Saturday, 6 June 2009

Visitors from Jordan

Last week, Trevor Gunton and I received two visitors from Jordan. Hana Al-Banna, who is the membership-coordinator with "Wild Jordan" was accompanied by her husband, who is a dentist, but seems to be very much involved in what Hana is doing. Yvonne Bagnall came along as a "minder" from the RSPB.
Wild Jordan is the marketing side of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature. You can check out their website by clicking on the title above.
Trevor and I both used to work for RSPB's International Division where we assisted budding partners in developing countries, but, I must admit, the Jordanians have some challenges. They don't have the volunteer base that we do and they have a very hard time recruiting members. Probably, at the current time, their members cost more to maintain than they bring in. Fortunately they get 30% funding from government.
Another challenge comes from the fact that most of the country, outside of the capital in Amman, is very impoverished, but that is where the wildlife is. In the city there are wealthy, educated people, but it really is a concrete jungle. It's really hard to show the city dwellers (including school children) any wildlife at all. We talked about gaining access to the media so that wildlife can be promoted on TV, and we mentioned the idea of a residential education centre in the country, but we fairly soon ran out of ideas.
I hope Hana is in touch with us again, so we can see how she gets on.