H. R. H. Princess Basma bint Ali
H. R. H. Princess Basma bint Ali of Jordan, founder and chairperson of a number of grassroots NGOs in the field of environment and sustainable development, is a positive role model not only for women, but for an entire generation of young people in the Middle East.
She has helped raise the public's sense of responsibility towards the protection of the environment and the need to achieve sustainable development. She is also chair of the Jordan Royal Ecological Diving Society, the National Environment Wildlife Society and the Red Crescent Society. Through her efforts, the organizations, which she has founded and chairs, have attracted a huge following and have helped enhance civil society participation in sustainable development activities.
In November 2001, she worked with the Jordanian Government to hold a regional conference for NGOs on the role of Civil Society in the implementation of Agenda 21 for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). Her contribution to Jordan's preparations for WSSD, and the extensive media coverage her work attracts, has helped make the environment and sustainable development household topics in her region.
Also of note are Her Royal Highness’ efforts in academic research. She has worked with and supported Jordan's renowned botanist Dr. Daoud El-Esawi, in saving one of Jordan's endemic crocuses from destruction by relocating it to the Jordan University Botanical Garden and the Jordan Intercontinental Hotel Gardens. She was honored as a Hero for the Planet by TIME Magazine in 1998, and she is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Order of Merit from the Jordanian Armed Forces (1998), the King Hussein Gold Medal for Excellence and the Medal of Administrative Competence from the Jordanian Armed Forces (1995). She was chosen by the United States Information Agency to represent Jordan at their International Visitor Programme on Marine Conservation and Women in Military Affairs (1995). She is Honorary President of the Fertile Crescent Society of the Middle East; Honorary President of the Planetary Coral Reef Foundation, California, USA; Founder and President of the Pilot Phase Assessment Committee of Jordan for the Global Environmental Facility; member of the Society for the Preservation of Jordanian Heritage; and founder and board of directors member of Halfway House for Juvenile Delinquents, Boston, USA. She holds a certificate in Military Science from the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst, UK.