Jordan is situated in the Mashreq region. Its capital Amman is its most populous city. The country is an Arab kingdom, a constitutional monarchy with an appointed government that carries responsibility before the democratically elected House of Deputies. Jordan is divided into 12 provinces (Governorates), which are sub-divided into 54 departments or districts (Nahias) and 2,477 towns and villages. Jordan is a founding member of the Arab League and was the first in the region to join the International Criminal Court. Jordan has diplomatic relations with Israel.
Jordan is one of the freest and most competitive economies in the Middle East, an emerging market with an upper middle income economy. The country’s free trade agreements, investment incentives, low transport costs for shipping to major markets and education reforms are the main source of robust expansion in recent years. However, scarce water supplies, complete reliance on oil imports for energy and regional instability still put weight on Jordan’s sustainable growth.
Largest cities (inhabitants):
- Amman (2004 census 1,812,941; 2004 census governorate 1,942,066; 2015 preliminary census governorate 4,007,526)
- Irbid (2004 census 250,645; 2004 census governorate 928,292; 2015 preliminary census governorate 1,770,158)
- Az Zarqa (2004 census 395,227; 2004 census governorate 764,650; 2015 preliminary census governorate 1,364,878)
- ar-Ramtha (2004 census 109,142; 2015 preliminary census governorate 238,502)
- Al Karak (2015 preliminary census governorate 316,629 and district 101,377)
Water and waste
In 2015, 96.9% of the population has access to proper water sources and 98.6% to proper sanitation (Worldbank 2015). In 2012 Jordan generated 2.08 million tons of municipal solid waste (per person 0.9 kg/day in urban areas and 0.6 kg/day in rural areas). The amount of waste is growing by 3% annually. Waste collection coverage in urban areas is about 90% and in rural ones around 70%. The final destination of collected waste is generally open-dumping (45%) and landfilling (48%), while there is also a 7% recycling rate (GIZ, 2014 – Country report on Solid Waste Management in Jordan).
Energy and Climate
Jordan’s energy consumption in the road transport sector in 2013 amounted to 46.3% (IEA, 2013) of its final energy consumption (IEA 2000: 33.9%), whereas energy consumption per capita in 2013 according to Worldbank amounted to 1,071 kg of oil equivalent (in 2000: 1,020.6 kg). Electricity consumption amounted to 2,103.9 kWh per capita (Worldbank, 2013) against 1,385.6 kWh in the year 2000 (Worldbank, 2000).
According to World Bank figures CO2 emissions in Jordan have remained in 2011 at the same levels compared to 2000, namely 3.3 metric tons per capita. CO2 emissions in Jordan stem from the burning of fossil fuels and the manufacture of cement and include those produced during consumption of solid, liquid, and gas fuels and gas flaring.
Policies and strategies
- Environmental Strategy
- Environmental Strategies Review
- National Environment Action Plan (NEAP) 2007-2012
- Strategic Direction for the Ministry of Environment
- National Agenda 21 Action Plan
- National Social and Economic Development Plan
- National Agenda 2006-2015
- Millennium development Goals (MDGs)
- Water Strategy 2008 - 2022
- Policies on Wastewater Management, Water Utilities, Irrigation Water, and Groundwater Management
- Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty
- National Transport Strategy 2009-2011
- National Energy Strategy 2008-2020
- National Energy Efficiency Strategy
Bottle-necks and developments
Important environmental bottle-necks in Jordan are overloaded waste water treatment plants and low quality treated effluents, combined with a lack of sewerage in rural areas and discharge of effluents either in septic tanks or directly to natural bodies. Uncontrolled waste dumps and leachate from dumped waste form another bottle-neck resulting from inadequate policies, legislation and financing resources for solid waste management causing the non-existence of a waste collection system in rural areas and small towns and the absence of separation of collected waste. Acute air quality deterioration in urban areas and localised but significant air pollution, together with and in relation to industrial pollution (lack of wastewater treatment and of collection/disposal of solid waste, discharge of untreated industrial effluents) are other problems. Jordan has the highest toxicity index in the region.
The use in Jordan of renewable energy sources has until now been marginal, accounting for less than 1% of electricity generation. Potentials for power from renewable energy resources are to be found primarily in the areas of wind and solar energy.
ENP Progress Report 2011
Jordan’s budgetary situation and the international debt crisis have put major infrastructure projects on hold. Jordan took steps towards the use of more domestic resources, in particular by focusing on renewable energy sources. The EU supports capacity building in wind energy and concentrated solar power. Jordan is encouraged to engage in the new to be developed carbon market mechanism, as well as to fully implement the Cancun and Durban agreements. The country started updating its Strategic Environment Plan, with a view to further mainstreaming environment in relevant sectors.
- Law on Protection of the Environment
- Regulation on Environment Protection from Pollution in Emergency Cases
- Regulation on Water Protection
- Regulation on Air Protection
- Regulation on Protection of the Marine Environment and Coastal Protection
- Regulation on Management, Transport and Handling of Harmful and Hazardous Substances
- Regulation on Management of Solid Waste
- Regulation on Environmental Impact Assessment
- Law on Water Authority
- Law on the Organization of Cities, Villages and Buildings, Local Committee
- Public Health Law
- Regulation on Soil Protection
- Groundwater By-Law
- Sewage By-law
- Decree on Industrial and Commercial Waste Water Disposal into the Public Sewage
- Regulation concerning the cost recovery from solid waste
- Clean Draft Act
- Air Protection Regulation
- General Electricity Law
- Investment Promotion Law
- Renewable Energy Law
- General Electricity Law
- Law on Energy Efficiency Fund