Milestones

  • 1966: Officially established The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature on 24 April 1966 as one of the first voluntary conservation organizations in the region,   under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Noor, with His Majesty the late King Hussein as honorary president.
  • 1973Given responsibility by the Government to regulate hunting and issue hunting licenses. To meet this challenge, RSCN created the country’s first hunting patrols to enforce lawful hunting.
  • 1975Established the first nature reserve in Jordan, Shaumari Nature Reserve, to provide a release for the magnificent Arabian Oryx, which had been brought to the edge of extinction by indiscriminate hunting.
  • 1976Established Azraq Wetland Reserve in an attempt to save the core area of this unique and globally important habitat and migratory bird route.
  • 1978Initiated Arabian Oryx rescue operation; received four Oryx animals from Phoenix Zoo, USA, which were placed in specially prepared breeding enclosures in Shaumari Nature Reserve.
  • 1979Produced the first edition of Al-Reem, a quarterly environmental magazine designed to bring environmental issues to the attention of the Jordanian public.
  • 1979Enforced a 5-year moratorium on hunting in the Kingdom in response to the dwindling populations of wildlife.
  • 1982Received a special patrol boat from His Majesty King Hussein for monitoring the waters of the Gulf of Aqaba.
  • 1983Held a historic ceremony in Shaumari Nature Reserve to release the Arabian Oryx into the wild, with His Majesty the late King Hussein and His Royal Highness Prince Phillip opening the gates of the reserve.
  • 1983Received three Ostriches from Oklahoma Zoo, USA, to initiate their re-introduction program in Shaumari Nature Reserve.
  • 1986Starts its first Nature Conservation Clubs in schools in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, which aimed at helping children understand environmental issues and their importance. RSCN now has over 1000 clubs throughout the Kingdom.
  • 1987Established two new reserves; Mujib Nature Reserve near the Dead Sea, comprising the lowest nature reserve on earth, and Ajloun Forest Reserve, protecting the beautiful natural woodlands in northern Jordan and re-introducing the Roe Deer.
  • 1989Established its fifth reserve, Dana Biosphere Reserve, which was located in a spectacularly beautiful area around Dana village, and was opened by Her Majesty Queen Noor, RSCNs patron.
  • 1991Joined forces with other environmental stakeholders to draft the national environmental strategy for Jordan.
  • 1994Partnered with the Government, United Nations Development Program, and the World Bank to start a major project based on the newly established Dana Biosphere Reserve. The project had two objectives: to make Dana Biosphere Reserve a model of integrated conservation and socio-economic development, where the needs of nature and the needs of people are tackled simultaneously; and to restructure the management system of RSCN through institutional strengthening. This process took RSCN into a modern era of conservation. 
  • 1995Worked in cooperation with government agencies to formulate the first Environmental Protection Law for Jordan.
  • 1995Revolutionized its approach towards environmental education by creating regional networks of club leaders who were trained on exciting and innovative techniques of environmental education.
  • 1998Carried out a second Protected Areas Review in Jordan to reconfirm the findings of the first review from 1978 by Clarke, resulting in the addition of 6 new proposed protected areas in Dibeen, Yarmouk, Jordan River, Qatar, Aqaba Mountains, and Fifa. 
  • 1998Signed a memorandum of understanding with the Jordan Valley Authority to divert the location of the Mujib Dam to be at the shores of the Dead Sea, so as not to affect the natural water flow of the Mujib River.
  • 1998Established the Wadi Rum protected area.
  • 1998Release captive-bred Ibex from Raddas enclosure at Mujib Natur Reserve.
  • 1998Launched the “cry for nature” campaign to bring attention to the many threats facing Jordan’s environment and natural heritage.
  • 1998UNESCO’s declaration of the Dana Nature Reserve as Jordan’s First ‘Man and Biosphere Reserve’. 
  • 1999Adopted its new strategic plan, which focused on phasing out reintroduction programs for endangered species in favor of in-situ conservation measures.
  • 2000Held a national conference on the future of Azraq to stimulate debate on the water crises facing the oasis and to promote action on its behalf.
