At a ceremony held at the Fifa Nature Reserve, the Minister of Environment of Jordan, Yassin Al-Khayyat, and the Ramsar Convention Senior Regional Advisor for Asia-Oceania, Lew Young, announced on 18 April 2017 the designation of Fifa as a Wetland of International Importance (“Ramsar Site” no. 2294).
“During the designation process the Ministry of Environment sought the best regional partnerships with relevant organizations and especially with civil society organizations”, said Yassin Al-Khayyat. “Designation of Fifa Nature Reserve as a Wetland of International Importance is an international and regional accomplishment.”
“The Ramsar Convention Secretariat congratulates the Jordanian government on this very successful designation,” said Lew Young. “This declaration is a guarantee provided by the Jordanian government, represented by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN), to achieve a sustainable use of this unique wetland under the Ramsar Convention.”
This announcement is due to the importance of the reserve, being the world’s lowest location of a Ramsar Site because it’s lying at 426 meters below sea level. The Site, lying in the Jordan Rift Valley to the south of the Dead Sea, in southwestern Jordan, is very important in terms of flood control, supporting endemic species of endangered fish and birds, and providing livelihoods for the local population through drinking water and water for irrigation. It also hosts some specific halophytic vegetation and at least two vulnerable species, Macqueen’s bustard (Chlamydotis macqueenii) and dabb lizard (Uromastyx aegyptia). In addition it is hosting the endemic Richardson’s Killifish Aphanius richardsoni of the Arabian killifish group.
Jordan joined the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in 1977, as the first Arab country to accede. In the same year, Azraq Oasis (Ramsar Site no. 135) was declared the first Wetland of International Importance in the Arab world.
Contact RSCN: Ibrahim Mahasneh
Fifa Nature Reserve Manager