Arab Group for the Protection of Nature … 10 Years of Achievements | The Arab Group for the Protection of Nature
العربية لحماية الطبيعة ... عشر سنوات من العطاء

APN celebrated its 10th anniversary on the 25th of July at the Landmark Hotel with more than a hundred of its volunteers, and there was a review of the group’s achievements from the past 10 years.  Eng. Razan Zuayter, President of APN, welcomed the attendees in her speech, and on behalf of APN, she thanked the volunteers who have contributed to these achievements. She also expressed her gratitude to the media who have supported APN's activities since it was founded. Board members and the staff presented the campaigns that APN has been working on.

This includes 

• the Food Sovereignty Program; 

• the first and second Million Tree Campaign in Palestine;

• the Green Caravan in Jordan;

• the awareness campaign, IF You Know,  for schools in Jordan;

• and advocacy and lobbying campaigns that have been executed on an international level. Food Sovereignty Program Through this program, APN introduced the subject of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Jordan where there is a lack of information on this subject and its effects on our lives. APN organized several consultative sessions and awareness campaigns and it established the National Committee of Genetically Modified Organisms, which brought together members of civil society organizations and the public and private sectors to contribute towards the development of a special system on this issue in Jordan.  It also launched a national campaign on the theme of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) farming in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization, the Ministry of Agriculture, and other civil society organizations to execute awareness campaigns that target members of farmers, engineers, doctors, and pharmacists unions, distributors of agricultural materials, and university students. At a regional level, APN has established in Beirut the Arab Network for Food Sovereignty, a network of Arab civil society organizations with similar concerns, seeking primarily to unify their vision in order to able to influence communities on agricultural policies. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has mandated APN to organize a regional conference of civil society, which was held in Beirut last year to determine agricultural priorities in the Arab region. The Arab Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) authorized APN to organize a regional conference on agricultural value chain to be held next September in Amman.Also, APN played an important role in representing Jordan and the Arab region in the International Civil Society Mechanism associated with the Food and Agriculture Organization and Committee on World Food Security which includes representatives from countries, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the World Food Program. APN is also working on global and regional priorities, especially the issue of food insecurity in the case of protracted conflicts, and thus nominated to preside over international civil society concerned with food security in protracted crises. President of APN, Eng. Razan Zuayter became a member of the steering committee of High-Level Expert Forum on protracted crises which is organized by the Committee on World Food Sovereignty (CFS).    

First & Second One Million Tree Campaign in Palestine  For more than sixty years, Israeli occupation forces have been uprooting hundreds of thousands of olive and fruit trees from Palestinian farms as part of their systematic war to displace Palestinians from their land and deprive them of their source of living. The establishment of settlements and the construction of the apartheid separation wall led to serious damages to the agricultural economy because large parts of the land were destroyed. In response to these practices, the founders of APN launched in 2001 the first campaign of planting one million trees in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in collaboration with agricultural bodies and civil society organizations to support Palestinian farmers and rehabilitate affected lands.

By April 2008, APN planted the first one million trees in Palestinian farms. It launched in the same year a second campaign of planting one million trees. APN organized many campaigns and events to raise funds for the two campaigns. So far, APN was able to plant 1.6 million olive and fruit trees spread over an area of 59.450 acres to meet the needs of 14.620 farmer families of which there are 116.253 individuals. It also launched a number of campaigns within the One Million Tree campaign like the campaign From the Besieged Farmer to the Besieged Family, which aimed to support and provide relief to families in Gaza who were affected by the Israeli aggression and siege. There was also  the campaign of securing 500 water tanks in the Watering Gaza campaign which was a response to the suffering of the residents of Beit Hanoun when Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) shelled the town and destroyed potable water tanks  in order to add up to the difficult living conditions of the people of Gaza. The Rehabilitation of the Greenhouses in the Gaza Strip campaign helped 38 thousand greenhouses get back on their feet, planting all sorts of vegetables, to include tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. 


Green Caravan  In 2003, APN launched the Green Caravan project because Jordan has narrow green spaces and is threatened by desertification, overgrazing and urban sprawl. The program aims to spread awareness of the importance of planting trees to protect the land in marginalized areas in Jordan, especially among future generations. The program encourages student participation in volunteer activities aimed to plant trees and preserve the environment as well as to contribute to the provision of additional resources for income and food security through the cultivation of fruit trees. It also aims to build relationships of cooperation and twinning between advantaged and disadvantaged schools by building participatory environmental projects. Throughout the years, APN was able to involve its volunteers in planting trees campaigns in more than 15 different sites in the kingdom.   

If You Know  In 2012, APN launched IF You Know, an awareness campaign targeting school students in Jordan, aged 12-20 years, with the aim of raising awareness of the dangers facing the environment and agriculture in Jordan and Palestine. So far, more than 20 volunteers have participated in providing lectures in schools and Jordanian public and private universities. APN has organized around 50 lectures targeting around 1120 students in more than 27 educational institutions. Prior to doing this awareness campaign, APN trained the volunteers in several workshops to build their capacities in presentation skills.