Projects by young people using social media to document their environment are highlighted on a Google map of Jordan. Image via 7iber.
Like their counterparts across the world, Jordanian youth are busy texting, tweeting, Facebooking, and posting videos on YouTube. With 30 percent of the country's population between the ages of 18 and 30, that adds up to a strong potential voice -- one that a youth-oriented media outlet is working to harness to document environmental problems and identify protected areas and other natural resources.Organized by 7iber INC, the Mu7afazat 3al Bey2a project is conducting social media workshops throughout Jordan, teaching young participants how they can use online tools for more than sharing pictures and flirting. The videos, stories, photos, and other content resulting from this effort to increase the amount of citizen reporting on the environment are pinpointed on a Google map created by the folks at 7iber, who write:
...the theme for these nationwide trainings is the environment; an issue that is diverse enough that it can mean different things, to different people, depending on where they live. For some citizens, living in more rural areas, garbage collection is an important issue, while to others, access to fresh water is a priority. Throughout each training, youth are exposed to how social media tools can be used in an environmental context.
Documenting Garbage, Construction Violations
Participants in the project, which is supported by the European Commission and Heinrich Boell Stiftung, have used their cell-phone cameras to film the garbage piled up in vegetable market and evidence of environmental violations at construction sites. They have mapped the country's nature and wildlife reserves to raise awareness about the need to protect them, and hailed the hard work of municipal sanitation employees.
By encouraging "young Jordanians to utilize social media tools to report, document and engage their local environments," the organizers say, Mu7afazat 3al Bey2a aims to help take "the conversation beyond the national sphere and beyond the borders of the capital Amman."
More about environmental issues in Jordan:
PETA Silenced in the Middle East: Activists Banned in Dubai and Jordan
No More Baptisms in the Jordan River - Expected to Run Dry by 2011
Sidewalks = Social Justice in Amman, Jordan
Boosting Recycling, Scavenger Incomes in Jordan
1 Gigawatt Solar Power Plant (Plus Factory) Planned For Jordan
Jordan, Royal Dutch Shell Investigate Tapping Environmentally Destructive Oil Shale
Eco-Tourists in the Middle East Explore Jordan
Jordan to Build Sustainable City for One Million