Reem Al-Zubaidi went against social norms and left her village—Om Hussein, Jordan—to work at the Sabha Community Nursery to grow different Mediterranean native plants such as saltbrush (Altriplex halimus) seedlings. The U.S. Forest Service, in partnership with The Hashemite Fund for Development of Jordan Badia, implemented the USAID-funded Sustainable Environmental and Economic Development (SEED) project, which provided Reem with intensive technical and soft skills training that made her a star at Sabha Community Nursery. As native seedlings like Mediterranean saltbrush develop, they go through a “hardening phase” that helps them endure the harsh conditions of the desert and attain a survival rate as high as 85 percent. Rangeland seedlings absorb and store carbon dioxide due to their quick growth and comparatively rapid reproduction rate. Reem’s contribution, along with those of other SEED beneficiaries, sets the stage for a landscape reforestation process that will provide essential ecosystem services and help mitigate climate change as seedlings lock carbon in their fiber.

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Country Jordan

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