By Johanna Montanari – Jul 31,2019

AMMAN — Regional experts have recently gathered in Amman to promote cooperation in the deployment of green technologies, according to a UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) statement.

The meeting, titled “Green Technology Transfer, Adaptation and Investment Required for Implementing SDG 12: Sustainable Consumption and Production”, was organised by the ESCWA Technology Centre (ETC), in cooperation with the Arab Organisation for Industrial Development and Mining (AIDMO) and the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN), the statement said.

The meeting’s main objective was to promote regional cooperation in implementing green technologies, with a special focus on technologies for the agricultural sector and conflict waste management sector, (caused by the destruction of infrastructure during conflict).

Roula Majdalani, director of sustainable development policies at UN-ESCWA, told The Jordan Times that ESCWA’s aim is “to get the countries of the region to work better together, to consolidate their positions and improve their priorities.”

During the interview, Majdalani emphasised the importance of technology for the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in confronting climate change, saying “for the issue of natural resource management, it is probably one of the very, very key areas.”

“Only through the use of appropriate green technology can we make this big transition to reduce emissions and to adapt to extreme weather events,” she added.

Majdalani also explained that because there are “an incredible amount of steel and structures that are destroyed in wars”, one of the aims of conflict waste management is to “really see how you can clean it up, clear the rubble, recycle it, treat it and then use it again, with the use of sustainable technology”.

According to ESCWA’s information brief, addressing common environmental problems in the region requires transitioning to “a green, circular, low carbon and socially inclusive economy through the adoption of sustainable consumption and production patterns, thus decoupling development from environmental degradation and resource depletion”.

In addition to helping mitigate climate change issues and their impact on the environment, green technologies could “improve the quality of life for millions of people, provide job opportunities for the large youth populations and empower women,” according to the brief.

One of the sectors Majdalani believes has been neglected by green technology investors is the agricultural sector, because it’s not always perceived as a high area of growth.

“It only contributes to around 10 per cent of GDP in the region. But it is nevertheless very important for food security because it employs over 40 per cent of people in rural areas,” she said.

Additionally, the agricultural sector has the potential to “reduce water consumption through research and science and to increase the productivity of specific crops,” according to Majdalani.

“There are a lot of banks [looking] to invest in green technology, looking for viable projects. Often you find that funding is there. Financers want to see where their money is going. They want to see viability.”