The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP-Jordan) and Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Sunday, as part of providing a framework of cooperation in areas of marine conservation, DRR, climate change and environmental sustainability.
Signing on behalf of UNDP Jordan was the Country Director Sara Ferrer Olivella, and on behalf of ASEZA Chief Commissioner Nasser Shraideh, in the presence of Vice-President of Investment Affairs Dr. Emad Hijazin, Environment and Regional Affairs Commissioner Sulaiman Al-Najadat, Advisor of Environment Commissioner Dr. Ayman Sulaiman, Head of Environment, Climate Change & DRR Portfolio at UNDP Jordan Dr. Nedal Al-Aouran, and Dr. Saud Al-Qaran Director of Risk Management Unit.
Shraideh said that the Authority is seeking through signing the MOU with UNDP to join the global efforts to achieve the goals of sustainable development, noting that the memorandum aims to provide the parties with a framework for cooperation on a non-exclusive basis in areas of common interest and act as a guiding tool in defining and implementing specific activities in the city of Aqaba, in addition to including Wadi Rum and the tourism sector in Aqaba in these activities.
The memorandum includes cooperation in the fields of consultancy and technical assistance in developing an effective program for the protection of the wildlife, consultations to review and update the “National Program for Monitoring the Marine Environment in the Gulf of Aqaba”, and consultations on “Risk Assessment and Emergency Response Plans for Heavy Industries and Ports in the Southern Region”.
This agreement will not only help building on the outputs of the coastal zone management project implemented three years ago by UNDP, but it also will help promoting the concept of Water, Energy and Food NEXUS approach as a tool for integrated planning at both; national and local levels.
For her part, Olivella stressed her interest in re-enforcing the cooperation with ASEZA, which lasted for 10 years and resulted in implementing a number of projects in risk management, natural disaster management, integrated management of the coastal environment in Aqaba, in addition to the current project that is being carried out in Wadi Rum focusing on merging the concepts of biodiversity in the tourism sector. She also addressed the readiness of UNDP to support the plans and projects of ASEZA related to environmental tourism in Wadi Rum.