The present National Environment Strategy for Jordan is a Resource Book of Information and Guidelines for Action and is based on Jordan’s pledge to maintain environmental protection as a national priority to preserve the earth, wind and water as a symbol of the bond between the legacy of ancestors, contemporary responsibilities and capabilities, and the promise for future generations. In particular, the Strategy addresses the: i) legal framework for environmental management; ii) assigning of institutional authority (Department of Environment and proposed Higher Council for the Environment); and iii) creation of an environmental impact assessment process in Jordan.Chapter 2 deals with Agriculture and Lands. The strategy aims at managing natural resources in a way that conserves the basic natural resources which are necessary for human growth and survival, such as soil, water, plant cover and climate, and developing these elements and using them appropriately. Secondary aims are to maintain i) biological diversity by protecting the various species of animals, plants and micro-organisms in their different agricultural environments; and ii) productivity of environmental systems, especially forests, grazing land and agricultural land within a balanced environmental order. The strategy should be accomplished urgently, for the following reasons: a) The agricultural lands’ ability to feed the population is decreasing continuously due to increased soil erosion as a result of plant cover destruction and urban expansion; b) Many urban and rural people are obliged to destroy land resources in order to meet their increased needs by cutting trees, bushes and plant cover to use as fuel or animal feed, and by burning animal waste and residuals of crops which are necessary to enrich the soil. Moreover, the increased use of machinery leads to the deterioration of the environment, and ploughing marginal lands and forests for use in unsuitable farming leads to desertification; c) Soil erosion and sedimentation shorten the life span of dams and reservoirs and decrease their storage and power generation capacity. Annual floods also destroy crops and facilities in different parts of Jordan; d) Exceeding safe groundwater extraction limits leads to deterioration of water quality, increased salinization and long-term depletion; e) Misuse of agricultural inputs, and land pollution from plastic wastes and use of waste water. The Chapter makes provisions for: 1) Overview of issues; 2) Assessment of sector resources; 3) Causes of depletion and degradation; 4) Recommended actions to promote sustainable agriculture; 5) Information sources for land, forests, rangeland and agriculture.Chapter 3 lays down provisions relating to Surface and Groundwater. The principal priority is to discover and increase the supply of water as demand has out-stripped it. The Chapter is divided into 6 sections as follows:1) Current status of water in Jordan; Issues of water availability and consumption; 3) Water pollution and management issues; 4) Overall assessment of water sector resources; 5) Causes of depletion and degradation of water resources; 6) Actions to solve water sector problems; 7) Information sources for water resources. Chapter 4 on Wildlife and Habitat establishes that it is imperative that a national wildlife and habitat strategy be formulated to safeguard Jordan’s animal species, conserve critical habitats, and improve environmental conditions in the country’s different areas. The Chapter treats the following aspects: 1) Overview; 2) Fauna of Jordan; 3) Flora of Jordan; 4) Protected areas; 5) Reasons for depletion of wildlife and habitat resources; 6) Recommended actions for wildlife and habitat; 7) Top priorities: new reserves and environmental education; 8) Conclusion; 9) Information sources for wildlife and habitat.Chapter 5 dealing with Coastal and Marine identifies coastal and marine life resources, causes of depletion affecting them now and in the future, and ways to control depletion. It also addresses the issue of land-use planning. In Jordan, coastal and marine environment encompass the Gulf of Aqaba and the Dead Sea. The Chapter reviews the following issues: 1) Summary list of issues; 2) Evaluation of sectoral resources; 3) Causes of coastal resource depletion - destructive practices and pressures; 4) Actions for coastal and marine environmental management; 5) Information sources for coastal and marineChapter 6 on Energy and Mineral Resources discusses environmental aspects of this sector. The discussion includes i) fossil fuels, which include oil, natural gas, oil shale and tar sands; and ii) renewable sources of energy, which include geothermal energy, solar energy, and wind energy. Phosphate and other mining activities make a large contribution to Jordan’s economy and the environmental effects of these operations are detailed as well. In particular, the Chapter deals with the following aspects: 1) Environmental issues and fossil fuels; 2) Renewable sources of energy; 3) Environmental issues and the mining of metallic and non-metallic minerals; 4) Evaluation of non-renewable energy resources; 5) Evaluation of renewable sources of energy; 6) Non-metallic minerals and industrial rocks; 7) Towards environmentally sound mining and energy production; 8) Recommended energy strategies by sector; 9) Changes to environmental policy and legislation; 10) Institutional changes; 11) Public awareness, consultation and participation.Chapter 9 defines Environmental Health as the control of all natural factors in man’s environment which affect his life, welfare and continuous maintenance of his safety. In particular, a Committee of experts put forward the following for Jordan: 1) Providing sufficient, safe water: the water policy in Jordan takes into account protecting the available resources, the quantity of water reserves in basins and surface water; 2) Developing drainage systems for domestic waste and waste water: investigate treatment methods used in Jordan vis-a-vis their effectiveness and economic aspects of operation and maintenance, in order to adopt the best method. Selection of sites for transferring waste water and building treatment units must also be done with great care. Garbage collection and transfer and a healthful method for final disposal of wastes, including selection of suitable sites for this purpose; 4) Environmental health in home and neighbourhood; 5) Providing a healthful environment in workshops, factories, and public places; 6) Controlling insects and other disease-transmitters. The Chapters comprises 4 sections as follows: 1) Environmental health - concept and issues; 2) Resources in environmental health; 3) Proposed actions to manage resources; 4) Obstacles to be overcome; 5) Information sources for environmental health.Chapter 10 on Atmosphere and Air Quality discusses sources of atmospheric pollution in Jordan, and their environmental effects. The agencies responsible for measuring pollution levels are identified, as is the expertise available in this field. Finally, recommendations and actions to keep pollution at the permissible limits are suggested, along with legislative initiatives. The Chapter makes provisions for: 1) Pollutants in Jordan; 2) Air pollution sources in Jordan; 3) Summary causes of air pollution; 4) Recommended actions to resolve air quality problems; 5) Information sources for air quality.Last not least Chapter 12 concerns Legal Initiatives for the Strategy. Jordanian legislation is the subject of this Chapter, in terms of its suitability and adequacy to deal with environmental protection and pollution control issues. Recommendations are made with respect to updating and developing environmental laws and regulations to improve management of Jordan’s environment. The Chapter considers the following issues: 1) Existing legislation; 2) Recommendations of the working groups regarding legislation for each sector; 3) Proposed actions and recommendations including monitoring. This Chapter includes recommendations of working groups regarding legislation for each sector.The text consists of 12 Chapters as follows: Geographical Overview (1); Agriculture and Lands (2); Surface and Groundwater (3); Wildlife and Habitat (4); Coastal and Marine (5); Energy and Mineral Resources (6); Population (7); Housing and Settlements (8); Environmental Health (9); Atmosphere and Air Quality (10); Antiquities and Cultural Resources (11); Legal Initiative for the Strategy (12).
The FAO Legal Office provides in-house counsel in accordance with the Basic Texts of the Organization, gives legal advisory services to FAO members, assists in the formulation of