January 17, 2008

Celebrating Trees

Their Royal Highnesses Prince Ali and Princess Rym Ali attend a
ceremony marking Arbor Day in Al Jiza on Tuesday (Petra photo)

The Kingdom marked Arbor Day on Tuesday with tree-planting ceremonies across the country. Thats how an article covering the "Kingdom Marks the Arbor Day" being posted @ Jordan times. If you read the article you will be surprised how we celebrate tree planting in this country. How we see this country by investing in Housing projects at newly planted trees. That was my perception from this article. You can read it here at Jordan Times.

It ends up being a Housing project! Planting trees is called " Construction Plants" then it continue talking about housing construction projects. Then the real estate investment company were introduced to talk about their housing projects. Later a sub titile talkes about "Increasing the Green Cover"

Deputising for his Majesty King Abdullah, HRH Prince Ali acted as patron at a ceremony making the occasion in Al- Jiza. I am sure Prince Ali, whose leading the country trees planting initiative, will be surprised to read this article.

Whose editing these topics at Jordan Times?

AMMAN (JT) - The Kingdom marked Arbor Day on Tuesday with tree-planting ceremonies across the country.

Deputising for His Majesty King Abdullah, HRH Prince Ali acted as patron at a ceremony marking the occasion in Al Jiza.

The Prince, accompanied by HRH Princess Rym Ali, planted a sapling at the site of the Ahl Al Azm residential city project, one of 25,000 newly planted pine tree saplings on the 13-dunum plot.

Prince Ali, who launched the project yesterday, was briefed on construction plans.

Minister of Public Works and Housing Sahl Majali said the $900 million first phase of the residential city, expected to be completed by 2012, will include the construction of 15,754 housing units on a 3 million square metre (sq.m) plot.

Around 1,005 villas will also be built under the project, according to Majali.

“Construction work on the project, which is expected to benefit some 84,000 people, will commence in two months,” Majali told The Jordan Times yesterday, adding that the ministry seeks to make affordable housing units available to various segments of society.

Taameer Jordan Holdings (TJH), a real estate developer, is implementing the project in cooperation with the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDC).

TJH Chairman Khaled Dahleh said apartments will range between 80-180sq.m in area, noting that the city will also include 100-200sq.m of commercial units for stores and offices.

The residential city will be provided with water, electricity, communication infrastructure and road networks, and will also house schools, commercial centres, parks and parking lots, he added.

“The project, formerly known as Al Jiza residential city, is a model of the partnership between the private and public sectors,” Dahleh noted.

Located 35 kilometres from the 7th Circle, the plot of land, owned by HUDC, is on the airport road.

HUDC Director General Sana Mehyar said the project will be a model for other residential cities to be built in different governorates.

“The increasing demand for housing accompanied by rising property prices necessitated the construction of a project that will serve limited-income citizens,” Mihyar told The Jordan Times yesterday.

Prime Minister Nader Dahabi and the King’s Adviser for Tribal Affairs Sharif Fawwaz Zaben attended yesterday’s event, while members of the We are All Jordan Youth Commission took part in planting saplings at the site.

Increasing green cover

Ministry of Agriculture Secretary General Radi Tarawneh praised Arbor Day as an opportunity to plant trees across the Kingdom to increase green cover and combat desertification.

“The ministry annually distributes 40 million forest saplings free of charge to individuals and nurseries; part of its plan for this year is to plant trees on 5,000 dunums,” Tarawneh told reporters at yesterday’s event.

The ministry will also plant saplings on roadsides and other areas across the country in order to increase the country’s green cover and combat climate change, Tarawneh added.

Only 1 per cent of the country’s total area is covered with forests, according to agriculture officials, whereas it is 20-25 per cent internationally.

In September last year, the Agriculture Ministry announced a strategy to protect the country’s forests from climate and socio-economic threats.

The strategy is designed to preserve the Kingdom’s diminishing forests and to protect its biodiversity. It also seeks to train the ministry’s forestry department employees on forest conservation.

Illegal logging also poses a threat to the country’s limited forests, Minister of Agriculture Muzahim Muhaisin said at the event.

“The ministry is trying to stop such violations in cooperation with environmental rangers, however, it is not possible to deploy a ranger for each tree… we need the public’s cooperation,” Muhaisin told The Jordan Times yesterday.

Arbor Day, a nationally celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and care, was founded by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska in 1872, according to the National Arbor Day Foundation’s website.

The tradition of Arbour Day in the Kingdom began in 1939 with a ceremony held at Jabal Qalaa.

Since then, it has been an annual national celebration, with the Ministry of Agriculture choosing a different location each year to plant various saplings.

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