The Jordanian Ministry of Environment is constantly seeking to protect the environment and to improve its components in a sustainable manner. Accordingly, the Ministry exerted efforts in maintaining the Jordanian environment in full collaboration with all the partners and the active entities in the environmental sector and in other cross-cutting sectors.
The Ministry of Environment’s strategy (2020-2022) has been developed in a time where Jordan is witnessing various interior and exterior changes and challenges, especially the COVID-19 pandemic. This effort has also been conducted in response to the instructions of His Majesty King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein in prioritizing the environment and granting it special care to ensure the development of the legislative frameworks; providing specialized skilled personnel and activating partnerships to protect the environment.
The Ministry’s vision is to be “a pioneering ministry in preserving environmental components toward sustainable development”.
The Ministry’s mission is to “protect the environment, preserve vital ecological systems through setting and enforcing legislative frameworks, prepare strategies and policies, disseminate environmental culture and transition toward a green economy through a supportive institutional structure. The ultimate goal is to achieve sustainable development and reduce pollution and the negative effects of climate change while pursuing a participatory approach”.
Its mandate is that the Ministry is the competent authority in the protection of the environment in the Kingdom. Official and civil entities shall implement the legislations, instructions and decisions issued by the Ministry.
1- Protect and sustainably use ecosystem services.
2- Prevention of pollution and to address its adverse impacts.
3- Address climate change.
4- Transition towards a Green Economy.
5- Disseminate environmental culture and promote sound environmental behavior.
6- Develop institutional performance and promote a culture of excellence, innovation and gender
• The increase in pollution levels due to the incremental growth in various sectors such as the transportation sector, the energy sector and the industrial sector; and the lack of commitment towards environmental standards.
• The degradation of ecosystems and the increasing desertification due to urbanization at the expense of farmlands, and violating forest lands and reserves. Finally, the absence of water resource management systems.
• The weak level of environmental awareness and environmental education within the local communities and the economic sectors.
• Rehabilitation of Ecosystems in the Badia 2011-2020, which aims to rehabilitate pastures, water resources and wildlife in the Badia, which was damaged by the Gulf War in 1990/91 because of the overgrazing resulting from the resorting of a large number of refugees with their sheep to the Jordanian desert.
• Protection of the Environment and Biodiversity in Jordan PROTEB II 2016-2020 aiming at strengthening Jordan’s Environmental Governance Capacity, Decentralization and Hazardous Waste Management.
• Improvement of Green Infrastructure in Jordan through Labor-Intensive Measures (cash for work) (2017- 2022) through jobs, the upgrading and further development of a Green Infrastructure.
• Improving Living Conditions in Poverty-Stricken Areas of Amman (2017 -2021) which aims for participatory design of Green Infrastructure in Amman
• Reduction and elimination of POPs, which aims to reduce and eliminate pops and other chemical releases through implementation of environmentally sound management of E-waste and medical waste.
• Supporting Effective Governance for NDC Review and Implementation, NDC (2018-2020) which aims to contribute to achieving the NDC mitigation targets and low-emission development.
• National forestry project (2020-2030).
• Increase readiness to facilitate financing for climate change and green growth projects.
• Introduce an electronic tracking system for wastewater transport vehicles, engine oils and hazardous waste.
Environment and Climate Change
Jordan is affected more intensely by this phenomenon rather than contributing to it, as is the case in many developing countries. The negative effects of global warming on Jordan include an increase in temperature; expansion in areas affected by drought; loss of some natural ecosystems; migration and habitat degradation; deforestation; a rise in the incidences of forest fires; fluctuation of rainfall; recurring heat waves; a decrease in the amount of water available (groundwater and surface) as a result of the decline in water flows, which in turn impacts food security.
Jordan’s greenhouse gas emissions total approximately 28.7 million tons per year, or 0.06% of global emissions. The annual amount of CO2 emissions per capita amounted to approximately 4.41 tons at the end of 2016 and this figure is expected to rise to 5.59 tons by 2030.
In 2016, Jordan submitted its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat. The NDC document stipulates a reduction of emissions of 14% by 2030, of which 1.5% are unconditional contributions to the availability of funding at a cost of USD 0.5 billion, while 12.5% are contingent upon the availability of funding totaling USD 5.2 billion. To accelerate the implementation of its NDC, the Government of Jordan (GoJ) unveiled its NDC Action Plan in April 2019.
Jordan has been taking solid action to support green growth transformation. In 2017, the Cabinet approved the National Green Growth Plan, which established green growth as a top national priority. Jordan’s green growth vision – economic growth which is environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive – puts a strong emphasis on the importance of building resilience. This is needed for Jordan’s economy to be able to absorb external shocks such as the negative consequences of COVID-19, and the ability to restore itself and continue growing.
The Green Growth National Action Plan 2021-2025 has been launched recently for the main six sectors (energy, waste, water, transport, agriculture and tourism). The development of this plan lies at the heart of the continuous efforts and ambitions to support environmental and climate action in Jordan, while also achieving sustainable economic growth objectives and the green recovery of COVID-19 pandemic
The Jordan Environment Fund (JEF)
The Jordan Environment Fund (JEF), was established in 2009 under the provisions of the Environment Protection Law of the Ministry of Environment, with a mandate to help Jordan advance its national goals for environmental protection and sustainable development. JEF is governed by its own bylaw (No. 18 for the year 2018) through its Board of Directors, which comprises of representatives from the public and private sector.
The Fund’s mandate includes:
a. Support activities that contribute to environmental protection and conservation, and development of environmentally friendly practices.
b. Initiatives that promote resource efficiency, to contribute to sustainable development.
c. Contribute to raising environmental awareness, including use of cleaner production technology.
d. Focus on priority national sectors and provide support to enable fulfillment of environmental requirements.
e. Promote cooperation and knowledge transfer with national, regional and international entities with similar mandates to coordinate activities in support of environmental protection.
JEF works with beneficiaries from the public, private and NGO sectors, with the objective of achieving tangible impact on Jordan’s environment and society, including youth, women and vulnerable communities. JEF also seeks to attract climate and environmental finance to Jordan. JEF is strategically placed to serve as an implementation arm for the Ministry of Environment in delivering key environmental strategies and plans, including:
• Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), (in particular environmental SDGs 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13,14,15 and 17).
• RIO Conventions, among other key environmental conventions and agreements.
• Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement (both Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation sectors) and related action plans (e.g. NDC Action Plan, National Adaptation Plan).
• The National Green Growth Plan (including the six priority sectors of waste, energy, water, transport, tourism, agriculture).
• Sustainable Consumption and Production Action Plan.
JEF has supported a number of projects to date on a grant-financing basis, in diverse sectors and locations across Jordan, including:
• Deployment of drone technology to enable the Rangers (environmental police) to better monitor and address forest violations, as well as respond to fire hazards.
• Installation of GPS tracking systems on hazardous wastewater transportation tankers in order to track violators and take corrective measures.
• Awareness projects on waste management and recycling in cooperation with local NGOs and local organizations (including the Children’s Museum, Jordan Environment Society, Mafraq Association, and South Association in Maan).
• Annual, nation-wide anti-littering awareness campaigns (including distribution of 1000 bins in forests across the Kingdom, school plays, videos, dedicated Facebook page, social media messages…etc.).
• Tree-planting, and sustainable forest rehabilitation schemes in cooperation with key stakeholders (public, private and NGOs).
• Development of the first interactive gaming app to raise awareness of youth (ages 6-15) about waste reduction and recycling (EcoChamp).
• Supporting the publication of Jordan’s ‘Red List’ volumes in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Garden which detail Jordan’s endangered plant species.
• Translation of the first course on climate change to the Arabic language, available online through UNITAR, in collaboration with EDAMA.