(MENAFN – Jordan Times) AMMAN — Under the objective of conserving forests and expanding them, which falls within the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations’ (FAO) second strategic goal ‘Make agriculture, forestry and fisheries more productive and sustainable’, FAO supports the government in shifting towards a ‘green national economy’.
Forest fires are among the most important challenges facing the agricultural sector in general and the forestry sector in particular, and it is increasingly affecting the limited forest cover in Jordan and the local communities’ livelihoods and safety, according to a FOA statement.
The data shared by the Forestry Department of the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) in Jordan showed a gradual increase in forest fires and the impacted area during the past 20 years and an upward trend in forest fires’ frequency and severity.
In this context, the government of Jordan has requested the support of FAO to provide technical assistance in enhancing the capacity to manage forest fires in Jordan, the statement said.
FAO, in cooperation with the Forestry Department and technicians in Rome and the Regional Office, has responded to the request of the MoA to support national efforts of controlling forest fires and alleviate their effects by offering a $100,000 Technical Cooperation Project Facility (TCPF) to improve the sector’s capacity and contribute to the national development process to conserve and sustainably manage Jordan’s forest resources. Other goals of this TCPF include contributing to biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction, food security, arresting desertification, slowing land degradation and mitigating effects of climate change.
Nabil Assaf, FAO’s representative in Jordan affirmed that the organisation will stand by the government of Jordan to support the agriculture sector in facing natural disasters and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), mainly SDG2- Zero Hunger which aims to eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.
Minister of Environment and Acting Minister of Agriculture Saleh Al Kharabsheh affirmed the importance of the forestry sector citing the launching of a national afforestation project to plant 10 million trees to increase vegetation in the Kingdom.
Forest protection is a ‘pillar’ of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 15 ‘Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss’.
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