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    25-Apr-2013

Campaign to discourage littering in Dibbeen Forest

 

Hana Namrouqa, The Jordan Times

 

AMMAN — The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) will launch a campaign on Friday to discourage picnickers from littering in forests, an environmental education expert said on Thursday.

Under the “For You, Dibbeen” campaign, the RSCN has installed trash containers across the Dibbeen Forest Reserve and will distribute garbage bags to visitors as they enter the site, Mervat Batarseh, head of the environmental education department at the RSCN, said.

Located in Ajloun Governorate, 70km northwest of Amman, the Dibbeen Forest Reserve is a sanctuary for several globally endangered species. It is home to at least 17 threatened species and globally significant biodiversity, according to the RSCN.

“The month-long campaign will be launched on Friday morning in the Dibbeen Forest Reserve. It targets Dibbeen because the site attracts many visitors during spring and summer,” Batarseh told The Jordan Times in a phone interview.

The campaign seeks to change people’s behaviour and reduce the amount of litter left by picnickers in forests and parks, she added.

“We have already installed trash containers in several sites. They were designed in a creative way to assimilate with the forest’s environment,” Batarseh noted.

She cited behavioural change studies which show that visitors often abandon their litter after picnicking due the lack of trash containers where they can dispose of solid waste.

“That’s why we have placed numerous containers in different part of the reserve, to eliminate any factors preventing people from adopting positive and environmental behaviour,” she underscored.

The campaign not only seeks to encourage people to stop littering, but also aims at changing their mindset and raising awareness about the importance of protecting nature.

Official figures indicate that each individual generates one kilogramme of solid waste every day in Jordan, while 16,000 tonnes of solid waste are generated daily throughout the country. In addition, 400 compactors are used for compressing garbage, half of which are for plastics.

Plastic bags are dumped in alarming numbers in Jordan and pose environmental and health hazards, according to Environment Ministry figures. Each individual uses an average of 1.5 plastic bags per day and 500 plastic bags per year.

A total of three-billion plastic bags are used in the country annually, only 20 per cent of which find their way to landfills. The rest end up in the streets polluting the environment.

 

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