  • 2000Awarded a medal by Hanover Expo 2000 organizers for the Dana Project, which is considered one of the world’s outstanding environmental initiatives.
  • 2001Worked in cooperation with the Ministry of Education to cover water conservation issues in the national curriculum.
  • 2002Released the Arabian Oryx into the wilderness of Wadi Rum.
  • 2002Established a trust fund to ensure its ongoing sustainability, funded by the Jordanian and Government and USAID.
  • 2003Initiated eco-tourism programs, with Queen Rania placing the foundation stone for the opening of eco-tourism facilities in Ajloun Forest Reserve.
  • 2003Inauguration of the Visitor Center and campsite at Mujib Nature Reserve.
  • 2003Created a bird station at Azraq Nature Reserve to enable researchers to study the migration and behavioral patterns of birds through ringing and sound recording.
  • 2004Developed the partnership between RSCN and the Police Department to activate the enforcement of wildlife protection laws and regulations.
  • 2004Received official delegation to manage protected areas through the signing of a historic agreement with the Ministry of Environment.
  • 2004Officially opened the Wild Jordan Nature Center, under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania, to enable RSCN to promote the sale of its nature products and services, thereby generating more jobs for local communities and more income for nature conservation, while increasing awareness about Jordan’s natural heritage.
  • 2004Formally opened Ajloun Nature Reserve, under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania, and her declaration of Ajloun as the environmental capital of Jordan.
  • 2004Established Dibeen Forest Reserve to protect the most important natural forest of Aleppo Pine in Jordan, and home to the Persian Squirrel.
  • 2005Informally opened Feynan Eco-lodge, an ambitious eco-tourism facility, which follows a totally new concept in environmentally-friendly accommodation. Its remote location is set at the western gateway of Dana Biosphere Reserve.  
  • 2005Launched its first Advocacy Committee to mobilize people to support RSCNs cause. The Advocacy Committee succeeded in its first campaign to persuade the government not to proceed with granting licenses to quarry stone in Ajloun forest.
  • 2005Launched “Save Jordan’s Trees” Campaign in cooperation with several Jordanian environmental organizations and succeeded in blocking the government’s proposal to amend the agricultural law of 2005, which would have permitted investors to instigate business ventures in Jordan’s few forested areas.
  • 2006Concluded an agreement with the Ministry of Tourism to operate the Dead Sea Panorama Complex, which includes the first Natural History Museum dedicated to the Dead Sea area.
  • 2006Succeeded in saving the endangered Sarhani fish by breeding this rare species in special ponds in the Azraq Wetland Reserve.
  • 2006Held the first annual Animal Action Week in Jordan and the Arab region, funded by the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
  • 2006Participated in the establishment of an environmental police unit, in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and Public Security Department.
  • 2006Established a non-for-profit organization dedicated to developing the concept of fair trade in Jordan through a coalition with the Jordanian Hashemite Fund and the IUCN.
  • 2006Released Roe Deer into Ajloun’s wilderness after 18 years of captive breeding.
  • 2006Officially opened Azraq Lodge as a hub for exploring the eastern desert. 
  • 2007Commenced the execution of the Jordan Valley Integrated Ecological Systems Management Project, a qualitative leap in RSCNs work.
  • 2008His Majesty King Abdullah II visited Azraq Wetland Reserve. His Majesty’s tour included a visit to Azraq Lodge and an introduction on the wetland reserve's administrative programs and socio-economic projects in the area. His Majesty showed His support for RSCN's programs in the area.
  • 2008National Network of Protected Areas Report approved by Council of Ministers :  Experts at RSCN prepared a report covering the national plan for the establishment of a protected area network to complement existing nature reserves. The report is based on the accumulated information, field studies, as well as the results of research carried out by the reserves since the mid-seventies to date.
  • 2008Integrated herbal and medicinal plants concepts into national curricula for the first time.
  • 2009New Private Sector Partnership for Feynan Ecolodge RSCN signed a new agreement with Ecohotels, whereby the company will be managing the operations of Feynan Ecolodge
  • 2010His Majesty King Abdullah II laid the foun­dation stone of a specialized Academy for train­ing on the protection of nature and sustainable development near Ajloun Forest Reserve, which later named as the "Royal Academy for Nature Conservation".
