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Country context
General description of the country

Jordan is a country part of Western Asia, known by its official name, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, strategically situated at the junction of Levantine and Arabian areas of the Middle East, Jordan is based on a modern and progressive constitution, it’s a constitutional hereditary monarchy, and its people represent a large family in which diverse religious, linguistic and ethnic components have fused, making it a unique country in its unity, diversity and stability.1
Jordan has an area of around 91,880 km2, accommodating a population of 11,057.0 million individuals as estimated in 20212 , and has twelve administrative areas or Governorates; Amman (the capital), Irbid, Zarqa, Mafraq, Ajloun, Jerash, Madaba, Salt, Karak, Tafila, Ma'an and Aqaba.

Jordan's National Voluntary Review on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda

Jordan was one of the first countries to present a Voluntary National Review (VNR) of the national progress made in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in 2017. During the Forum, Jordan affirmed its commitment to implementing the 2030 Agenda, and highlighted its role in seeking to achieve permanent peace, as an oasis of security and stability in a turbulent region. Jordan’s Second national voluntary report were submitted July.20203 .
Future efforts will focus on two tracks as we move forward towards 2030: the first pertaining to the framework for the 2030 Agenda in Jordan, with work to be directed towards strengthening the institutional structure and capacities required for achieving the SDGs, in addition to continuing to develop the national SDGs database, to take into account sex, age and disability, while addressing some issues including the duplication of efforts that in some cases characterizes the work undertaken in certain goals, as for the second track, focus will be on major strategic projects that will have a significant impact across sectors.

Jordan Environmental Governance

The Ministry of Environment (MoEnv) is the government's main authority on environmental issues. It has taken the lead in promoting legislative frameworks, designing strategies, formulating policies, and establishing regulatory standards for environmental protection and preservation activities, as well as increasing environmental monitoring and law enforcement. The ministry's efforts aid in the spread of environmental culture and the modification of individual and society behavior towards environmental issues in a way that leads to the preservation and protection of the environment4 .

The ministry had many technical directorates from which; environmental monitoring and assessment, environmental licensing, Environmental Impact Assessment, Auditing and inspection, Waste and Hazardous waste and substances, Climate change, the chair of the National Climate Change Committee (NCCC), in addition and -among other functions- serves as a national focal point for all international and environmental conventions and protocols, such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)5 .

In 2020, the Government of Jordan adopted the Waste Management Framework Law No. 16 for the year 2020, where this law was prepared by the ministry of environment in cooperation with all stakeholders to enhance the governance in waste management and determine the responsibilities for all authorities who are responsible for the all types of waste (Hazardous, domestic, commercial, agriculture, industrial, demolition and construction….etc.), in addition to the responsibilities of the producer and holder of large waste quantities and the operator of waste collection system serving them, and encouraging the involvement of the private sector through the investing in the waste management activities, and regulating the initiation on national EPR system.

Additionally, on the environmental monitoring, Jordan has different constitutional provisions for controlling the air pollution:

  • The environmental protection law no. 6 of 2017;
  • Air protection regulation no. 28 of 2005 Environmental Impact Assessment studies regulation no. 37 of 2005;
  • The Environmental Audit Instruction of 2014;
  • The International Agreements related to air pollution;
  • Ambient Air Quality Jordanian Standards no 1140 of 2006;
  • Maximum allowable limits of air pollutants emitted from the stationary sources.

These rules and regulations are reflecting specific examples for controlling environmental pollutants. The governmental challenge to address air pollution has been to expand the ambient air quality’s network monitoring.

The Jordan Environment Fund (JEF) was established in 2009 under the Environment Protection Law (6/2017), 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. 

Environmental Indicators and State of Environment Reporting

The Ministry of Environment have developed and adopted a set of national Environmental Indicators, these indicators will give an overview of environmental issues in Jordan in five sectors:

  • Atmosphere
  • Water Resources
  • Biodiversity
  • Land
  • Solid Waste

These indicators will support the decision making, reporting, evaluation and tracking the performance in the various environmental sectors, moreover the third national state of environment report will be prepared based on these national environmental indicators.

Green Economy

Jordan has implemented concrete steps towards transition to green economy that is both environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive. In 2017, Jordan developed it’s national Green Growth plan (NGGP) as a roadmap towards the transition, focusing on six sectors energy, water, waste over agriculture, tourism and transport Not that that in 2020, the green gross national action plan (GGNAP) was developed covering the six sectors, with a total number of 86 actions, including green growth environment enabling actions and investment projects.

Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)

Stemming from its national role to protect and sustain the environment, and based on the Environmental Protection Law, the Ministry of Environment has been, since its inception, devising environmental plans, strategies and legislation, in close cooperation and partnership with partners and stakeholders from the private and public sectors as well as civil society institutions. Also, the ministry has adopted global environmental frameworks and policies and ratified several international environmental agreements in its capacity as the national focal point.

Acting upon national and international legal frameworks, the ministry continues to strengthen cooperation with national and international partners to ensure the delivery of projects and programs that support its strategy aimed at protecting Jordan's environmental resources and ensuring their sustainability. In this context, the ministry has signed a wide range of agreements and memoranda of understanding for cooperation with Arab and foreign countries6 .

  1. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
  2. Kyoto Protocol
  3. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
  4. Cartagena Protocol for Biosafety
  5. Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance
  6. Convention on Migratory Species (Bonn Convention)
  7. Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA)
  8. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES)
  9. United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
  10. Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol on Ozone-Depleting Substances (ODS)
  11. Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
  12. Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
  13. Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure (PIC)
  14. Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment (Marpol) 1973-1978
  15. Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources
  16. Minamata Convention on Mercury
  17. Paris Agreement on Climate Change
  18. Protocol for the Conservation of Biodiversity and the Establishment of the Network of Protected Areas in the Sea Gulf of Aden for the year 2005
  19. Protocol for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden
Summary of Key Environmental Issues

The main pressing environmental issues facing the country is the pressure on its water resources, which are falling well below international indicators of severe water scarcity, pressuring the country into withdrawing its water resources at unsustainable rates 8 . Additionally, Jordan’s rapid population growth and increasing urbanization, refuge fluxes from neighboring countries, continue to put pressures on the country’s infrastructure and natural resources in ways that may create obstacles in the face of attempts towards environmental sustainability.