Reshaping Watershed Restoration in Jordan
Women constitute just 16% of Jordan’s formal workforce, a staggeringly low number. Women are also missing from the decision-making sphere of managing natural resources, especially in rural areas. With support from USAID/Jordan, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is rehabilitating arid watersheds by producing native seedlings grown in community nurseries. Using state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge science-based processes to conserve water, the nurseries provide rural women in Jordan with jobs, vocational skills and professional development opportunities. The skills are portable and working at a nursery entirely run and operated by women boosts confidence, ownership over natural resources, and civil engagement.
USFS’ work in Jordan has led to additional community activities focused on environmental and water conservation. The in-country project team has transformed nurseries into community learning hubs, providing opportunities for youth, NGOs, local government, municipal leaders and even international visitors with a place to convene and discuss natural resource challenges and solutions to Jordan’s water shortage.
This project demonstrates multiple aspects of the CLA framework. The effort has evolved in Jordan since 2015, adapting cutting edge science from the US and Lebanon based on successes and failures on the ground. USFS, as demonstrated through this project, enables adaptive management at an organizational level as well, through our long-term relationships, institutional memory, and commitment to using natural resources as an entry point to achieve development priorities.