplings to be planted across the Kingdom, noting that there is a plan to increase the ratio of forest-covered areas from 1 to 1.5 per cent of the Kingdom’s land.
According to Agriculture Ministry figures, there are 1.1 million dunums planted with forest trees, including 450,000 dunums of natural forests.