HRH Princess Basma bint Ali’s dream of developing a space in which to conserve plants and ecosystems native to Jordan and promote biodiversity research and environmental learning is taking root in the Kingdom’s Royal Botanic Garden (RBG).
Located north of Amman in Tell Ar-Rumman overlooking King Talal Dam, the RBG, when completed, will undulate over 445 mountainous acres and offer visitors opportunities for entertainment and exploration, including hiking trails, native Jordanian habitats, and various themed gardens. In addition to creating an exciting eco-tourism destination in the Middle East, the RBG is also intended to demonstrate environmental sensitivity and sustainability.
Plans are in the works for a research centre, and community development centre to generate income for artisan projects. A sustainable living centre will hold workshops in such earth-friendly practices as composting, solar cooking,
And Eco building. Although not yet open to the public, staff employed at the Garden are working with locals to rehabilitate Jordan’s rangeland by introducing new grazing methods and projects to save seeds. They are also documenting traditional uses of medicinal plants, preparing the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Plant Species and launching the Middle East’s first online herbarium.
By embracing ways to engage with the environment more holistically, locals and visitors to the Kingdom will be able to advance HRH Princess Basma bint Ali’s philosophy. She has said: ‘Conservation isn’t a hobby but a lifestyle that allows us to hand down a legacy to future generations. Not one of destruction and usurping everything, but rather a real treasure.’