Calls to preserve the mountains on their global day

Geographical experts are launching a distress call in the name of nature. To ward off the dangers of climate change from the mountains, which suffer a great deal of destruction, which falls under the name of “excessive exploitation of lands.”
The reason for the distress of these experts is the grievance that befell the mountainous nature, which is a source of vital botanical, animal and natural richness.
Mountains constitute about 5 percent of the Kingdom’s area, characterized by the diversity of natural and ecological systems, as they are a natural habitat for many plants (herbs, shrubs, and various trees, the most important of which are Aleppo pine, oak, Atlantic oak, Palestinian oak, hawthorn, wild olive, maple, and Phoenician juniper, for which it is famous Shara Mountains, in addition to many wild animals and birds, according to experts.
In their speeches to the Jordan News Agency (Petra) on the occasion of International Mountain Day, which falls on Sunday, under the slogan “Women Move Mountains”, the experts pointed to the main role played by women in environmental protection and social and economic development in mountainous areas.
According to the United Nations General Assembly, more than 50 percent of women in mountainous areas engage in agricultural activities, as mountains are home to about 15 percent of the world’s population and a quarter of the number of animals as well as the area of ​​wild plants in the world, and they also provide fresh water for the daily life of half of humanity. .

Dangers threaten the mountains
The association pointed out that the mountains are threatened as a result of climate change and excessive exploitation, indicating that the glaciers in the mountains are melting at an unprecedented rate due to the high temperatures. The history of International Mountain Day dates back 30 years, when the adoption of Chapter 13 of Agenda 21 on “Management of fragile ecosystems: sustainable development of mountains” at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development marked a landmark event in the history of mountain development.
The head of the Geography Department at the University of Jordan, Dr. Ali Anbar, defines mountains as a geographical phenomenon that expresses the elevated parts above sea level as well as the adjacent land surface. them with a name of their own.
And he indicated that mountains are usually formed either as a result of torsional tectonic processes, or that mountains are refracted.
Anbar explained that the mountains in Jordan were formed as a result of slow tectonic movements, that is, which led to the occurrence of these twists, which resulted in the occurrence of convexities, the most famous of which is the Ajloun convex, while the concaves were a suitable environment for the running waters of the valleys.
He added that these valleys worked to separate the mountain range in Jordan into four parts, represented by the heights or mountains of Ajloun, the Balqa heights, the heights of Moab, and the heights of the Sharah mountains, which are the highest.
Anbar pointed out that the mountains in Jordan cover about 5 percent of the Kingdom’s area, and the high parts of it cover half of this percentage, as the semi-humid environment system (Mediterranean climate) prevails, with the annual amount of rain exceeding 300 mm, and it may reach in the northern regions of it to 570 millimeters.
Mountains are usually characterized by a high share of rain, and they account for all snowfalls, which are the source of surface and groundwater, and are very famous for their slopes, especially those overlooking the Rift Valley region, which makes water erosion processes exacerbate in them, according to Anbar.
The soil of the mountains is exposed to erosion in the aftermath and during the rains, which leads to the erosion of the soil, especially its surface layer or what is known as the “A” horizon, which is the surface layer of the soil that represents the mature part of the soil, and thus the mountains lose their mature and fertile soil, and the vegetation cover (forests) the Mediterranean) to encroachment on it by people, whether by cutting or overgrazing, or by distributing agricultural land at the expense of forests; Which reduces the area of ​​natural green vegetation cover.
Anbar called for strict legislation for those who tamper with forests, including forests within the system of natural reserves, and working to expand the green cover by expanding the cultivation of forest trees and preserving the soil from erosion.
As for the head of the Geography Department at Yarmouk University, Dr. Muhammad Zaytoun, he points out that preserving mountains is one of the main factors for sustainable development and part of the fifteenth goal of the sustainable development goals (protecting wild ecosystems, combating desertification, stopping land degradation and losing diversity).
He explained that the slogan “Women Move Mountains” should be a motive and a catalyst for spreading sustainable environmental awareness, and work on sustainable development for local communities in the mountains, especially women in rural areas and villages, by implementing activities and projects that are consistent with their latent skills and capabilities.
Zaytoun said that society should adopt the concept of investing in a variety of mountain tourism, such as paths and trails, natural reserves, sports and others, which would increase interest in mountain environments, preserve them and their natural resources, and provide job opportunities for the people of mountain communities.
In this context, he pointed out that the mountainous regions in Jordan are one of three physiographic regions, along with the Jordan Valley (the Jordan Valley) and the Badia, and extend in a north-south longitudinal range over an area estimated at 10,550 square kilometers, in addition to the surrounding plains.
In this regard, Zaytoun stressed that despite its modest area compared to the total area of ​​Jordan, it has natural characteristics that made it attractive to the population, as most of their cities and villages were built on it. He believed that the moderate temperature in summer makes it a favorite destination for local and Arab tourism, and the abundance of rain, which ranges between (450-580) millimeters in Irbid and Ras Munif in the north, and between (250-330) millimeters in Al-Shoubak and Al-Rabba in the south, as this rain is an important source for feeding reservoirs. Subterranean and river valleys, most of which extend towards the Jordan Valley.
It is also characterized by its fertile soil, a large part of which belongs to the soil of Terrarosa (the red soil of the Mediterranean), which is suitable for rain-fed cultivation of fruit trees, field crops and grains, according to Zaitoun.
He said: “If the mountains in Jordan are a natural region of modest size relative to the desert areas that constitute about 78 percent of Jordan’s area, they are diverse in their natural and ecological systems, as they embrace forests and forests, which are a natural habitat for many plants, grasses, shrubs and perennial trees such as Pine, oak, elm, maple, hawthorn, and carob
Mountains are a natural habitat for biodiversity,

