Monday, 10 October 2016

JORDAN: Places You Must Visit

Ajlun Nature Reserve
Ajlun Nature Reserve is located in the Ajlun highlands (North of Amman), It consists of Mediterranean-like hill country, dominated by open woodlands of Oak and Pistachio trees. The Reserve was first established in 1988 when a captive-breeding programme for the Roe Deer was initiated. The reserve is located in an area named Eshtafeena. The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature has set up two hiking trails and provided a special area for camping. Ajlun's woodlands consist mostly of oak trees, interspersed with pistachio, pine, carob, and wild strawberry trees. These trees have been important to local people for their wood, scenic beauty and, quite often, for medicine and food.

The marvels of nature and the genius of medieval Arab military architecture have given northern Jordan two of the most important ecological and historical attractions in the Middle East: the sprawling pine forests of the Ajlun-Dibbine area, and the towering Ayyubid castle at Ajlun, which helped to defeat the Crusaders eight centuries ago.Ajlun Castle (Qal'at Ar-Rabad) was built by one of Saladin's generals in 1184 AD to control the iron mines of Ajlun, and to deter the Franks from invading Ajlun. Ajlun Castle dominated the three main routes leading to the Jordan Valley and protected the trade and commercial routes between Jordan and Syria; it became an important link in the defensive chain against the Crusaders, who, unsuccessfully spent decades trying to capture the castle and the nearby village.

he original castle had four towers, arrow slits incorporated into the thick walls, and was surrounded by a moat averaging 16m in width and up to 15m deep.

In 1215 AD, the Mameluk officer Aibak ibn Abdullah expanded the castle following Usama's death, by adding a new tower in the southeast corner and a bridge that can still be seen decorated with pigeon reliefs.

The castle was conceded in the 13th century to Salah ed-Din Yousef Ibn Ayoub, ruler of Aleppo and Damascus, who restored the northeastern tower. These expansion efforts were interrupted in 1260 AD, when Mongol invaders destroyed the castle, but almost immediately, the Mameluk Sultan Baybars re-conquered and rebuilt the fortress.

Ten Salah ed-Din soldiers are guarding the castle every day of the week. They are placed at the four different gate levels that the castle has. Two are on the roof where the yellow Mameluk is flying. Siege ladders leaning on the wall add to the war-like atmosphere.

Ajlun is just a short journey from Jerash through pine forest and olive groves and boasts scores of ancient sites, including watermills, forts and villages, all in the beautiful hills and valleys of northern Jordan.

Aqaba
Aqaba is a great place to stay if you are planning to visit Wadi Rum. Day trips can easily be organized and, because the distance is short, you will have more time to spend at the site.

The Gulf of Aqaba is famous for its marine wildlife. It is the north-eastern arm of the Red Sea, measuring a length of 180km and expanding to a width of 25km, with a shoreline shared by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Jordan.

The Gulf of Aqaba has the world’s northernmost coral reef ecosystem. An average water temperature of 23° Celsius, the absence of stormy weather and mild water currents have created a hospitable environment for the growth of corals. Favourable salinity levels are perfect for the myriads of other marine life-forms. As a result, it is home to 110 species of soft corals and 120 species of hard corals. The reefs that fringe the Gulf host over 1000 species of fish, corals, crustaceans, and mammals living in its waters. Nocturnal animals such as the crab, shrimp, and lobster appear in search of food in the dark hours of the night. Seasonal visitors to the Gulf of Aqaba include sea turtles, dolphins, sea cows, and harmless whale sharks.

Aqaba is the only coastal city in Jordan. This beautiful town, surrounded by fascinating colourful mountains and the blue waters of the Red Sea, expands over 27km of shoreline on the Gulf of Aqaba. The town is well-organized and under continuous development. It has been designated as a Special Economic Zone, with special legislation to protect and improve its business, community, tourism and environment status.

With its wealth of other attractions, Jordan's splendid Red Sea resort is often overlooked by modern-day visitors. But apart from being a delightful place for discerning holidaymakers, this is actually a great base from which to explore various places of interest in southern Jordan.

Aqaba is a fun place. It is a microcosm of all the good things Jordan has to offer, including a fascinating history with some outstanding sites, excellent hotels and activities, superb visitor facilities, good shopping, and welcoming, friendly people, who enjoy nothing more than making sure their visitors have a good time.

