Sunday, June 9, 2013

Arrival in Jordan at WANA Forum

Clara Crossman and I arrived at the Ibis Hotel at 4:00 am June 8. 28 hours in transit, and all flight connections delayed and re routed. It took five hours to get out of Sacramento. Tomorrow we are attending the West Asia North Africa Region (WANA) Forum on Achieving the Human Dignity of the Uprooted. Jordan provides a refuge for environmental refugees, with hundreds of thousands poring in from Syria and in the last two months from Iraq.  We will collectively learn about the existing situation and develop guiding principles based on the Social Charter of the WANA Forum. This will be fascinating based on the US forum on immigration. Tuesday we will talk about the HIMA approach of the WANA Forum, by which they mean Human IntegratedManagement Approach. Tuesday the forum will focus more on the HIMA approach, led by my esteemed colleague Dr. Walid Salem, Director of the Centre for Democracy and Community Development. I hope to collaborate with him about establishing a MOC with the United Nations University and CSUS. I want to establish  a HIMA Center for the CSU Sacramento.

We plan to visit the Azraq Wetlands from June 13-20. these wetlands are the prefect analogue for Iraq, with somewhat similar problems. A influx of refugees, the dispossessed, suffering similar to problems of Marsh Arabs. Water withdrawals, in Jordan by powerful agricultural interests (similar to California), and oil companies in Iraq. We will be testing  a wetlands rapid assessment methodology in the Azraq wetlands, similar to the California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM) modified for Jordan and California. With the water withdrawals and desiccation in the wetlands, wetland assessment may also be very beneficial to conservation of Jordanian wetlands.

Today we met today with Maen-Ed Al Smadi, the reserves manager for Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature in Jordan. There may be opportunities for research collaboration and publications here in Jordan. With increasing insecurity in Iraq, and fascinating opportunities in iJordan, there are likely to be future opportunities here. We also plan to talk to members of the women's operatives and did out more about sustainable development opportunities for women, families and children.

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