Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Livestock, medicinal plants and rangeland viability in Jordan’s Badia: through the lens of traditional and local knowledge

Raed Al-Tabini1*, Khalid Al-Khalidi2 and Mustafa Al-Shudiefat3

Author Affiliations

1 Researcher at the Royal Botanic Garden, P.O. Box 99 Amman, 11910, Jordan

2 Project Coordinator at the Royal Botanic Garden, Amman, Jordan

3 Veterinarian at the National Centre for Research and Development / Badia Program, Amman, Jordan

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Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice 2012, 2:4  doi:10.1186/2041-7136-2-4

Published: 9 May 2012

Abstract

This study investigates the traditional and local knowledge of Bedouin (Badu) communities in the Badia region of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan with regard to livestock production, medicinal plant use and rangeland management, and examines how such knowledge has changed over time. Badu customs and practices from the last 50 years are compared with current realities in order to get a clear picture of how modernization, social change and environmental factors have negatively affected the land, the people, livestock and plant biodiversity in the Badia. The findings indicate that the rangeland environment has become severely degraded, herd sizes have decreased, plant species are in danger, and traditional Bedouin lifestyles have changed radically, due to unrelenting pressure on the land, water scarcity, manufactured livestock feed, government intervention, artificial borders, and the abandonment of natural water harvesting and hima practices.

Keywords:
Rangeland; grazing management; medicinal plants; traditional knowledge; Bedouin; Badu; hima