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Upskilling for Nature-based Development and Biodiversity

Support for the First Nature Academy in Jordan

A new international Nature Academy for countries of the Middle East and North Africa will open its doors in 2014 in Ajloun in the northwest of Jordan. The Alfred Toepfer Academy for Nature Conservation (NNA) supports the process of establishing the new academy in various ways. The organisational framework as well as topics for two future curricula were defined with the project partners during the kick-off-meeting in 2012 in Amman (Jordan).

Project partners are the Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF), Munich, and the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN), Amman. The training courses developed by the NNA comprise 500 training units each for Biodiversity Conservation and Nature-based Socio-economic Development. These courses address course participants who are interested in nature conservation and sustainable regional development. The project, running for eleven months, was funded by the Hanns Seidel Foundation

Training courses developed by the NNA

The topics are based on a “Needs Assessment Workshop” in Amman held in March 2012, where 22 participants from 11 countries of the Middle East and North Africa had attended. Further specifications were selected at the kick-off-meeting with the project partners in November in Amman.

In July 2013 the contents, applicability and methodology of the two courses were discussed at a workshop in Amman with the project partners as well as representatives of nature conservation organisations of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. Several field trips provided a good insight into local nature conservation projects. The implementation and organisation of the developed courses and the day-to-day operations at the new Nature Academy in Ajloun were further essential topics of this workshop.

Both curricula were developed in a modular structure and focus on the Arab region covering the following topics:

  • Biodiversity and Conservation
  • Ecology and Ecosystem Services
  • Ecosystem Management
  • Ecotourism
  • Socio-economic Environment
  • Sustainable Development
  • Participation, Communication, Planning
  • Project Management

The timetable for each training course was developed in detail for 8 training units per day. Associated background materials were provided with numerous examples, especially for Jordan.

The Alfred Toepfer Academy for Nature Conservation completed the project successfully by handing over the final report to the Hanns Seidel Foundation on the 15th of October 2013.

Before the courses can be offered at the new Nature Academy in Ajloun, essential parts have to be translated into Arabic and qualified trainers have to be hired. It is expected that the courses commence in the middle of 2014. Subsequently they will be evaluated by RSCN. A certification of the training courses by the NNA is intended.

Auftaktworkshop in Amman

Kick-off-meeting in Amman

Project Partner:

Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN)

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