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The people of Dana and Qadisiyah villages set up the Dana and Qadisiyah Local Community Cooperative in 1994 after the Jordanian Government authorised that their customary land be turned into a nature reserve. The Cooperative has a general assembly of more than 100 families, and works to claim the land rights to the community’s customary land by empowering local people to adopt a more socio-political role, and by educating a wider international audience to the community’s loss of land rights.
The work has a strong emphasis on empowering young people and women at local level, and it has a youth programme and a women’s programme. Other projects concentrate on the restoration of Dana village (an Ottoman village unique in Jordan) and land protection i.e. protecting local ownership of the village’s individually owned land by encouraging landowners to join the Cooperative and to sell to the Cooperative only. Its other projects relate to sustainable tourism. The Cooperative operates the Dana Hotel and Wadi Dana Eco-camp. The Dana Hotel was the first community run hotel in Jordan. The tourism ventures ensure that the Cooperative has a strong and positive presence in the Dana Nature Reserve (created upon their customary land), and provide income, work experience and training for members of the local community, including training guides to international standards.
The Cooperative also networks nationally and internationally. It is proactive in working to preserve the Hima methods (traditional land management) within Jordan and in educating younger generations and the international community. Working with the ILC and key stakeholders in Jordan, the Cooperative is developing and implementing a national engagement strategy for people centred land governance in Jordan (official launch September 2017).
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