The United Nations Development Program UNDP and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) launched on 16 June 202, Scaling Up Innovation in Water Management for Climate Security in Northern Jordan project in Jerash Governorate Office in presence of the Governor of Jerash and representatives of government agencies NGOs, the private sector and donors. The project will be implemented over two years with the aim of strengthening the management of water resources in the governorates of Jerash and Mafraq with a grant of $450,000 as part of the SDG Climate Facility project: Climate Action for Human Security in the Arab States.
The project encompasses an inclusive climate security approach which goes beyond pure-play climate adaptation solutions to climate change to meeting the needs of both host communities and the Syrian refugees in addition to the development of appropriate mechanisms to develop local capacities so as to make innovative change to water management.
The project aims to develop entrepreneurial water security projects in the governorates of Jerash and Mafraq. It will capacitate innovative SMEs in the water sector to enhance an enabling local environment in the local market and contribute to the development of innovative solutions to realize water security. It will also contribute to achieving sustainable development through the creation of additional job opportunities for Syrian refugees and host communities in Mafraq and Jerash. The full engagement of women at the community level in the activities of the project will be ensured and can be replicated and scaled up for a longer-term sustainable development.
In his welcoming remarks Jerash Governor Dr. Firas Abu Qaoud underlined the importance of the agriculture sector in supporting the economy of Jordan, meeting the local market needs of food as well as increasing Jordan’s exports. The Governor said the use of water in farms should be rationalized by reducing water waste so as to increase efficiency. Therefore; it is important to support the entrepreneurial and innovative ideas of individuals or organizations that achieve this goal, which will contribute to the best use of water since the country is affected by water scarcity this summer with the growing demand on water due to the high numbers of Syrian refugees in the host communities.
He stressed the significance of the partnership between the public, private sectors and international organizations operating in the Kingdom to support innovation and entrepreneurship so as to achieve sustainable development in local communities, which contributes to making Jordan green and eco-frien
UNDP Environment, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Team Leader Dr. Nidal Al-Oran said UNDP supports a number of projects in the water sector that increase the resilience of the sector in addressing various challenges including the climate change. In partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization FAO, it is now implementing the first project funded by the Green Climate Fund GCF with $33.2 million to enhance climate resilience in Jordan by building the adaptation capacity of communities and institutions and increasing the efficiency of the water management systems. UNDP, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and all stakeholders, is updating the climate change policy in Jordan in order to develop an integrated scientific methodology to address the implications of climate change and move forward in realizing green economy.
During her remarks, Sujala Pant, Chief Technical Advisor/Project manager, SDG Climate Security Project highlighted that, “climate change issues are not unique to Jordan. We have observed similar patterns in other Arab countries. We need to identify tailored climate-security solutions that respond to the needs of communities in both rural and urban contexts. And we need to do this through a whole-of-society approach, which creates partnerships across government, private sector, civil society organisations, and development partners. The pilot project in Jerash is an important steppingstone on the way to a larger, more coherent, regional approach to solving climate impacts”
Sweden is proud of the first resilience pilot to Jordan. The pilots under the SDG-Climate Facility are showcasing solutions for vulnerable communities to tackle the climate crisis and when possible bring in private investments for sustainability. It’s inspiring to see that climate smart innovations can also generate improve life quality.