Adaptation to Climate Change to Sustain Jordan’s MDG Achievements

Countries: Jordan
Level: Regional
Region: MENA Region
Tags: Adaptation measure | Agriculture | Capacity building & knowledge transfer
Target audience: Agricultural authorities | Environmental authorities | Farmers | Industry/business | Local government/municipalities | National government | NGOs and CSOs | Scientists | Students/university | Water authorities | Water companies


Jordan has made strategic advances towards the achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including the reduction of poverty rates from 21 percent in 1997 to 14 percent in 2005 (MDG 1), achieving an adult literacy rate of 97 percent (MDG 2) and an infant mortality rate of 24 per 1000 (MDG 4), providing 97 percent of the population with access to water and 65 percent of the popultion with access to sanitation (MDG 7). However, these achievements are compromised by crippling water scarcity and aggravated by climate change, thus bringing about additional threats to health, food security, productivity and human security.

This programme helped Jordan address the above key strategic issues through achieving:

  •  Sustained access to improved water supply sources, despite increased water scarcity induced by climate change; and
  • Strengthened adaptive capacity for health protection and food security to climate change under water scarcity conditions.

Examples of key activities implemented to achieve both goals, follow below:

  • Upgraded the national “drinking water quality” (DWQ) system to provide comprehensive national coverage.
  • Developed and demonstrated five different water safety plans.
  • Designed and implemented a training programme on DWQ management for all levels.
  • Provided critical supplies and equipment for DWQ laboratory networks of the Ministry of Health.
  • Identified minimum household water security requirements for health protection.
  • Developed national policy and legislative policy instruments on securing minimum water requirements for health.
  • Established model farms using treated wastewater to increase capacity for adaptation to climate change.
  • Designed and implemented a training programme on integrated water resources management for the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, national NGOs and other stakeholders.
  • Developed, in close partnership with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, a water education and awareness programme focusing on curriculum, resource manuals, training of trainers and teacher-in-service training.
  • Designed and established an environmental and water resource centre for advocacy education and capacity building.

Results obtained

  • The programme completed the implementation of Water Safety Plans (WSPs) to protecting drinking water safety.
  • Critical laboratory equipment was procured and installed in water testing labs of the Ministry of Health.
  • In the area of food security, the capacity to adapt to climate change was strengthened through the identification and dissemination of climate resilient techniques—e.g. conservation agriculture.
  • A model farm reusing treated wastewater was created for use as a training and demonstration centre.
  • Piloted interventions for showcasing, awareness campaigns and training programmes enhanced the capacities of local communities, youth, decision makers and professionals.
  • Health vulnerability assessments and a national adaptation strategy and plans of actions for health protection from climate change were conducted.
  • Capacity to adapt to climate change was strengthened in the Zarqa River Basin, where extensive studies were conducted to assess and model climate change impacts on water quality and availability, as well as to identify adaptation measures addressing these impacts.

Success factors

  • The relevant ministries and the government recognised that climate change poses real risks, which is a requirement for success in climate change management.
  • The project focused on enabling stakeholders.
  • The right policies, legislation and institutions were critical success factors, particularly regarding the long-term impact and sustainability of achievements.
  • Active participation on behalf of project staff and stakeholders also contributed to success.

Indicators used

  • Percentage of water supply systems meeting requirements of the national drinking water quality standard.
  • Revised drinking water quality Management System (DWQMS).
  • Number of water safety plans (WSPs) developed.
  • Number of male and female staff trained to work with the upgraded DWQ system.
  • Number of stakeholders trained in using different operational approaches.
  • Number of males and females trained in IWRM.

Similar programmes can be applied in other regions where social and economic backgrounds are comparable to those in Jordan. The need for an integrated and sustainable climate change management action plan must also be acknowledged.

Total costs

  • USD 4,000,000