But perhaps Aqaba's greatest asset is the Red Sea itself. Here you can experience some of the best snorkelling and diving in the world. The temperate climate and gentle water currents have created a perfect environment for the growth of corals and a teeming plethora of marine life. Here you can swim with friendly sea turtles and dolphins as they dart amongst the schools of multi-coloured fish. Night dives reveal the nocturnal sea creatures, crabs, lobsters and shrimp, as they search for a midnight snack.

There are several dive centres in Aqaba. All offer well-maintained diving equipment, professional instructors, and transport by boat to a variety of dive sites.

For those who prefer to keep their feet dry, all the deep sea wonders can be viewed through a glass-bottomed boat or by submarine, or you can just relax under the sun on the resort's sandy beaches. Plus, of course, there are plenty of other water-sport activities available, as well as an extensive and interesting Marine Park.

From as far back as five and a half thousand years ago Aqaba has played an important role in the economy of the region. It was a prime junction for land and sea routes from Asia, Africa and Europe, a role it still plays today. Because of this vital function, there are many historic sites to be explored within the area, including what is believed to be the oldest purpose-built church in the world.

Aqaba International Airport is situated just 20 minutes from the town centre and services regular flights from Amman as well as from several European cities. From the town centre, the borders of Israel, Egypt's Sinai and Saudi Arabia are no more than a 30-minute drive.

Azraq Wetland Reserve
The wetlands of the Azraq nature reserve are home to a large variety of indigenous and migrating birds.

Nature lovers will be drawn to the desert in springtime, when rains bring the greening of the hills and something in the region of 2,000 species of wild flowers.

Azraq is a unique wetland oasis located in the heart of the semi-arid Jordanian Eastern Desert, one of several beautiful nature reserves managed by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN). Its attractions include several natural and ancient built pools, a seasonally flooded marshland, and a large mudflat know as Qa'a Al-Azraq. A wide variety of birds stop at the Reserve each year for a rest during their arduous migration routes between Asia and Africa. Some stay for the winter or breed within the protected areas of the wetland.

Azraq is a unique wetland oasis located in the heart of the semi-arid Jordanian eastern desert, one of several beautiful nature reserves managed by the RSCN. Its attractions include several natural and ancient-built pools, a seasonally flooded marshland, and a large mudflat known as Qa'a Al-Azraq. A wide variety of birds stop at the reserve each year to rest during their arduous migration routes between Asia and Africa. Some stay for the winter or breed within the protected areas of the wetland.

The best time to visit Al-Azraq is in late autumn, winter or spring. Winter rains often create pools and marshes over the reserve, which continue to attract many seasonal species of birds. The success of bird-watching visits depends largely on the amount of water that has accumulated in the reserve.

Azraq has an interesting geological history. It was once a vast oasis, its pools filled by a complex network of aquifers fed mainly from the Jebel Druze area of southern Syria – the waters taking up to 50 years en route. Surrounding the oasis is about 60 sq.m. of silt, beneath which is a vast concentration of salt.

Mujib Biosphere Reserve
The Mujib Biosphere Reserve is the lowest nature reserve in the world, with a spectacular array of scenery near the east coast of the Dead Sea. The Reserve is located within the deep Wadi Mujib gorge, which enters the Dead Sea at 410m below sea level. The Reserve extends to the Karak and Madaba mountains to the north and south, reaching 900 metres above sea level in some places. This 1,300m variation in elevation, combined with the valley's year- round water flow from seven tributaries, means that Wadi Mujib enjoys a magnificent bio-diversity that is still being explored and documented today. Over 300 species of plants, 10 species of carnivores and numerous species of permanent and migratory birds have been recorded. Some of the remote mountain and valley areas are difficult to reach, and thus offer safe havens for rare species of cats, goats and other mountain animals. Mujib's sandstone cliffs are an ideal habitat for one of the most beautiful mountain goats in the world, the horned Ibex.

Shawmari Reserve
The Shawmari Reserve was created in 1975 by the RSCN as a breeding centre for endangered or locally extinct wildlife. Today, following breeding programmes with some of the world's leading wildlife parks and zoos, this small, 22 sq km reserve is a thriving protected environment for some of the most rare species of animals in the Middle East. Oryx, ostriches, gazelles and onagers - which are depicted on many 6th century Byzantine mosaics - are rebuilding their populations and reasserting their presence in this safe haven, protected from hunting and habitat destruction that nearly wiped them out.

