Jordan Wants To Be Regional Hub for Green Climate Fund

[04-11-2021 11:07 AM]

Ammon News - Amman has sent a delegation of some 80 experts, youth and environmental activists to the UN climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland

(Amman) Jordan is working hard to try to benefit from the worldwide attention now being paid to the needs of developing countries in dealing with the effects of climate change. Jordan’s delegation of some 80 experts, youth and environmental activists to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland aims to give the country a foot in the door of the vast funding potential coming out of the climate summit that is projected to reach $100 billion.

Bashar Zaitoon, a freelance environment sustainability consultant, told the Media Line that Jordan suffers from climate change but doesn’t contribute to it. “Jordan’s carbon footprint less than 1%, but the problem is that all countries are affected in one way or another,” he said.

Zaitoon noted that it is usually the poorer countries that are more affected by climate change and that marginalized communities often suffer the most because they are unable to adapt, and because the socioeconomic situation makes them more vulnerable.

Zena Hamdan, an environmental media specialist, told the Media Line that Jordan’s bill for reducing carbon emissions in the kingdom will cost $7 billion.

“According to Jordan’s environment strategy until 2030 that was unveiled in Glasgow, Jordan has pledged to cover 5% of this cost while the rest has to be covered from business and international support,” Hamdan said.

Elham Alabadi, director of the Ibda Al-Balqa organization, which focuses on the environment of Al Arda area in Jordan’s Balqa Governorate, told the Media Line that Jordan is badly affected by the emissions of other countries in the region.

“We are dealing with geographic and regional wars on nature, the hosting of the largest number of refugees and we are among the poorest countries in water. Add to that the fact that the Dead Sea is being reduced all the time,” he said.

Alabadi called for a revitalization of the environmental needs of the country, which he says require huge budgetary resources. “We have a talented population and natural diversity, but we lack resources,” he said.

One of the major areas where Jordan needs to put in a great deal of effort is its absence of any forests.

Ahmad Shreidi, an environmentalist who lives in the Bargesh Forest located north of the capital, Amman, told the Media Line that the need to tackle deforestation is more important than planting new trees.

“We have a big problem in keeping the existing 1% of our lands that have forests. Forests need water and protection from arsonists and looters,” he said. “We have not had a single person tried for intentionally starting fires in our limited forests even though 85% of fires are started by humans and are not accidents.”

Shreidi said that the idea of planting some ten million trees would be a good one if the resources were available to protect and irrigate. “In the first four years, trees need constant irrigation; if 10 days go by without water they will disappear. If we can’t water and protect the forests, it is best to put our efforts into protecting the existing forests,” he said.

Zaitoon said that different formulas are needed for turning Jordan green. “The Badia Desert is 80% of the land of Jordan and we need to make these areas green by planting them with the appropriate plants that might be different than what we need for a forest,” he said.

It is unclear what funding mechanism will emerge out of Glasgow for the green economy global support that has been under discussion. Currently there are two funds: the Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Fund.

Zaitoon told The Media Line that it is very difficult for countries or national committees to become accredited to manage such funds. Jordan’s Cities and Villages Development Bank is trying to become accredited so that it will able to support green projects in Jordan and possibly beyond. For now, all the money that is coming to Jordan for the environment is channeled through local branches of international agencies. “We need capacity building in this area so as to get the needed funding,” he said.


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