Friday, April 17, 2009

Here we go again ... Dibeen et al

What is it with this government that it thinks it has the right to stampede all over our landscape with hob nail boots destroying everything in its path ... including the legacy of mother nature when it comes to investment and development?? Very soon we, the citizen, will no longer recognise our own country. If the government does not respect the law or the very land we live on ... what hope is there for our children's future ....?

True the land is still there, but the soul of the country and its culture is fast disappearing down a development hole because change is imposed; an ancient landscape and its trees destroyed - it does not evolve.

I was saddened on a recent visit to Madaba .... as it is being turned upside down and with it the lives of the people who live there all because of tourism and development plans!  Can we please have a breather .....?

The new streets are so small you can no longer turn a corner in a truck or 4x4 ... the pavements are so big the shop owners can no longer have easy access to their places of work for deliveries etc .... and Madaba is loosing its quaint identity of old, simply because tourists and the aid masters seem to have more say in how a Jordanian village should be organised! So much for devolvement when USAID is around ....

There is an uneasy disconnect  between the people of Madaba and the policies of aid/tourism agencies .... I sense the people are growing weary with all this change in the development game. When will it end? When we have a completely new Middle East I suppose ...

Madaba's new road infrastructure - enormous pavements with tiny 3m wide roads - Where am I again???

Instead of one road at a time, the whole of Madaba looks like this ...

Environment society decries decision to relocate Dibbeen resort site

Jordan Times 17 April 2009

By Mohammad Ghazal

AMMAN - The Jordan Environment Society (JES) on Thursday decried a decision to relocate the proposed site of a multimillion dinar tourist resort in Dibbeen reserve, claiming that the new location is in "a highly dense" forest area.

The relocation, in an area of the Dibbeen forest where tree density is between 85 to 90 per cent, is a violation of several regulations, according to the JES.

The forest is of ecological importance to conservationists in Jordan and globally because it is the southern-most natural pine forest in the world.

The selection of the new location is in violation of 2007 land usage regulations, which prohibit construction in any area where tree density is more than 30 per cent, JES Executive Director Ahmad Kofahi told The Jordan Times in a phone interview on Thursday.

Jordan Dubai Capital (JDC) and the investment unit of the Social Security Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding in 2006 to construct the JD100 million comprehensive tourism complex.

But environmentalists expressed concern over ecological ramifications of the resort's location, noting that the infrastructure for such a complex, including the construction of roads, water pipelines, sewage networks and parking lots, would harm the forests in Dibbeen.

Their arguments prompted the Environment Ministry to propose an alternate site, which already contains infrastructure, so no trees would have to be cut when the project is implemented.

This is the third time the ministry has changed the location of the project, Kofahi noted.

"A team of experts, including some who work for public agencies, visited the new location and reported that tree density is higher there than permitted rates for construction," he said, pointing out that some trees at the new site are more than 200-years-old.

The Higher Regulation Council, which authorises such projects, has also set a JD10,000 fine for each tree the developer cuts.

Kofahi also said the ministry did not complete an environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the project before giving it the go-ahead, although a bylaw within the Environmental Protection Act requires a positive EIA before construction begins.

Officials from the Environment Ministry and JDC were unavailable for comment.

The planned Munya Woodland Resort and Spa includes convention halls, chalets, entertainment facilities and therapeutic centres, as well as a 40-room lodge.

The 500-dunum complex is expected to create 500-750 job opportunities in Dibbeen, which is among the least-economically developed areas in the country.

17 April 2009



Blogger joladies said...

Latest developments on the Dibeen debacle ...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009  

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