UNDP Jordan supports the Ministry of tourism & Antiquities to take the first step towards tourism transition into green economy

UNDP supports establishing a green unit at MOTA

In order to continue its development vision in protecting the environment and climate change in Jordan; UNDP is taking the lead to sustain environmental practices especially in the tourism sector.

Highlights

  • The establishment of the new green unit will encourage actions, behaviors, and work practices that are in sync with environment and natural assets

One of the new initiatives UNDP Jordan will implement is establishing a Tourism Green Unit (TGU) in the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquity (MOTA), which will be done through “Mainstreaming Biodiversity Conservation in Tourism Sector Development in Jordan (BITS) project”, supported by Global Environment Facility (GEF).

The innovative idea was developed by UNDP and MOTA. UNDP is supporting the ministry to establish the unit through technical and financial assistance which will enhance the adoption of environmental good practices in the tourism sector in Jordan. The mandate of the unit will focus on achieving the following:

·         Enhance environmental protection and to set the tourism policy towards mainstreaming biodiversity protection in the process of tourism development within MoTA and the tourism Sector especially in the new national tourism strategy 2016-2020.

·         Enhance the coordination and networking through the formation of a national committee for tourism and biodiversity conservation from different key stakeholders in tourism and environmental sectors.

·         Encourage more eco-friendly practices within the tourism sector through incentive schemes and certification and eco-labeling programs.

·         Conduct a strategic environmental assessment for the tourism sector in Jordan.

This innovative activity comes to address the development of the organizational and administrative framework of a specific unit at MoTA (Tourism Green Unit) which would be mandated to lead the integration of natural heritage and biodiversity into MoTA’s institutional and legal frameworks and to mainstream biodiversity conservation within the tourism sector in Jordan, including the integration of biodiversity concerns within the licensing system. The TGU is envisaged to be a technical unit that will act as a liaison body with all related main stakeholders in issues related to biodiversity and tourism, the unit will be governed by a management team from MoTA and a Steering Committee.

One of the main key advantages for Jordan is the natural assets, according to this MoTA has to adapt new culture that focus more on this asset and develop new ways and initiatives to protect and maintain those assets.

The establishment of the new green unit will encourage actions, behaviors, and work practices that are in sync with environment and natural assets.  It will also be matched to the requirements of the tourism new trends, and to dedicate considerable effort to establishing MoTA’s culture that encourages behaviors and work good practices conducive to promote and protect the natural assets.

It is worth mentioning that The GEF-UNDP Mainstreaming Biodiversity Conservation in the Tourism Sector Development in Jordan (BITS)” Project aims at making the consideration of biodiversity a fundamental part of everyday planning and development for tourism in Jordan. The project is implemented jointly by a number of national institutions namely, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MoTA), the Ministry of Municipal Affairs (MoMA), the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA), and the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA). The project is further coordinated with the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MoPIC) and the Ministry of Environment (MoEnv).

UNDP Jordan will continue its support to the government of Jordan by providing innovative policy advice and sharing environmental best practices. UNDP remains focused on some environmental issues: Energy Efficiency, Biodiversity Conservation in Tourism sector, Marine Coastal Biodiversity Conservation, Electronic E-Waste Management, Migratory Soaring Birds and Climate Change.