The Shawmari Reserve is a breeding centre for some of the most endangered and rare wildlife in the Middle East. In this small reserve there is a large herd of magnificent Arabian Oryx, a species that was once on the verge of extinction. There are also ostriches, onagers and graceful desert gazelles. These animals are all rebuilding their populations in this safe haven, where they are protected from the hunting and habitat destruction that once threatened their existence.

The Shawmari Reserve supports a rich variety of desert plants, mainly because the vegetation inside the reserve is protected from the heavy grazing of sheep and goats outside its perimeters. Shawmari contains a very large number of species of plants, including Atriplex, a natural food source for the Onager and Oryx.

Visitors' Facilities:
Tourist Information Centre: A reception point for visitors in which information and brochures about the Reserve are available. There is also a Tourist Shop selling locally-made souvenirs such as silverware, decorated ostrich eggs and reed products.

Visitors’ Centre: Contains a small museum with a variety of interactive materials, slide shows, and videos on the history and wildlife of the Reserve. Outside the Centre is a picnic area and playground.

Observation Tower: Spotting wildlife is an exciting activity for nature lovers. The Observation Tower is an ideal place from which to see the different animals in the Reserve, such as the Oryx, which is best seen in the early hours of the morning. This is also a good place for bird-watching, especially during the migration seasons.

Oryx Safari Trip: Visitors are given the opportunity to take a safari trip to see firsthand the living results of the international rescue efforts undertaken to save these endangered animals. Safari tours through the Oryx enclosure are available aboard RSCN vehicles.

Breeding Enclosures: Shawmari’s breeding enclosures also provide a small zoo, making the Reserve a popular place for children and school outings.

Wadi Rum Protected Area
The magnificent landscape of Wadi Rum is a must-see for any visitor to Jordan.

Always remember to ask permission before taking photographs of the local Bedouin people.

Always dress modestly when visiting an area inhabited by the Bedouins. Their culture is very different to those of more liberal western cultures and skimpy shorts and tops will be considered disrespectful.

As with any expedition into a desert area, trekkers should always be well-equipped. It is easy to get lost in this maze of mountains and desert, so it’s best to take a Bedouin guide. Always carry a map of the areaa and a compass, as well as plenty of water, sunblock and a hat.

The moonlike landscape of Wadi Rum is unique to the world. The desert of Rum is dotted with massive mountains, coloured in shades of red, yellow, and orange. Their hues spill over to colour the sand dunes around the desert and the horizon of its breathtaking panorama.

This is a place where you can become one with nature, where visitors are humbled by the towering mountains and overwhelmed by the serenity and quiet ambiance of this magnificent place.

The eco-system of Wadi Rum holds many rare and endemic plants. Spring reveals hundreds of species of wild flowers. About 120 bird species have been recorded in the area, including the Griffon Vulture, the Fan-Tailed Raven, Bonelli’s Eagle, and Hume’s Tawny Owl. Baseline surveys show the existence of the Grey Wolf, Blandford’s Fox, the Sand Cat, and the Ibex within the area.

One activity which keeps attracting thrill-seekers to Wadi Rum is mountain climbing. Ascents can range from simple hikes to serious 900m climbs up sheer granite and sandstone cliffs.

This is a stupendous, timeless place, virtually untouched by humanity and its destructive forces. Here, it is the weather and winds that have carved the imposing, towering skyscrapers, so elegantly described by T.E. Lawrence as “vast, echoing and God-like.

A maze of monolithic rockscapes rise up from the desert floor to heights of 1,750m creating a natural challenge for serious mountaineers. Hikers can enjoy the tranquility of the boundless empty spaces and explore the canyons and water holes to discover 4000-year-old rock drawings and the many other spectacular treasures this vast wilderness holds in store.

Also known as ‘The Valley of the Moon’, this is the place where Prince Faisal Bin Hussein and T.E. Lawrence based their headquarters during the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans in World War I, their exploits intrinsically woven into the history of this amazing area.

There are several options for exploring Wadi Rum. Visitors should head for the Visitors' Centre where, apart from visitors’ facilities, they can hire a 4x4 vehicle, together with driver/guide, and then drive for two or three hours into the Wadi system to explore some of the best known sites. Alternatively they can hire a camel and guide. The duration of the trip can be arranged beforehand through the Visitors' Centre, as can a stay under the stars in a Bedouin tent, where they can enjoy a traditional campfire meal accompanied by Arabic music.

