Please provide a short (approximately 100 word) summary of the following web Content, written in the voice of the original author. If there is anything controversial please highlight the controversy. If there is something surprising, unique, or clever, please highlight that as well. Content: Title: Greening the desert: the architect regenerating Jordan’s native forests Site: W alking along a path in Jordan’s Birgish forest, one of the very few remaining patches of woodland in one of the world’s driest countries, Deema Assaf is careful not to step on any of the delicate wild orchids. Deforestation and the climate crisis have left the desert nation with just 1% tree cover. But Assaf, an architect, believes that with time, patience and new conservation techniques she can help turn it green again. “We once had dense forests,” she says. “There were elephants, rhinos and the Asiatic lion – animals that used to coexist with people here.” Walking through Birgish, one of Jordan’s very few woodlands. Photograph: Courtesy of Tayyun Research Studio Gazing up at an old oak, she says: “Discovering that made me see the landscape from a different perspective. It is fascinating to see the potential – if human intervention was not affecting it [the ecosystem] negatively.” Now an “ urban forester ”, Assaf is an avid collector of information about Jordan’s native plants. She is also the founder and director of Tayyun, an Amman-based organisation that researches urban rewilding and regenerating ecosystems in cities. ‘Native forest creation simply felt like the right thing to do,’ says Deema Assaf, director of Tayyun. Photograph: Courtesy of Tayyun Research Studio After 10 years working as an architect, a visit to a nature reserve in 2017 – and the guilt she felt about being part of the increasing urbanisation of the landscape – led Assaf to look for more meaningful work. She became involved in regenerative landscaping and native forest creation – often referred to as permaculture – after being inspired by a video by the permaculture consultant Geoff Lawton about a 2,000 year-old-forest in Morocco. The film shows a human-made forest in an arid landscape, with a high canopy of foliage, palm trees like sleek pillars and walls of fruit trees creating cool dark glades with mottled light filtering through. The forest floor was carpeted with shrubs and grass. She decided this was what she wanted to do in her native Jordan. Her research led her to the Miyawaki method from Japan, a way of planting saplings in a way that creates ultra-dense, multilayered native forests 10 times faster than it would regenerate naturally. The soil is analysed and improved, then four categories of native seedlings are planted: main tree species, sub-species, shrubs and ground-covering vegetation. The method has been adapted in several countries and has the potential to restore lost indigenous forests, a process that would normally take hundreds of years. “Moving from architecture to urban rewilding and native forest creation simply felt like the right thing to do,” says Assaf. Harvesting seeds as part of the rewilding in Jordan. Photograph: Courtesy of Tayyun Research Studio Her approach goes beyond planting individual trees. It is about establishing a plant “community” in a living soil, reconnecting native species that co-evolved together for thousands of years, she says. Jordan is mostly arid, and about 75% of it is desert , with rainfall scarce. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, forests in Jordan cover only 975 sq km of Jordan’s 89,000 sq-km area (34,000 sq miles) or barely 1% of the country. “It is not drought that causes bare ground – it is bare ground that causes drought,” she says. The more we work on greening, the more we give nature the ability to restore itself, even in the driest places, she says. “Working with nature is a gentle yet firm call for patience, determination and faith to trust the process.” A nursery for the Tayyun rewilding project. Photograph: Courtesy of Tayyun Research Studio Assaf started in 2018 when she was loaned a small site of 107 sq metres. She has gradually built a database of plants and trees for creating a native forest in Jordan. Today she organises workshops and offers opportunities for volunteers from all walks of life to join in with the planting of trees and harvesting seeds. “We are constantly testing techniques; always learning, refining, and fine-tuning,” she says. So far, Tayyun has created four nascent forests, planting more than 2,700 native seedlings. The organisation also collects seeds for others, including those of Jordan’s endangered species. Assaf is preparing her fifth forest with 1,100 native seedlings. Asked how she chooses a site, she says: “It is pretty simple: if it was once a forest, it could be a forest again. It is in the land’s DNA.” Rawan Baybars is from Amman, Jordan. She is part of an programme assisting civil society journalists around the world.