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National agenda encourages Jordanians to unite for green impact

By Maria Weldali - Jan 20,2020 - Last updated at Jan 20,2020

AMMAN — Minister of Environment Saleh Kharabsheh on Monday launched the national agenda on environmental awareness, which aims to streamline green efforts and unify environmental goals within the Kingdom, at Al Hussein Cultural Centre in Amman. 

"The presence of vast numbers of people today is a sign of the level of attention given by all to the environment," Kharabsheh said at the outset of his address.

Today, the minister noted, the world is facing a number of environmental challenges, including climate change, biodiversity, desertification and water shortage, in addition to pollution mainly resulting from environmental exploitation.

These issues and pollutants are also found within the Kingdom, necessitating broader awareness of the phenomenon of pollution, especially as dumping and illegal waste disposal has become a “disturbing issue”, he said.

On this note, the minister commented: "When we look at some of our neighbourhoods, cities or villages, we cannot possibly believe that they are in Jordan, because they do not follow our principles. Therefore, it is imperative that we work together to find a comprehensive and definite solution." 

The national agenda was developed by the Ministry of Environment (MoE) to raise awareness among all segments of society, from school and university students to housewives, employees and others. 

The agenda aims to minimise waste production and employing recycling, Kharabsheh said, adding that if the problem of waste dumping is taken seriously, recycling efforts will develop.

Studies have shown that the cost of collection, transportation and treatment of waste in the Kingdom amounts to JD400 million, which can be reduced with unified efforts, the minister added.

MoE representative Shurouq Abu Taleb during the launch highlighted the agenda’s four principles, which include national cooperation, intelligence, attitude and volunteerism.

In order to reach a large number of citizens, the agenda contains several programmes, initiatives, campaigns and activities, along with a strategy to activate the ministry's social media platforms using awareness-raising videos, she said.

Under this strategy, 200,000 messages covering environmental issues will be sent over the course of 10 months, to promote communication between the ministry and citizens, she added.

The comprehensive awareness-raising agenda was approved by the Cabinet on December 23, 2019 to be implemented in the Kingdom's 12 governorates, Abu-Taleb added.

In cooperation with the MoE, the Ministry of Local Administration is also designing a national programme for waste management, according to Kharabsheh.

The MoE’s other strategic partners include the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the Ministry of Youth, the Ministry of Education, the German Agency for International Cooperation and private and public media outlets.

The launch event was attended by Minister of Youth Fares Breizat, representatives of civil society organisations, the MoE’s strategic partners and media representatives.

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