Once transport has been arranged, there are various excursions available - for example, a trip to Burdah Rock Bridge, the highest in Wadi Rum, via the Seven Pillars of Wisdom and many other interesting sights, is a full day by car or an overnight trip by camel. There are many alternative routes and information on these is available from your tour operator or from the Visitors' Centre on-site.

The Bedouin people that inhabit the area still maintain their semi-nomadic lifestyle. They are hospitable and offer a friendly welcome to visitors, often inviting them to sit and enjoy a coffee or even a meal.

The Royal Aero Sports Club was founded by His Majesty King Abdullah II in 1997. His Royal Highness Prince Hamzah Bin Al Hussein, an avid pilot and skydiver, is the President of the Club.

The club’s goals are to promote aero sports in Jordan, and to enhance the experience of tourists visiting Aqaba and Wadi Rum.

RASCJ is a not-for-profit organization, registered with the HigherCouncil of Youth and Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority cultural and social sports club.

SAFETY
For your own safety, all flights are subject to weather conditions and can be cancelled any time at pilot’s discretion.

NOTES
- Dress casually (khakis, jeans or shorts)
- Bring a light jacket in the summer and a warm one in the winter as temperature drops dramatically as the balloon rises
- A sun hat or cap is advisable
- Flat shoes are recommended

Float silently over Wadi Rum and enjoy the breathtaking natural rock formations. See the seven pillars of wisdom and the natural dunes of the desert from 6,000 feet. This unique experience is enhanced by our experienced pilot and his dedicated staff who will make sure every part of your experience is safe and enjoyable.
Flights take place in the early morning for optimal flying conditions.

DURATION
45 min – 1 hour ( Allow 2 hours for the whole experience).

BASKET CAPACITY
Small: 3 persons min, 5 persons max. Large: 6 persons min, 16 persons max.

PRICES
Adults: 130 JD Children (6 years – 12 years): 65 JD

MEETING POINT
- If staying in Wadi Rum at a camp inside the reserve: Visitor’s Center.
- If staying in Wadi Rum at a camp outside the reserve: RASCJ driver will pick you up from your camp.
- If staying in Aqaba: Dissi Petrol Station in Wadi Rum. We can also arrange for transport from Aqaba for a fee.

ULTRALIGHT
Discover Aqaba or Wadi Rum, Lawrences’ springs, the 7 Pillarsof Wisdom, or follow the ancient incense route from the comfort of our two-seat aircraft.

AVAILABLE ROUTES
Aqaba & Aqaba South beach (Tala Bay): 30 minutes minimum.
Aqaba & Wadi Rum: 1 hour minimum.

CAPACITY
1 person + pilot.

DURATION & PRICES
20 min: 75 JD
30 min: 100 JD
60 min: 180 JD

MEETING POINT
King Hussein International Airport (Aqaba).

SAFTEY
For your safety, all flights are subject to weather and can be cancelled at any time at pilots’ discretion.

NOTES
- Please send a scanned copy of your ID or Passport to info@rascj.com to arrange for airport pass at least 24 hours in advance.
- Passenger weight should not exceed 120 kg.
- Dress casually in long khakis or jeans and flat shoes. Skirt, sandals and slippers are not recommended.
- You will need a light jacket in the summer and warm one in winter.
- A sun hat or cap is advisable.

MICROLIGHT
Return to the roots of aviation with this small and versatile aircraft. Fly above the beautiful rock formations of Wadi Rum in an open aircraft with our experienced pilot.

CAPACITY
1 person + pilot.

DURATION & PRICES
10 min: 30 JD
20 min: 55 JD
30 min: 80 JD
60 min: 150 JD

AVAILABILITY
The Microlight is available on weekends at Wadi Rum. Please book at least 3 days in advance.

MEETING POINT
- If staying in Wadi Rum at a camp inside the reserve: Visitor’s Center.
- If staying in Wadi Rum at a camp outside the reserve: RASCJ driver will pick you up from your camp.
- If staying in Aqaba: Dissi Petrol Station in Wadi Rum. We can also arrange for transport from Aqaba for a fee.

DA40 & DA42 (DIAMOND)
Whether you are a certified pilot, an amateur pilot or an enthusiast, you can enjoy the wonderful skies of Aqaba and Wadi Rum in our modern fleet of single or twin-engine Diamond Aircraft.

