|NGOs fund developmental projects
|Three grant agreements of total $150,000 to support environmental projects by non-government organizations NGOs were signed Tuesday.|
The agreements were signed by UNDP Resident Representative in Jordan Mona K. Hider and representatives of the concerned organizations.
These agreements are part of the activities of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)-implemented GEF Small Grants Program (GEF SGP) in Jordan, which supports community projects in the areas of biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation and persistent organic pollutants, simultaneously contributing to enhanced and improved livelihoods of the local communities and their capacities to manage their natural resources.
The three grants constitute an addition to the originally allocated funds for GEF SGP this year, now totaling $650,000. New allocations will be made available to the local communities of Jordan as the Program enters its Fourth Operational Phase, which will start in July 2007.
In this context, the Fair Trade- Jordan, a coalition consisting of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN), the IUCN WESCANA Regional Office in Amman, and the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD), will implement “Making Trade Fair for People, the Environment and Earth” project.
The project aims at enhancing impact and sustainability of SGP partners and other initiatives that are based on income-generating activities, with special focus on those working in biodiversity and agro-biodiversity important areas, using their products and linking those initiatives to the Fair Trade initiative recently established in Jordan.
The project will therefore start by assessing the capacities of the target communities and the quality of their products, facilitating their transfer to production that fits with Fair Trade and quality standards, grading them, for eventual certification, and creating modern marketing channels for them. This will make it easier for small and marginalized producers and service providers in Jordan’s local communities, including SGP partners to access corporate clients and build their capacities to meet their demands, thus enhancing impact and sustainability of SGP and local community initiatives around the country.
Some of the project activities include establishing a data-base of small producers and service providers, a web site and directory in Arabic and English will also be produced and distributed to insure media and corporate attention, in addition to organizing a set of workshops to build the capacities and facilitate exchange of experience among target groups. Total grant for this project amounts to $50,000.
In the field of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), the Jordanian Society for Organic Farming will implement the “Awareness Project on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)”, which aims at raising public awareness in the field of hazardous waste, with special focus on persistent organic pollutants and their impacts on the environment and the human health.
The project will promote the adoption of alternative approaches to the use of hazardous chemicals in agricultural processes, such as organic farming, integrated pest management and perm culture in order to reduce the use of POPs in agriculture.
Project activities will include a revision of all national studies and efforts previously made in this field and inform the public of these efforts and of the international conventions on this issue. It will issue lists of the materials that are considered persistent pollutants and extension guides on organic farming and other alternatives to the use of hazardous chemicals, and will coordinate with mass media to achieve its objectives.
The project will implement a number of demonstration farms using organic farming approach in order to promote this approach and train farmers on using its techniques. Total grant for this project amounts to $50,000.
In Damia, Jordan Valley, the Damia Youth Club will implement the “Bee-keeping and Herbal Plants” project, which aims to contribute to the conservation of the Jordan Valley unique eco-system through supporting households in Damia to implement income-generating activities that use natural resources in a sustainable manner.
The activities include bee-keeping and herbal planting in home gardens. All households in Damia have been provided with a water supply network, through support from Care International, which would enable them to undergo the above activities in their home gardens.
A statement by the UNPD said that by signing the above agreements, and over its lifetime stretching from the beginning of 1993 until now, the GEF SGP would have supported (140) projects for a total grant value of around $4.5 million, with national additional contributions of at least triple that amount.