By Batool Ghaith – Oct 21,2021

Agriculture Minister Khalid Hneifat and KOSPO CEO Gyeong-Sam Kim pose for a photo during the signing of an agreement on Wednesday (Photo by Batool Ghaith)

AMMAN — Jordan’s Ministry of Agriculture and Korea Southern Power (KOSPO) on Wednesday signed a business memorandum of understanding in Amman to launch the Future Green Jordan project.

Agriculture Minister Khalid Hneifat and CEO of KOSPO Gyeong-Sam Kim announced plans to plant a 5 square-kilometre forest on the main road at the entrance of the Karak Governorate in a bid to make Jordan “greener”.

KOSPO initially plans to plant up to 3,000 trees in the area and supply 10 tonnes of water for planting per day, in a bid to help improve the local environment, a KOSPO statement said.

Kim expressed his pleasure in participating in the environmental project and hoped for further cooperation in the future development of Jordan.

“KOSPO will continue to carry out various social contribution activities in the future as well as greening around the power plant. The project is expected to contribute to carbon zero, a global trend that helps prevent climate change,” Kim said.

“Through this project, we seek to develop desert roads and plant lots of trees. We started this project in several countries 10 years ago and we would like to continue it in more places to develop agriculture,” Kim told The Jordan Times in an interview on Wednesday.

Hneifat said that since June, the Ministry of Agriculture has been proceeding with a wide reforestation plan across all governorates of the Kingdom. 

The plan aims to achieve sustainability for the planted crops by providing enough water and protection.

According to Hneifat, the cost of the project is JD7 million and the project has created 8,000 temporary job opportunities for Jordanian youth.

“The project worked to reduce the encroachment on forests by 40 per cent, as well as lower the rate of fires by 42 per cent this year, at a time when many countries of the world are suffering from large fires,” he told The Jordan Times during an interview on Wednesday.

The government holds agreements with various companies to provide the project with recycled water, which helps alleviate the depletion of already-scarce groundwater. 

The ministry is working on water harvesting through digging valleys which helps to sustain the trees. The positive impacts can be seen in several recent projects, including a similar project in Karak established in 2018, where the trees have now reached a height of two-and-a-half metres, he added.