The onset of winter can only mean one thing- the weather is going to get colder and in Jordan, that means a rise in illegal logging. According to the government, illegal logging for heating purposes and for trade increases in the cold months and so to prevent this, they are stepping up their monitoring. The number of patrols and rangers from the Ministry of Agriculture will be doubled and individuals caught cutting down trees could face a three-month prison sentence and a fine for each tree cut down.
Jordan has very limited amounts of green spaces including forests and so it’s understandable that they are taking such steps to protect them. According to the UN FOA only 1.1% of Jordan is forested which amounts to a tiny 98,000 hectares of land. Under Jordan’s environmental regulations, individuals who cut down trees without a license could face a prison sentence and are fined JD100 for each state-owned tree cut down and JD50 for each tree cut from private land.
However, it’s not just the government that is concerned with protecting Jordan’s trees and forests. This year we reported on the effort by locals to stop the government from cutting down 2,200 trees in the Ajloun forest to make way for a military school. The campaigners invoked the strict laws on cutting down trees to ask for the military school to be relocated and reduce the number of trees for the chop.
Logging is a huge environmental problem as trees have various advantages such as improving air quality and cutting them also release tonnes of carbon. Activists have been killed for tackling the issue in places like Indonesia and a Moroccan activist was threatened with arrest for exposing illegal practices run by local authorities.
: Image via Guillaume Paumier/flickr.
For more on illegal logging across the Middle East see: