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‘Reserves Souq’ showcases artisanal products, highlights path to ecotourism

By Maria Weldali - Aug 06,2022 - Last updated at Aug 06,2022

Products on display during the ‘Reserves Souq’ event organised by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (Photo by Maria Weldali)

AMMAN — The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN), on Friday launched its first “Reserves Souq” event, aiming to preserve nature through empowering local communities.

Organised in cooperation with the Arab Bank at the Wild Jordan Centre in Jabal Amman, the two-day event sought to promote responsible tourism practices through supporting local communities, in addition to ensuring sustainability by promoting conservation of nature, according to an RSCN statement sent to The Jordan Times.

The statement added that the event is where people “will experience the life of local communities and know more about ecotourism in RSCN’s nature reserves across Jordan”.

Handicraft workshops have been established at the RSCN, as part of the socio-economic development programme for local communities, according to the statement. 

It added that the key purpose of having such workshops, distributed across the RSCN-managed reserves and other environmentally significant areas, is to increase the integration of local communities and benefit them as much as possible.

According to the RSCN, “the workshops use the natural assets of protected areas to create sustainable economic and social benefits for local communities”.

During the event, various products produced by local communities were showcased, including handicrafts, jewellery, ostrich eggs, foodstuff, honey and herbal products.

Speaking with The Jordan Times on Saturday, Ghaziya Khsaba, who has been working at the Dana Fruit-drying workshop since 1997, said that “all of our products are organically grown. We are six women and we oversee the whole process”.

“Local communities are essential, they provide us with their herbs and fresh fruits,” she said, adding that the RSCN, “in every possible way, seeks to support unprivileged local communities in particular”.

Norah who works at Feynan leather workshop, and who preferred to go by her first name, told The Jordan Times that they make handmade boxes using naturally cured goat skin.

“This is maybe the second or even third time for me to participate in an event for handmade products,” she added.

 

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