and the mountains are also home to many wild animals and birds such as squirrels, rabbits, rodents, foxes, and birds.
Zaytoun pointed out that the mountains in Jordan are an important source for feeding the valleys and underground basins with rainwater in the winter, as they are rich in springs and permanent flowing valleys such as Wadi Kufranja, Wadi Al Arab, Wadi Shuaib, Wadi Mujib, and Wadi Rajeb.
He pointed out that the mountainous areas are exposed to many natural and human hazards, which have become threatening their environmental systems, components and elements, the first of which is the climate change that affected the eastern Mediterranean region, which resulted in a rise in temperature, a decrease in the amount of rain, and a delay in the rainy season.
Zaitoun added: The mountains in Jordan are exposed to a great danger, which is one of the most important factors that could affect the destruction of the natural habitats of natural plants and wild animals, which is the uprooting of forests by logging and fires, which led to the decline of the forested area in it, which no longer constitutes only a percentage of it. 1% of the area of ​​Jordan.
He pointed out that among these negative aspects is the fragmentation of agricultural property and the extension of urban growth at the expense of agricultural and forest lands, which led to a decline in agricultural land, an increase in the surface runoff of rainwater, a decrease in the amount of leakage into the ground, an increase in soil erosion, and a decrease in its moisture, on which the plant depends for its growth. Its growth, decline or displacement of ecological spaces, indicating that all of this led to a change in the local climate of the mountains, which should not be tolerated.

Mountains are a major source of fresh water
Professor of Geography at the Department of Applied Geography at Al al-Bayt University, Dr. Ayman Abdel-Karim Al-Taani, explains the importance of mountains as they provide about 60 to 80 percent of fresh water resources, but climate change threatens their ability to provide fresh water, agricultural operations and other services provided by the ecosystem. In the first stages, and in the next stages for millions of people, mountain tourism also attracts about 20 percent of global tourism activities.
He added that climate change affects various sectors, including agriculture, tourism, biodiversity, and the water that flows from mountain peaks to feed coastal areas with water, in addition to reducing the supply of groundwater.
Al-Taani emphasized Jordan’s role in developing a plan to adapt to climate change, which is represented by the sustainable use and utilization of land and inland freshwater ecosystems and their systems, especially forests, wetlands, mountains and dry lands. Jordan is preparing environmental and social impact assessments for projects built on its lands, including in the regions. mountains to ensure that climate change does not affect the economic and technical feasibility of projects.
He called for preserving the existing soil from erosion or restoring the soil that had been washed away through regular cultivations along the severely eroded areas, in addition to establishing channels or restoring the channels established by the old ones, to take advantage of water harvesting (water harvesting), to prevent soil erosion and irrigate the planted trees.
Al-Taani also called for the establishment of natural reserves in mountainous areas, such as the Dana Reserve, in order to preserve its natural characteristics, whether plant or animal, and to reduce grazing pressure in those areas. He also called for raising awareness of the importance of the environment by the local population and those living in mountainous areas, and preparing field studies for mountainous and populated areas in order to identify areas of imbalance, i.e. pollution, overgrazing, water erosion, or erosion, and to develop appropriate plans according to the geographical and social nature of the area; And then follow up the implementation of projects and plans from time to time and make an evaluation of them, so that the mountain environment is safe from any defect.
It is noteworthy that the International Year of Mountains in 2002 prompted the United Nations General Assembly to adopt a decision to designate December 11 as the International Day of Mountains, starting in 2003, and encouraged the international community to organize, on this occasion, activities at all levels to highlight the importance of sustainable development of mountains. .

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