The United States – Jordan Joint Forum on Environmental Technical Cooperation (“Joint Forum”) met today in Amman, Jordan. Our two governments established the Joint Forum in 2000 when we issued our Joint Statement on Environmental Technical Cooperation (Joint Statement) in association with the U.S. Jordan Free Trade Agreement.
We are pleased to convene this Joint Forum in Amman. We are happy to report that we are making significant progress toward achieving the goal we identified almost nine years ago in our Joint Statement of “achieving environmental protection in Jordan.”
We are especially pleased at the opportunity today’s meeting provided for members of the public both to hear about the ways in which the United States and Jordan are cooperating to preserve and protect Jordan’s environment and to ask questions about and provide input on our current and future work program. The entire meeting was open to the public and exemplified our commitment to transparent, democratic, and participatory processes.
We were pleased to hear reports today detailing the status of cooperative environmental projects. Representatives from Jordan’s Ministry of Environment and Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Agency for International Development described a range of projects they are implementing in Jordan that benefit Jordan’s environment and its people. We are impressed with the breadth and scope of these cooperative activities.
Finally, we signed a new Work Program that lays out a road map for U.S. – Jordan environmental cooperation through 2011. In this new Work Program, we identify long-term goals to: (1) Improve protection and conservation of the environment, including natural resources; (2) increase transparency and public participation in environmental decision-making; and (3) promote a culture of environmental protection and compliance with environmental laws through, among other things, promoting economic opportunities and instituting voluntary measures to enhance environmental performance. In the Work Program, we also identify priority areas for future cooperation and recognize the need to establish benchmarks to measure progress toward achieving our goals.
Today, the United States and Jordan reaffirmed our strong commitment to work together to preserve and protect the environment. Our cooperative environmental work tangibly demonstrates that economic growth and environmental protection are mutually supportive.