Only 2.5% of Amman consists of green areas, and Jordan faces a number of challenges to sustainable green development. On the one hand, Jordan is the most water-scarce countries in the world, and at the same time, it has a huge refugee population due to conflicts in neighboring countries, putting further pressure on scarce resources.
Present-day Amman evolved from the village of Ain Ghazal – one of the oldest civilizations in the world, dating back to 7500 BC. The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) celebrates this rich cultural heritage, and now aims to make the city modern, smart, safe, attractive, friendly, liveable, sustainable, and resilient.
“The Greater Amman Municipality is proud to be part of Cities4Forests, which complements our policies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. To create a city that is liveable and prosperous we are working to mitigate the effects of climate change via the Amman Green 2020 initiative, and by developing plans to create more green areas within the city. Through its involvement with Cities4Forests Amman will benefit from an extensive network of cities, whose knowledge may help Amman develop and implement solutions to address the environmental challenges it faces.”
Dr. Yousef AL Shawarbeh
Mayor of Amman
The Greater Amman Municipality has developed a strategy called ‘Green Amman 2020’ to ban the destruction of forests. The strategy focuses on the sustainable consumption of legally-sourced wood products that come from sustainably-managed forests.
The Municipality sponsors the development of sustainable forest management to provide long-term social, economic, and environmental benefits. Additional benefits include improving the environmental credentials of the municipality, and consolidating the GAM’s environmental leadership nationally, as well as improving the quality of life and ecosystem services for future generations.
Greater Amman Municipality is working to protect nearby forests through activities such as mapping and registering community forests, and putting an end to illegal logging.
The Municipality needs technical assistance and training for forest communities to improve sustainable forest management. The Municipality aims to engage forest communities on issues that affect their forests, and to reward communities for the environmental services they provide.
Where every drop of water counts
In Amman, the arid capital of Jordan, water scarcity has always been a problem, and it is getting worse due to immigration and climate change: refugees from Syria have increased water demand in the country by roughly 20% and, according to a study by Stanford University’s Jordan Water Project, average temperature will increase by 4.5°C, rainfall will decrease by 30%, and droughts will double by 2100. Today, water supply is intermittent, and many neighborhoods in Amman receive running water for only 12-24 hours a week. Moreover, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation regularly flies drones to monitor pipelines looking for signs of water theft. To help solve water scarcity, the Jordanian government is moving towards a sustainable economy: the National Green Growth Plan will focus on environmental issues such as severe water shortages, critical water systems degradation and waste management. Amman is also developing a Green City Action Plan that includes plans for greater city resilience and climate action because in Amman every drop of water counts.
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