Sustainable use of ecosystem services

Project description

Title: Sustainable use of ecosystem services in Jordan – Energy and Climate Fund (EKF-ESS)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Jordan
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Environment (MoEnv)
Overall term: 2014 to 2019

Jordan. Sustainable pasture management is one of the country’s major challenges. © GIZ


Jordan’s rapidly expanding population and their way of living are creating environmental pressures and leaving their mark on one of the world’s driest countries. The impacts of climate change and overgrazing of the remaining arable land are putting additional pressure on the country’s extremely limited natural resources. The ecosystems are highly vulnerable and fragile, and their ecological integrity has already been substantially weakened. People are now using these ecosystems for agriculture and cattle grazing in ways that are unsustainable and cannot be maintained. This has led to a continual reduction in soil fertility and the loss of biodiversity, and threatens the livelihoods and food security of the population.

The Jordanian Ministry of Environment recognises the importance of intact ecosystems and their ecosystem services, including the interactions between the air, water, soils, animals, plants and humans that are essential for the economy, nutrition and people’s livelihoods. According to environmental legislation, the Ministry has an overarching responsibility for the protection and conservation of the environment. In addition, Jordan has signed all of the key global environmental agreements. Over 51 recognised non-governmental organisations are working on environmental issues, and about 15 of these are focusing on ecosystem services.

However, this has not led to the sustainable use of ecosystems or to sufficient attention being paid to ecosystem services in Jordanian policies. Decisions on new infrastructure projects or state investments do not take the importance of biodiversity and ecosystem services into account. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is therefore providing support through the Sustainable Use of Ecosystem Services – Energy and Climate Fund project to ensure that national policies take greater account of biodiversity and ecosystem services.


National policy-making processes takes greater account of biodiversity and ecosystem services – including their importance for climate change adaptation.


At the national level, GIZ is providing advisory support to the Jordanian Ministry of Environment. The pilot measures are managed by consulting companies and focus on the mountainous areas in eastern Jordan between the Syrian border in the northern part of the country and Karak.

The project is supporting the Ministry of Environment in emphasising the importance of ecosystem services at the policy level and making it a permanent point of focus. Relevant data will be provided to the public through an information system. This should lead to greater consideration of ecosystem services within the national biodiversity strategy and will highlight their high economic importance.

The project is cooperating with non-governmental organisations, the private sector and local governments to promote selected practical examples from the ecotourism sector as well as recreation areas for local residents. In addition, it is supporting sustainable pasture management measures. These will illustrate how increasing society’s appreciation of ecosystem services and using them sustainably can contribute significantly to socio-economic development. The knowledge gained through these activities will be assessed and fed into policy-making processes.

Jordan. The impacts of climate change and overgrazing in the few arable areas put pressure on natural resources. © GIZ

In addition to this, the project is establishing and consolidating networks among ministries, governmental and non-governmental organisations, universities and the National Biodiversity Committee. The project is helping the participating partners to evaluate the findings and data on ecosystem services, and to disseminate these using appropriate information products and channels. This will make it possible for participating organisations to carry out effective lobbying and awareness-raising activities.

The consulting firm GOPA supports the implementation of the project.