The Sahara Forest Project signs deal to realize facility in Jordan. With funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment and Grieg Foundation The Sahara Forest Project starts building in Aqaba.
On the 22nd of June 2014 The Sahara Forest Project signed an agreement with The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Amman, providing
funding up to ca. USD 1.9 mill. (NOK 11 473 000), for establishing a Sahara Forest Project Launch Station and related activities in Jordan.
Total funding for the Sahara Forest Project Launch Station is provided by the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, represented by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Amman, together with The Grieg Foundation and other philanthropic sources. The Launch Station will be the first step towards the realization of a full-scale Sahara Forest Project Centre in Aqaba, Jordan. The objective of this first phase is to demonstrate the technology under local conditions, to engage a team on the ground and attract relevant stakeholders for going forward. The Launch Station will contain a Saltwater-cooled greenhouse in combination with solar power technologies and facilities for outdoor cultivation and revegetation.
“We are very happy to sign this agreement for establishing The Sahara Forest Project in Jordan. I want to thank Jordanian authorities for their continuous support as well as the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment and The Grieg Foundation for their important financial contributions that will make it possible to realize the first Sahara Forest Project installation in Jordan. Now, we are looking forward to start building on the ground in Aqaba”, says Joakim Hauge, CEO of The Sahara Forest Project.
“The global food demand will increase by 50 per cent over the next decades. This food must be grown somewhere. Food production on land areas which are not currently covered by forests will increasingly be part of the solution to reduce pressure on remaining forests. It is possible both to protect remaining forests, restore degraded lands, and increase agricultural yields worldwide. However, this will not happen without intervention. The Sahara Forest Project is one important effort that could help make this happen, says Tine Sundtoft, Minister of Climate and Environment.
“The Sahara Forest Project serves as a great source of inspiration for meeting our times’ greatest challenges. Inspired by the innovative and holistic approach, Grieg Foundation wants to be part of the endeavor to build sustainable production of water, energy and food on a large scale. Grieg Foundation is proud to be one of the contributors and partners to The Sahara Forest Project”, says Elisabeth Grieg, CEO of Grieg International and advisory board member of The Sahara Forest Project.
The Grieg Foundation has been a partner of The Sahara Forest Project since 2010.
Sahara Forest Project in Jordan
The Sahara Forest Project was first presented to His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan in 2010. In 2011, a Memorandum of Understanding was
signed between the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority and The Sahara Forest Project in Amman, Jordan. The agreement committed The Sahara Forest Project to conduct a set of comprehensive Feasibility Studies in Jordan. The studies were financed and supported by The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The MoU also includes that the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority will facilitate 20 ha for the Jordan Centre and 200 ha for possible later expansion.
The Jordan Centre
In parallel to constructing and operating of the Sahara Forest Project Launch Station The Sahara Forest Project starts preparing for the construction of the full size Jordan Centre.
The Jordan Centre will demonstrate the economic viability of the concept and contain all the core technological components of The Sahara Forest Project. The size of the facility will be approximately 20 hectares, designed to allow for easy later-stage expansion of the commercial operations. The Jordan Centre will also function as a shared R&D, innovation and training platform. By bringing together local and international entrepreneurs, scientists, business and other key players in green innovation, The Jordan Centre will be a platform for research, innovation and training for sustainable solutions to the food, water and energy challenges in Jordan.
An information folder about The Sahara Forest Project can be downloaded here