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Diplomacy in Action

U.S.-Jordan Joint Statement on Environmental Technical Cooperation


Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
October 24, 2000

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1. The Government of the United States of America ("United States") and the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan ("Jordan") have a long history of cooperation in support of economic and social development in Jordan, including in the area of environmental protection. This cooperation, most of which is provided under the U.S. country strategic plan 1 for Jordan, targets key constraints to Jordan's economic development, and focuses on strengthening human and institutional capacity and improving management of Jordan's water and other natural resources upon which development depends.


2. One of the most recent U.S.-Jordan cooperative programs involved the United States providing Jordan with technical assistance on its environmental review of the Agreement Between the United States of America and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on the Establishment of a Free Trade Area ("the FTA"). The attached Annex highlights selected ongoing and future U.S. environmental cooperation programs in Jordan, as well as programs that the two governments will seek to focus on environmental issues in Jordan.


3. To broaden and deepen effective cooperation on technical environmental issues, the United States and Jordan have decided to establish a Joint Forum on Environmental Technical Cooperation ("Joint Forum") that will meet regularly and have the following mandate: to advance environmental protection in Jordan by developing environmental technical cooperation initiatives, which take into account environmental priorities, and which are agreed to by the two governments, consistent with the U.S. country strategic plan for Jordan, and complementary to U.S.-Jordanian policy initiatives. As a basis for its work, the Joint Forum will draw upon the various U.S.-Jordanian environmental technical cooperation programs while recognizing that changing circumstances may call for adjustments to these programs and may lead to the identification of new cooperative programs or activities. The United States and Jordan will consult with and consider the views of interested members of their publics in carrying out the work of the Joint Forum.


4. To realize the Joint Forum's goal of advancing environmental protection in Jordan, the United States and Jordan initially will seek to focus technical cooperation on Jordanian environmental quality issues and the development and effective implementation of Jordanian environmental laws, as defined in Articles 5.4 and 18.2(a) of the FTA.


5. As a concrete first step, the United States and Jordan intend to jointly conduct an assessment of Jordan's current environmental management capacity to determine training needs. This assessment will focus particular attention on compliance assurance and enforcement, examining legal requirements and their implementation and enforceability. The assessment will explore all components of a compliance assurance program, including environmental impact assessment, permits, compliance promotion and monitoring, and enforcement. The assessment team will prepare a report suggesting possible next steps for further cooperation and present the report to the Joint Forum for consideration.


6. It is intended that cooperative work on compliance assurance and enforcement between the two governments will involve the various U.S. and Jordanian agencies involved in environmental issues, will be tailored to the Jordanian context, will complement U.S.-Jordanian policy initiatives, and will not duplicate other work underway in Jordan on environmental enforcement and compliance assurance.


7. The two governments note that local currency resources are made available to Jordan as a result of U.S. cash transfers for balance-of-payments support. The two governments intend to work together to program a portion of these local currency resources to support compliance assurance and enforcement and other activities related to the mission of the Jordanian government entity responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of Jordanian environmental laws, as defined in Articles 5.4 and 18.2(a) of the FTA.


8. The two governments further note that the Joint Committee established under the FTA is responsible for the implementation of the provisions in the agreement, including those on the environment. The United States and Jordan recognize that, under Article 15.2(f) of the FTA, the Joint Committee will discuss the review performed by each government of the environmental effects of the FTA. The two governments look forward to the work of the Joint Committee and of the Joint Forum, and anticipate that the work of each will help inform the work of the other.


Done at Washington, in duplicate in the English language, this twenty-fourth day of October, 2000, which corresponds to this twenty-sixty day of Rajab, 1421. An Arabic language text shall be prepared, which shall be considered equally authentic upon an exchange of diplomatic notes confirming its conformity with the English language text. In the event of a discrepancy, the English language text shall prevail.


ANNEX
SELECTED ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNICAL COOPERATION PROGRAMS

The following programs reflect both ongoing and future U.S. support for enhancing environmental protection in Jordan. These programs focus on building human and institutional capacity in environmental management, compliance assurance and enforcement, and conservation of living and non-living natural resources. It is intended that the work of these programs will inform the development of the agenda of the Joint Forum on Environmental Technical Cooperation.

Protection of Water Resources

To improve water resources management, the United States is providing assistance to Jordan to strengthen key public sector water institutions, develop a data base on the status of water resources, improve the quality of treated wastewater for agricultural and industrial use, and increase the quantity of potable water.

Management of Solid and Hazardous Waste

To improve solid and hazardous waste management and protect groundwater resources, the United States is providing assistance in evaluating the design and engineering of a Jordanian hazardous waste facility, and training on principles of solid and hazardous waste management.

Environmental Laws and Regulations

To strengthen legal and regulatory capacity, the United States will provide assistance focused on Jordan's compliance assurance and enforcement capacity, and, through the International Visitors Program, seek to facilitate visits to the United States by Jordanian officials, including legal and regulatory experts.

Environmental Impact Assessments

To facilitate consideration of the environmental effects of development initiatives, the United States and Jordan are jointly conducting project-specific environmental assessments for major infrastructure programs, such as construction of the Aqaba Industrial Estate.

Environmental Capacity Building

To build human capacity to address environmental concerns, the United States will encourage the King Hussein Memorial Fulbright Scholarship to provide expanded opportunities for Fulbright scholars to study environmental issues.

To improve understanding of key concepts in environmental economics, the United States will provide training in Jordan on the economics of environmental decision-making.

To promote water conservation, the United States funds public education programs in Jordan on water-saving and improved water management, and helps to develop educational materials on water resource issues in the region.

Business Partnerships and Exchanges

To improve environmental management by private firms, the United States provides technical assistance in Jordan on attaining ISO 14000 certification.

To encourage the use of environmental technologies, the United States sponsors trade missions, which bring U.S. environmental technology business representatives to Jordan, and reverse trade missions, in which environmental policy-makers and end-users of environmental technologies from Jordan participate in conferences, technical seminars, and project and technology demonstrations hosted by the United States and by U.S. companies.

Conservation of Nature Reserves and Protected Areas

To help safeguard important nature reserves and protected areas in Jordan, the United States is working with Jordan to develop a management plan for Petra National Park, a World Heritage Site, and supporting the construction of a wastewater treatment facility for Wadi Mousa and its surrounding communities.

Coastal Protection and Preservation of Coral Reefs in the Gulf of Aqaba.

To protect the fragile coral reef ecosystems in the Gulf of Aqaba, the United States is providing support for improved management and monitoring of the Binational Red Sea Marine Peace Park in the Gulf of Aqaba, and funding the expansion of the existing Aqaba wastewater treatment facility.



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