This is an archived press release
Monday 23 May 2005
23 May 2005
From Peak to desert - conservationists find common ground
Peak District National Park leaders gave a warm welcome to Jordanian desert conservationists on a fact-finding visit to the UK.
National Park Authority chair Tony Hams and chief executive Jim Dixon met Mohammed Shahbaz, president of the Badia research and development programme and Roderic Dutton, its British director, before they were given a tour of the National Park's varied landscape.
The Badia is a desert area covering 80 per cent of Jordan, with historic tourist sites as well as mineral resources and some agriculture, where nomadic people such as the Bedouins still conduct their traditional lifestyle.
The research and development programme was set up, with links to the University of Durham and Royal Geographical Society, to help conserve water, explore mineral deposits and support the desert people without harming the environment. In the Peak District, the project leaders wanted to discuss common issues such as links with local communities, eco-tourism, environmental protection and supporting the economy.
Despite the differences in climate and geography, Mr Shahbaz said: "We recognise there are real similarities in the issues we are dealing with in terms of longer-term aims, structures and requirements. It is of immense value to visit long-established protected areas such as the Peak District National Park so that we can both benefit from the exchange of ideas."
Tony Hams agreed: "We were delighted to welcome the Badia delegation to the Peak District, and to share experiences of caring for environmentally sensitive areas. Those responsible for protected areas throughout the world can learn a great deal from each other on these personal visits."