Mainstreaming Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Land Management into Tourism Practices in Petra to Enhance the Livelihoods of Local Communities

First Stakeholders Meeting

  Petra, 10-11 January 2011 


In Jordan, the Programme is supporting the development of a GEF project for "Mainstreaming Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Land Management Practices into Tourism Activities in Petra to Enhance the Livelihoods of the Local Communities". Within the framework of this support, the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA) organized the First Stakeholders' Meeting on 10-11 January 2011 at the Crown Plaza Hotel in the city of Wadi Moussa in Petra.  The meeting was chaired by H.E Dr. Mohammad Farajat, PDTRA Environment and Local Development Commissioner and attended by 45 participants from PDTRA and other relevant government departments.

The objective of the meeting was to introduce the project, agree with participants on its objectives (overall and specific), its scope in geographic and functional boundaries as well as  the roadmap leading to its approval by the GEF. A review of the great efforts invested by the Directorate to protect the Region's environment and maintain its ecological balance was also put forth by the Environment Commissioner as well as directors and heads of departments, all of which pointed out the Directorate's pursuit to document the Region's biodiversity through an integrated database which will act as a reference to the Regional Authority and researchers.

Workshop participants also emphasized the need to protect environmental biodiversity as a legacy that contributes to development in all its dimensions, indicating that biodiversity plays a major role in attracting tourists; spreading environmental awareness among the various segments of the population was also highlighted as needed to trigger them to assume responsibility towards their surrounding environment.

The workshop led to an agreement on the objectives/scope of the project and the elaboration of the draft Project Identification Form (PIF).The Project Identification Form (PIF) - along with the Project Preparation Grant request (PPG) - will be submitted to the GEF in late February 2011. Preparatory activities and baseline studies will be implemented in March-October 2011, leading to the submission of the final project document to the GEF in November/December 2011. Project approval is expected in early 2012.