Fly with an experienced flight instructor who will introduce you to the world of aviation in our glass-cockpit aircraft.

CAPACITY
2 persons + pilot.

DURATION & PRICES
DA 40 (Single Engine) 30 min: 150 JD 60 min: 200 JD
DA 42 (Twin Engine)
30 min: 200 JD
60 min: 350 JD

MEETING POINT
King Hussein International Airport (Aqaba).

NOTES
Please send a scanned copy of your ID or Passport to info@rascj.com to arrange for airport pass at least 24 hours in advance.

GENERAL INFORMATION

INSURANCE
The Royal Aero Sports Club of Jordan has all insurance coverage required by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), including third party & passenger insurance.

BOOKING POLICY
We operate on a first-come first-serve basis. All flights are subject to confirmation up to 24 hours in advance. Please provide contact details in order to inform you of any delays or cancellations.

CANCELLATION POLICY
Cancellations due to weather or technical issues are fully refundable.
No-shows will result in a loss of deposit

Dana Biosphere Reserve
Such a complex and diverse environment provides a wide range of adventurous and relaxing activities.Visitors can leave their vehicles behind and escape into the beauty and remoteness of the Reserve along one of the many canyons and hiking trails. Local Bedouin guides are available for longer excursions (hiking, canyoning, and mountain biking), while many shorter trails can be explored unguided. Activities at Dana Biosphere Reserve Guesthouse include tours of the Ottoman-era Dana Biosphere Reserve Village, a gorgeous hike through the entire Reserve to Feynan Ecolodge, visits to Nabatean tombs, and relaxing on your very own cliff-perched balcony, surrounded by Dana’s magnificent views.

Activities available from Rummana Campsite include hikes with beautiful vistas and bird watching, excursions to a Roman well, and a challenging 5 kilometer trail to Dana Biosphere Reserve Village that involves scrambling over rock faces. From Feynan Ecolodge, guests can hike or mountain bike on one of the many hikes ranging in length from 2 hours to a full day. Canyoning adventures include a trip to Wadi Ghwayr and its spectacular narrow gorge and stream. At Feynan, guests can also uncover the area’s archaeological treasures with visits to ancient copper mines, Byzantine churches, Neolithic villages and a Roman aqueduct. In the early mornings guests challenge themselves on the Sunrise Hike, a great start to any day at Feynan. At sunset, guests are offered a complimentary sunset hike.By night, guests can be found wandering the enchanting candlelit lodge or stargazing on the rooftop terrace.

Dana Biosphere Reserve is an area of staggering beauty, history, and biodiversity. The only reserve in Jordan that encompasses the four different bio-geographical zones of the country (Mediterranean, Irano-Turanian, Saharo-Arabian and Sudanian), it is a melting pot of species from Europe, Africa and Asia. Such a combination of natural communities in a single area is unique in Jordan and many of Dana Biosphere Reserve’s animals and plants are very rare. So far, a total of 800 plant speciesand 449 animal species have been recorded in the Reserve, of which 25 are known to be endangered, including the Sand Cat, the Syrian Wolf, the Lesser Kestrel and the Spiny Tailed Lizard.

Mujib Biosphere Reserve
The growing demand on water consumption in the region has seen the natural inflow to the Dead Sea diminish rapidly over the past years. So much so, that there is a risk of the sea drying up altogether within the next 50 years. This would be a devastating loss, not only for tourism and the economy, but also for the loss of the Dead Sea’s unique properties, the surrounding environment, and its flora and fauna.

To combat this critical situation, plans are being made to transport water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea. The operation, known as ‘Peace Conduit’ - since it involves the cooperation of Jordan, Israel and Palestine - aims at bringing 1.8 billion cubic metres of water annually to the Dead Sea.

The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) is deeply involved in the protection of wildlife and habitats within the area and has received international acclaim for its pioneering work in developing nature-based businesses for local people.

The Mujib Biosphere Reserve is the lowest-altitude nature reserve in the world, with its spectacular array of scenery near the East coast of the Dead Sea. The reserve is located within the deep Wadi Mujib gorge which enters the Dead Sea at 410m below sea level. The Reserve extends to the Karak and Madaba mountains to the North and South, reaching 900m above sea level in some places. This 1,300m variation in elevation, combined with the valley's year-round water flow from seven tributaries, means that the Wadi Mujib enjoys a magnificent biodiversity that is still being explored and documented today.

