Protection of the environment and biodiversity

Project description

Title: Protection of the environment and biodiversity in Jordan (PROTEB)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Jordan
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Environment
Overall term: 2013 to 2016

Jordan. Marine protection at a coral reef. Divers collect important information in the Gulf of Aqaba. © GIZ


Jordan is primarily made up of desert and semi-desert. Its limited natural resources are exposed to mounting pressure exerted by a rapidly growing population, in particular due to the large influx of refugees from neighbouring countries. Heavy pollution caused by increasing levels of solid waste, contaminated air and wastewater also put a burden on the environment. A large proportion of the population still has a very low level of awareness of environmental protection and environmentally friendly behaviour.

The activities carried out by governmental and non-governmental actors to raise environmental awareness among the general public have not been sufficiently successful to date. In order to achieve a turnaround towards conserving the environment, resources and biodiversity, the population must be consistently brought on board. Civil society organisations are helping to inform people about environmental issues and advocate environmentally friendly behaviour.

GIZ has been working on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to support the Jordanian Government in protecting the environment and biodiversity since 2013. It is assisting governmental and non-governmental organisations across the country in rolling out new approaches to raise awareness among the Jordanian people of their environment and resources and to foster environmentally sustainable behaviour.


Governmental and selected non-governmental organisations implement improved and innovative strategies that motivate people to act in a more environmentally friendly manner.

Jordan. Rangers participating in waste collection activities. © GIZ


The lead executing agency for this national project is the Jordanian Ministry of Environment. The Jordanian Royal Department for Environmental Protection and non-governmental organisations active in environmental protection are partner organisations. GIZ is supporting the organisations in pursuing new people-centred approaches to improve the protection of the environment and biodiversity.

The project carries out capacity development for non-governmental organisations and involves them in state environmental activities. The partner organisations receive needs-based advice from development workers on how to improve planning, implementation and monitoring of local development initiatives. Other areas of support include public relations, networking and strengthening interest groups. In addition, the organisations receive specialist advice on issues like biodiversity conservation, recycling and environmental education.

The project conducts various activities aimed at protecting the country’s natural resources and marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Through a variety of promotional initiatives, the project boosts the development of sustainable approaches, raises public awareness and fosters environmentally friendly behaviour. In addition, it contributes to establishing the structures needed for environmental campaigns, waste management and recycling.

GIZ is also supporting the development of a coordination structure between the Ministry of Environment and the partner organisations. This will help them to address shared concerns more strategically and achieve effective cooperation, which will facilitate systematic monitoring of activities and joint further development of approaches.


With help from GIZ, governmental and non-governmental organisations have conducted broad-based events for different target groups. For instance, a hip-hop concert was organised and a video clip was produced to raise awareness of waste prevention. An exhibition about the impacts of plastic waste on the seas was designed specifically for school children, as was an environmental education centre which was set up in the Jordan Valley. The Ministry of Environment, the Royal Department for Environmental Protection and other partner organisations have launched campaigns to educate the public about the environment. These include the Throw it Right campaign to stop littering and the Our Trees in Our Hands initiative, which teaches school children and teachers about biodiversity. A recycling station in southern Jordan encourages people to collect recyclables in public buildings, restaurants and households.

The project also works with multipliers, including fishers in the city of Aqaba, veterinarians in arid areas as well as imams and other religious figures.

A partnership between the Jordanian Royal Department for Environmental Protection and Interpol was established to improve environmental security.