A crash course in changing the world.
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is by any standard a desert kingdom.
Nearly 70% of the land is stony steppe and desert (called ‘badiah’) with an average annual rainfall of less than 50 to up to 100 mm. Steppe and desert are just two of the four major physiographic regions.
There is also the Jordan Valley and the highlands, a chain of hills and mountains running from northwest to southwest of the country. As a result the altitude varies from -400 m near the Dead Sea to +1735 metres, and the maximum in annual rainfall in the north western highlands can reach over 500 mm each year.
This diversity has created four different bioclimatic zones: Mediterranean, Irano-Turanian, Saharo-Arabian and Sudanian. As a result the flora of this very dry country is still bigger than of the United Kingdom. source (http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/conservation-climate-change...)
I was honored to help HRH Princess Basma bin Ali to set up the Royal Botanic Gardens in Jordan with a Mission of "Biodiversity conservation in Jordan and the region". Please check the links below
And have since become an avide supporter and participator within RBG. At RBG, we have proven that using local flora to produce fodder for animals resulted in better milk and disease immunity to local sheep. Moreover, it was proven to be cheaper than buying imported fodder.
On the other hand, we believe at RBG that Jordan has a uniqueness whih others share (RBG Kew and BGCI) in terms of having arid resilient plant types that may support the future of agriculture in the face of Global Warming.
Moreover, in tandem with BGCI, the RBG is acting as a regional network secretariet to ensure that we are working on a regional level.(http://www.bgci.org/eurasia/2005/)
The region is unique in the fact that 40 degrees Centigrade summer days are rare but normal and we still have very good agriculture that is capable of sustaining itself in the Jordan Valley. Please read (http://www.bgci.org/eurasia/2007/) to gain more insight about Jordan's flora
Jordan also suffers from desertification and is actively working on combating it. We lost marshlands in Azraq and are working on sustaining their unique ecosystems.
However, Jordan's biggest problem is that of water and our future in agriculture is very much determined by our ability to get water from very large projects such as desalination of the Red Sea.