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Forests affected by wildfires, illicit logging, climate change

By JT - Aug 22,2019 - Last updated at Aug 22,2019

Deliberate wildfires in Jordan are often started by people who destroy part of the forest to come back later for illegal logging, according to the Ministry of Agriculture (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)

AMMAN — A total of 33,500 dunums of forest have been damaged in 33 wildfires across the country since the start of the summer, with 1,050 trees burnt completely, while 1,940 trees have been affected partially, according to the Agriculture Ministry.

Most of the fires engulfed lands owned by citizens, except for two deliberate wildfires that took place in state-owned lands, Ali Abu Hammour, the ministry’s assistant secretary general for forestry and pastures, said on Thursday.

Deliberate wildfires in Jordan are often started by people who destroy part of the forest to come back later for illegal logging, Abu Hammour said.

The official noted that the ministry has developed a plan to deal with the destroyed lands, which primarily includes afforestation, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.  

The Kingdom's green cover, which constitutes 1 per cent of the country’s total area of 97,000 square kilometres, amounts to around one million dunums, of which 259,000 dunums are bare, 400,000 dunums are natural forests, 450,000 dunums are planted forests, according to the ministry.

The Kingdom's forests are threatened by wildfires during the summer and illegal logging during the winter, in addition to lack of rain due to climate change.

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