by Hana Namrouqa | Apr 23, 2013 | 23:26

AMMAN — If Jordan invests in environmental conservation, it can generate 50,000 job opportunities and over JD1.3 billion in revenues in a decade, according to a report released on Tuesday.

The report, which was prepared in cooperation with the French Development Agency and related authorities, seeks to explore mechanisms to encourage the financial sector to increase funding of green investments in Jordan.

Environment Ministry Secretary General Ahmad Qatarneh noted that recent estimates place the cost of environmental degradation at 5 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product, which totals $27.5 billion.

“This [environmental degradation] translates into $1.25 billion per year, which is greater than twice the amount of aid received by Jordan in 2009,” he said, stressing that a green economy achieves sustainable development.

Qatarneh highlighted that jobs and revenue can be produced if certain measures are implemented in the energy, water, transportation, eco-tourism, waste management and organic agriculture sectors.

He proposed creating a permanent multi-stakeholder taskforce and a subcommittee on sustainable development and green economy.

“They could introduce fiscal and employment policies to promote a green economy, mobilise and catalyse investments in target sectors… and establish a monitoring system to track the value of Jordan’s natural assets,” Qatarneh suggested.

He underscored that the report is the first comprehensive effort to propose mechanisms for environment financing schemes, such as taxes and subsidies.

Meanwhile, director of the French Development Agency’s representative office in Amman, Herve Breton, said the agency provides the necessary financing for green investments in Jordan via its programmes and the Green Lending Programme, which is a new initiative to spur investment in the Kingdom’s green energy and environmental sectors.