MED4EBM takes part in the 2021 Clean Up the World Campaign in Aqaba, Jordan


Activities of Clean up the World Campaign 2021 have been launched in Aqaba for the 28th year in a row under the patronage of HRH Princess Basma Bent Ali. The campaign in Aqaba included seven separate activities that have been carried out over two days. It was organised by the Royal Marine Conservation Society of Jordan (JREDS) in cooperation with the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) in the framework of the project “Mediterranean Forum for Ecosystem-Based Management (MED4EBM) coordinated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with the support of ENI CBC MED Programme. Valued support has been provided by Ayla Oasis Development Company. A large number of people exceeding 700 from various local formal bodies and non-governmental organisations participated in the activities.

JREDS acting executive director Mr. Mohammed Salem Al-Tawaha provided details on this year’s activity, that support raising awareness about the marine environment. The campaign included cleaning Almamlah Beach within the Aqaba Marine Reserve. Eleven public and private schools in Aqaba, environmental, tourism, cultural, security and community organisations and donors took part in the activities. In addition, the sea near the Almamlah Beach has been cleaned with the participation of 50 divers from the Royal Navy and Boats Force, the Civil Defense, the Marine Sciences Station, tourism agencies, and diving centres representing the Aqaba Diving Association. Plant seedlings were planted with the participation of hotels and the tourism sector. The activities also included an environment competition for the best portrait in which a number of Aqaba school students participated with guidance of the E-Waste project implemented by the UNDP. A second underwater cleaning activity with participation of 80 divers targeted the Yacht Marina in Ayla Oasis. A cycling event was also organised in cooperation with the Ayla Oasis to raise awareness of the need to reduce the use of non-eco-friendly means of transportation and to encourage walking and cycling to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions.

During his speech, the chief commissioner of ASEZA highlighted the importance to preserve Aqaba reminding that his majesty’s directions to speed up the establishment of the Aqaba Marine Reserve, has been officially registered in December 2020 to succeed the Aqaba Marine Park established in 1997 converting it in the first Marine Protected Area of the country. He went on with the slogan “ يللا نحميها let's protect it” campaign, I urge everyone to preserve our precious marine environment. Since we are participating in a campaign to clean the beach and the sea, this is a call to all to control irrational practices that pollute our marine environment.”

The UNDP participated in this global campaign through two projects, the “Reduction and Elimination of Persistent Organic Pollutants POPs” funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and MED4EBM through which this activity was organised said Dr. Nidal Al-Oran, the UNDP Environment and Climate Change Pillar Programme Specialist. This activity was important for the project because it was conducted in other participating countries. The campaign contributes to raising awareness at an important time as the Law on Waste Management has come into effect and the e-waste instructions were issued few weeks ago. In cooperation with ASEZA and the Ministry of Education outreach activities targeting school students and a specialized training on e-waste collection, dismantling, reuse and storage was carried out during the two days of the event, Al-Oran added.

CEO of Ayla Oasis Development Company, eng. Sahel Dudin said that Ayla is proud to be among the first to participate in the Clean up the World Campaign over the past years and it always supports national efforts to protect the environment and nature. Dudin underlined the environmental and natural programs that Ayla has established over the past two decades, which have become sustainable environmental and health attractions at the local and national community levels by supporting national efforts and adhering to the guidelines and global campaigns, including Clean up the World. He added that Ayla's annual participation in the Clean up the World Campaign has become a tradition establishing environmental sustainability and the culture of volunteerism in the Aqaba Special Economic Zone.

Her Excellency Ambassador of the European Union to Jordan, Ms. Maria Hadjitheodosiou said, “As part of the EU Beach Clean up Campaign, we have collaborated with JREDS Clean up the World Campaign to clean the beach in Aqaba and raise awareness of everyone’s role in protecting marine life and biodiversity. We can take actions today to ensure that the environment is preserved for us and for future generations." The Beach Clean up Campaign is a global outreach campaign aiming at promoting concrete actions to protect the oceans. This year's campaign focuses on protecting marine biodiversity under the slogan "Together to Protect Marine Life", in line with the United Nations Conference on Biodiversity.

Dr. Esmat Al-Karadsheh, coordinator of the Branch office for the East Mediterranean of ENI CBC MED indicated that the Programme is one of the European-funded initiatives that aim at enhancing cooperation and exchange experiences and knowledge among the participating countries in addressing common problems. Jordan benefited from the Programme with about €21 million through 53 projects implemented by 67 Jordanian organisations. MED4EBM is one of these projects which is significant in protecting the environment and spreading knowledge and know-how to the local communities.