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Feynan, Faynan, Feinan, Finan, Fenan, Fienan, Fanan: many spellings, one magical place”
Nabil Tarazi, Managing Director,
EcoHotels


Feynan Ecolodge, situated in the pristine Dana Biosphere Reserve, is a first for ecotourism in Jordan. Owned by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) and operated by EcoHotels, Feynan Ecolodge integrates conservation and socio-economic development while promoting the importance of the natural environment.

 

ECO

EcoHotels was founded to provide escapes embedded in local culture, filled with new experiences, and delivered with a passion for impeccable service. Residents and visitors to the Middle East can count on EcoHotels to develop environmentally-sustainable retreats that give back to local communities and invest in pivotal conservation projects. EcoHotels manages and operates Feynan, its first ecolodge in Jordan, and has plans to manage further ecolodges in Jordan and across the Middle East.

 

RSCN

The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature is a non-governmental organisation devoted to the preservation of Jordan's natural resources. Established in 1966 under the patronage of His Majesty the late King Hussein, the RSCN has been given the responsibility by the Government of Jordan to protect the Kingdom’s natural heritage. As such, it is one of the few organisations in the Middle East to be granted this kind of public service mandate. As a result of its pioneering conservation work, the RSCN has achieved international recognition.

RSCN introduced its revolutionary people-centred approach to protected area management in 1994 in the Dana Biosphere Reserve near Petra. Working directly with local villages and Bedouin communities, income-generating projects have been created that utilise the Reserve's natural beauty and wildlife to generate employment opportunities. These include small handicraft enterprises and a range of tourism facilities, including a campsite, guesthouse and ecolodge. Such ventures continue to make nature conservation important to the lives of Dana residents and create a constituency of local support for the Reserve. Today, Dana is firmly on the ‘tourism map of Jordan’, attracting over 30,000 visitors a year. It has also won four international awards for sustainable development.

Wild Jordan is the socio-economic development and eco-tourism division of the RSCN. Wild Jordan’s mission is to develop viable nature-based businesses within and around RSCN’s protected areas in order to bring tangible economic and social benefits to local communities and generate financial, political, and popular support for nature conservation throughout the Kingdom of Jordan. Through Wild Jordan, RSCN has been able to adopt a people-centred approach to protecting nature. Business ventures are being developed using the natural assets of protected areas to create economic and social benefits for local communities. Thriving eco-tourism and handicraft enterprises have been established, bringing jobs to hundreds of people. Such ventures are making nature conservation important to the lives of local communities, while providing alternatives to hunting and overgrazing, which continue to pose threats to wildlife habitats. The RSCN and Wild Jordan manage the following reserves, many of which have accommodation: Dana Biosphere Reserve, Azraq Wetland Reserve, Mujib Nature Reserve, Ajloun Forest Reserve, Dibeen Forest Reserve, and the Dead Sea Panoramic Complex.

 

DA

Feynan Ecolodge lies in the Dana Biosphere Reserve, which covers 300km of land, making it the largest reserve in Jordan. Dana is an area of tremendous variety in terms of wildlife, geology and landscape. It is the only reserve in Jordan that encompasses the four different bio-geographical zones of the country: Mediterranean, Irano-Turanian, Saharo-Arabian and Sudanian. Elevations range from 1500m on the plateau near Quadesiyya to near sea level amidst the dunes of Wadi Araba.
Owing to its diverse elevations and geographical formations, Dana Biosphere Reserve hosts a wide array of flora and fauna. Over 800 plant species thrive within the reserve, three of which are unique to Dana. 449 different animals have been recorded, including threatened species such as the sand cat, Syrian wolf, lesser kestrel and spiny-tailed lizard. Dana Biosphere Reserve comprises part of a larger area identified by BirldLife International as the Dana Important Bird Area (IBA). In addition to the many bird species to be seen here, a large number of raptors migrate to Dana every spring.

 

FEYN

Feynan Ecolodge was constructed in 2005 by renowned architect Ammar Khammash at the western edge of the Dana Biosphere Reserve, Feynan Ecolodge is owned by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature and is the first of its kind in Jordan. Before the lodge was built, the land was utilised as a campsite by archaeologists conducting studies and digs in the area. The RSCN developed the campsite into an ecolodge to provide economic opportunities for local communities and generate revenue for the conservation of Jordan’s wild places. In September 2009, EcoHotels took over the management and operation of the lodge, offering travellers an unparalleled opportunity to experience Jordan’s wilderness, meet its native people and explore its ancient history, with minimal impact on the environment.


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