  • 2010Received the 2010 Guardian Best Ethical Travel Award , Established Yarmouk Nature Reserve : 
     RSCN officially established Yarmouk Nature Reserve as the seventh reserve to be managed by the Society within the National Protected Area Network.​
    Opened the First Ro Ranger Station in the Dana Biosphere Reserve.
  • 2010RSCN established Al Yarmouk Reserve to become the seventh reserve managed within the "national network of protected areas."
  • 2010The Royal Rangers (Environmental Police) in collaboration with RSCN opened the first po­lice unit in Dana Biosphere Reserve which is the first Royal Rangers unit of the reserves in Jordan. 
  • 2010The Social Security department evaluated the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature where it was ranked within the "Best Employ­er" due to a study performed by the Public In­stitution for Social Security in Jordan. RSCN was appreciated for its role in protecting the natural heritage of Jordan and for its policy in employ­ing the local communities' members living in and around nature reserves.
  • 2010Developed the First program using SMS in Environmental Education.
  • 2011UNESCO’s declaration of the Mujib Nature Reserve as Jordan’s second ‘Man and Biosphere Reserve’, after the Dana Nature Reserve. 
  • 2011The formal declaration by the  Government of the Fifa and Qatar nature reserves as protected areas of national importance. RSCN is currently developing the infrastructure management programmes for these two reserves.
  • 2011Won the FORD AWARD grant and the First – ever “The People’s Choice Award 2011 for the efforts of Integrating biodiversity concepts into national curricula and capacity building for teachers”.
  • 2011Developed the First Communication Strategy in the protected areas’ level for Mujib Biosphere reserve.
  • 2012Achieved the UNESCO AWARD as a published report of good practices within the good practices publication “Education for Sustainable Development, Good Practices in Addressing Biodiversity”, for the RSCN’s efforts of  Integrating Environmental Concepts into National Curricula.
  • 2012Developed the First Social Media program for Environmental Education for the first time targeting school students, as well as held the First Environmental Education Conference.
  • 2012Developed the first social marketing programs in the protected areas  to Improve Littering Behavior in the public parks.
  • 2013RSCN developed a pioneering partnership with the Arab Bank in many initiatives where the most important was building the community capacity at Mujib Biosphere Reserve in Faqou village.
  • 2013RSCN received Ford Award for environmental projects in 2013 in recognition of their role in the establishment of a program about Falcons display for visitors at Shaumari Wildlife reserve.
  • 2013RSCN was awarded by the BirdLife International Global Council for its leadership in the management of protected areas and the integration of socio-economic development with nature protection programs programs on the global level.
  • 2014The recording of new fish species “Garra jordanica” as new to science, and a new species of plant at Dana Biosphere Reserve added to the list of plant species in Jordan.
  • 2014RSCN published the first issue of the Jordan Journal of Natural History at a special launch ceremony which was attended by a group of university professors and researchers from inside and outside Jordan. Copies of the first issue were distributed at various educational institutions such as universities and educational organizations
    specialized in biodiversity.
  • 2014RSCN won the “Sustainable Destinations Global 100 World Legacy” in 2014, as a reward for RSCN outstanding role in the development of Eco-Tourism program in Dana Biosphere Reserve.
  • 2014RSCN won the award of the “Trip Advisor for Excellence” for both Feynan Eco Lodge and the Guest House in Dana Biosphere Reserve.
  • 2015Developed the first Nature Knights Program concept and framework, as well as the development of the whole programs and curricula for Azraq wetland Reserve and Dana Biosphere Reserve.
  • 2015Developed the First Environmental Education Interactive Game Application for Smart Phones about Azraq wetland reserve and water problem.
  • 2015Developed the First Environmental kids play area in Wild Jordan Center.
  • 2015HRH Crown Prince Al Hussein Bin Abdullah II inaugurated the Royal Academy for Nature Conservation as the first education center in the Middle East specialized in nature conservation and biodivesity programs.