desertification & regenerative sustainable agriculture
Credit: ILRI/Flickr

Reviving ancient practices to combat desertification in Jordan

Communities in Jordan are successfully using the ancient practice of hima to combat overgrazing and desertification, revitalizing local ecosystems and traditions.

Diana Kruzman reports for bioGraphic.


In short:

  • Hima, an ancient land-management practice, is being revived in Jordan to combat overgrazing and desertification, resulting in a significant increase in plant biomass and biodiversity.
  • The rotational grazing system protects certain areas, allowing them to recover, which benefits both the environment and local shepherds.
  • International conservation organizations are looking to scale up this culturally integrated approach across the Middle East.

Key quote:

"Our religion tells us that whoever plants a tree—and an animal, a bird, or a person eats from it, or takes shade in it, or lives in it—then he has good deeds, and his reward is with God."

— Emad al-Alimat, Bedouin shepherd

Why this matters:

Reviving hima not only restores ecosystems but also supports local communities, blending conservation with cultural and religious traditions, and offering a sustainable model for land management in arid regions. Read more: Climate, justice, and the deep roots of regenerative farming.

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