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Dana Biosphere receives spot on New York Times’ list of ‘52 places’ to go in 2022

By JT - Jan 13,2022 - Last updated at Jan 13,2022

A view of Dana Biosphere Reserve, located in Tafileh Governorate, 180km southwest of the capital (Photo courtesy of Jihad Bdour)

AMMAN — The New York Times ranked Dana Biosphere Reserve 25th out of 52 global spots that are considered the most prominent and most beautiful in the world.

The New York Times’ “52 places” list for 2022 “looks at spots where visitors can be part of the solution to problems like overtourism and climate change”, the newspaper said.

“Perched on a cliff overlooking the central valley of Jordan’s largest nature reserve stands the quaint Ottoman-era stone houses of Dana Village. Once abandoned by the Ata-ta tribe, the settlement is being brought back to life through an ecotourism project that aims to preserve the area’s biodiversity by empowering local communities. 

“Many of the 15th-century houses have been converted into eco-lodges with terraced gardens and orchards, creating an oasis above the desert plains below. Along the village’s cobbled streets, local women sell handcrafted jewellery and homemade jams produced from fruits grown in their orchards. Dana Village marks the start of the nine-mile Wadi Dana hiking trail that spans the reserve and its flora and fauna,”  the newspaper said.

“The reserve is home to 833 plant species and several endangered bird species, as well as archaeological ruins from the Byzantine, Nabataean and Roman periods, including the ancient copper mines in Wadi Faynan”, the paper added.

Commenting on selecting Dana on the list, the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN), in a statement released on Thursday, said that Dana Biosphere Reserve has won dozens of international awards, describing it as a "treasure and natural and cultural heritage".

Dana Biosphere Reserve is the first national reserve to be listed on UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB), the statement added, noting that the reserve provides 85 jobs for locals, while some 500 families benefit indirectly from the reserve that purchases supplies from the local community.

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