Over 420 species of plants, 102 species of permanent and migratory birds, and10 species of carnivore including the Red Fox, Blandford Fox, Hyena, Jackal, Wild Cat, Caracal, Badger, Mongoose, Wolf and Arabian Leopard have been recorded to date. Some of the remote mountain and valley areas are difficult to reach, offering a safe haven to various species of cats, goats and other mountain animals.

Mujib's sandstone cliffs are an ideal habitat for one of the most beautiful mountain goats in the world, the Nubian Ibex. The natural Ibex herds have declined over the years due to over hunting, prompting Jordan's Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature to establish a captive-breeding programme for the Ibex within the Mujib Biosphere Reserve.

Mujib is also home to carnivorous species such as the Caracal, a medium-sized cat distinguished by its black and white ear tufts. An agile and powerful hunter, the Caracal can be spotted in action in the rocky valley of Mujib, using its amazing jumping power to catch airborne prey.

Visitors' Facilities
There is a campsite containing 5 large tents, a bathroom, and barbecue grills for visitor use. Visitors are asked to bring their own sleeping bags, drinking water, and food. The price of a night's stay here costs 10 to 20JD, depending on the accommodation and the number of people sleeping in the tent.

Camping is not permitted outside of this area. The carrying capacity of the camp is 25 persons per day. Visitors will walk up to the camping area and the Reserve car will carry their luggage. You should note that the tents are only erected on demand - you must pre-book - and then only if there is a minimum number of 5 people.

Dibeen Forest Reserve
Dibeen Forest Reserve is a nature reserve located in the north-west of Jordan. It is situated just south of the Roman site of Jerash and covers an area of 8.5 square kilometres (3.3 sq mi) of rolling hills covered with pine–oak habitat. The area was protected as a nature reserve in 2004 under the initiative of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature.

The rock within the reserve is a mixture of limestone and chalky limestone, which has been formed into steep slopes. The average rainfall is 710 millimetres (28 in) per year. Within the forest there is a variety of moisture conditions, with wadis giving different regimes from those found on the steep slopes.

The forest reserve contains one of the last remaining examples of a pine–oak forest in the Middle East. The species of the reserve's trees vary with elevation; Aleppo Pines inhabit the lower altitudes, the mixed pine–oak woodland comprising Aleppo Pine and Palestine Oak grows in the middle, and a species of small deciduous oak – Quercus infectoria (the Aleppo, or Cyprus, Oak) – grows at the higher altitudes. Other flora in the habitat include orchids, Greek strawberry trees, pistachio, and olive trees. The forest's age structure shows wide variation, with many areas containing mature forest trees and a vigorous understory.

At least 17 endangered species have been identified within the reserve. These include the Persian red squirrel, four bat types, grey wolves and striped hyenas. Woodland birds also live in the forest. It is also believed but not proven, that this reserve has the last population of Southern Banded Newts living in Jordan

Dibeen Forest Reserve was established in 2004 after being listed as a conservation priority in the 1998 protected areas review. Of the 60 square kilometers comprising the Dibeen Forest, 8.5 km2 area became part of the protected area.

Between 2004 and 2007, UNDP led a project in the Dibeen Forest, Jerash, Al Meirad and Burma municipalities of the region to support the establishment of the nature reserve. This helped to conserve the unique local biodiversity and encouraged the local communities to make sustainable alternative uses of the available resources. As a result, there was increased awareness of the local capacity-building and need for the conservation-oriented land use planning in the region.

Despite the apparent efforts to protect this remarkable and unique forest, it is gradually and systematically being destroyed by the establishment of modern cement projects, intentional fires, over grazing and illegal sporadic logging. Even when illegal loggers are apprehended, the punishment is usually lenient and not severe enough to deter others.

Some of the farm owners around the forest gradually and illegally increase their farms to encompass areas of the forest that eventually and intentionally become devoid of their natural wild trees only to be replaced by olive trees for the sole reason of benefiting the aggressors.

It is interesting to note that even in the midst of the small protected area, one can see small patches of olive farms which is very unfortunate because such areas have a grievous effect on the beauty, serenity, and solitude of the site.

Dibeen, the surrounding beautiful natural pine forests, and the wild life that occupy the area are gradually diminishing and a strong immediate and faithful action by the people, the government and nature protection agencies has to be undertaken to stop the imminent destruction of the last extension of natural pine forests in the southern hemisphere.