Jordan is one of the countries in the world that experiences the harsh consequences of climate change and the increase in desertification, and since our launch in 2017, Sahara Forest Project has been presently working with the challenges of desertification in Jordan.
The road to Aqaba
Sahara Forest Project has been working with Jordan ever since HRH King Abdullah II of Jordan invited the management of the company to the first field visit in 2010, meeting with relevant ministers.
In 2011, an MoU was signed between the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority and The Sahara Forest Project AS in Amman, Jordan. The Jordanian Minister for Foreign Affairs, H.E. Nasser Judeh, and the Norwegian Minister for Foreign Affairs, H.E. Jonas Gahr Støre, were both present at the signing ceremony to show joint Jordanian and Norwegian support for the agreement. The Sahara Forest Project AS committed to conducting three comprehensive feasibility studies in Jordan. The studies were financed and supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Three studies have been carried out:
- The Jordan National Feasibility Study
- The Red Sea – Dead Sea Synergies Feasibility Study
- The site-specific feasibility study
June 2014. Signing of X. H.E. Mrs. Sissel Breie Norwegian Ambassador to Jordan and Joakim Hauge, CEO of the Sahara Forest Project, with the presence of H.E. Dr. Taher Shakhashir, the Jordanian Minister of Environment.
On October 27th, 2016 The Sahara Forest Project started the building process for the Launch Station in Jordan. At the ceremony at the SFP site close to the airport in Aqaba, the Ambassadors from the EU and Norway planted the very tree together with representatives from the Jordanian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR) and Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA).
Under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway the Sahara Forest Project Launch Station in Jordan was inaugurated on Thursday, September 7th, 2017.
Sahara Forest Project today
To achieve this goal of upscaling in 2021 and 2022, the Jordanian government and the Sahara Forest Project must work together to realize the saltwater pipeline to the new land in Aqaba assigned to Sahara Forest Project by Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA). The land area for large-scale deployment is located 4,5 km from the Red Sea coast, just south of the Aqaba airport. An agreement with Aqaba Development Cooperation (ADC) was signed in March 2020 during the Norwegian State visit to finance and build the saltwater pipeline to the Sahara Forest Project location. We appreciate the involvement of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation to support ADC in this work, particularly to secure the finance of the pipeline. ADC has committed to finance and build the pipeline up to a cost of 1,2 mill JOD. SFP commits to buying the salt water needed for the production of the vegetables.
What projects are happening on the site?
Additionally, Al Hussein University and Sahara Forest Project joint training program for female engineers in Jordan is a Crown Prince Foundation Initiative to enhance the participation of female engineers in the labor force in Jordan. ‘SheGrows’ at developing the skills and competencies of young Jordanian graduates interested in working in innovative and sustainable agri-tech and food production in response to Jordan’s water, energy, and climate action priorities. In the pilot phase that took place between October 2020 – and October 2021, 30 female engineers were targeted through the partnership between Al Hussein Technical University and the Sahara Forest Project in Aqaba.
Eng. Malek Kabariti talks about the importance of The Sahara Forest Project in a video interview. Eng. Kabariti is The Jordanian Minister of Energy & Mineral Resources. Prior to his appointment to the cabinet Eng. Malek was the Chairman of The National Electric Power Co. (NEPCO), Jordan, and he is the former President of The National Energy Research Center, Jordan.