The education program in Dibeen focuses on the importance of forest protection, as forests do not exceed 1% of Jordan’s entire land area. The program also highlights the necessity for establishing the reserve, which is due to Dibeen Forest’s location and its representation of the southeastern most edge of natural Aleppo pine forests. In Dibeen, students follow educational trails that offer interactive learning opportunities along the way, which encourage them to investigate the forest as researchers.
Students learn of the different threats facing the reserve, such as soil erosion, which leads to tree falls and is caused by forest fires, woodcutting, and excessive tourism. Young visitors are also taught about peat moss, the layer of decomposed leaves, tree branches, and remnants that lays beneath trees and its importance to the forest’s biodiversity.
While in the field, students are also taught to read tree rings to learn the history of the forest, while studying different bio-indicators that denote the health of the forest. As the home of the endangered Persian squirrel, in Dibeen Forest Reserve students learn the relationship between the Persian squirrel and the Aleppo pine tree, and how the presence of one reflects the health of the other.
Through the use of a Forest Education Kit, these young researchers are able to run experiments on the forest, such as soil fertility tests, physical soil texture tests, and chemical soil tests, soil color classification, soil temperature and pH. Students are encouraged to compare results of these experiments to learn the difference between areas with pit moss and areas without, tying their results with the forest ability to renew itself and its conservation status.
The program dwells on concepts that are currently present in the national curricula, offering age appropriate material and activities. The reserve also offers a series of interactive games that enable students to understand environmental concepts in a clear and exciting manner.