Switzerland funds the construction of a new marsh pool in the Azraq Wetland Reserve

Press release, 20.10.2016

With the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) has constructed a new marsh pool in the Azraq Wetland Reserve which has contributed to the rehabilitation of 10% of the former oasis, and has doubled the surface area of the wetland. The new pool contributes to the conservation of the wetland habitat and of the endemic Azraq Killifish population.

The new marsh pool covers a surface area of 25’000 m2, coming in addition to the existing 25’000 m2 of wetland. The project has been implemented through a number of activities starting with the clearing, excavation and leveling of the land for the marsh pool. Firebreaks have been constructed between the reeds and new tourist and patrolling trails have been established to facilitate the access to all the reserve habitats.

The Azraq Wetland Reserve is located in the heart of the Jordanian eastern desert. The reserve provides a natural habitat for numerous aquatic and terrestrial species including the Azraq Killifish Aphanius sirhani, the only true endemic vertebrate species of Jordan. During the last two decades, the wetland has almost dried up due to the over extraction of groundwater in the region. With international support, RSCN began a rescue effort in 1994 and has managed to restore a significant portion of the wetland. For more information on the Azraq Wetland Reserve, please see http://www.rscn.org.jo/content/azraq-wetland-reserve 

Switzerland is supporting Jordan with an overall contribution of over 20 million JOD in 2016. One of the key lines of intervention concerns the water sector where SDC aims to link sustainable water resource management with equitable access to water and sanitation services.

Address for inquiries

Mrs. Rahel Pema

Deputy Regional Head of Cooperation

Embassy of Switzerland

Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Phone: +962 6 585 60 20

Email: rahel.pema@eda.admin.ch