launch of new Sahara Forest Project:

Jordan, Norway work together to grow food in the desert

Under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan and his Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, the Sahara Forest Project Launch Station in Jordan was inaugurated on Thursday September 7th 2017.

"We are honored to have His Majesty and His Royal Highness visiting the Sahara Forest Project. I am pleased to announce this as the starting point for the realization of large scale operations here in Jordan and in other countries," Mr. Joakim Hauge, Chief Executive Officer of the Sahara Forest Project, said.

This unique 3 hectare facility is located outside the Jordanian port city Aqaba. The Sahara Forest Project only uses proven technologies, put together in a new system. The project uses sun, saltwater, desert areas and CO2 to produce food, freshwater and clean energy.

His Majesty and His Royal Highness were informed about the potential for profitably realizing sustainable growth and horticulture production.

The ambitious project is realized with financial support from the Norwegian government and the European Union as the two largest donors.

The Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment, Mr. Vidar Helgesen, travelled from Oslo to take part at the Royal visit, as well as speaking at the following High-Level conference.

"The Sahara Forest Project demonstrates that innovative application of technology has the potential to revolutionize our land use systems in a way that benefits the climate, people and business. I, for one, am extremely excited to see how this project develops and how it can inspire other similar initiatives," Mr. Vidar Helgesen said.

The European Union delegation in Jordan was present at high diplomatic level with the Chargé d’Affaires.

"The EU is honoured by this distinguished Royal visit to a project which is a model for energy, water and food security in Jordan, Mr. Egidijus Navikas, said Chargé d’Affaires of the European Union Delegation in Jordan."

Mr. Navikas emphasized that this project is a part of the EU support to green energy in Jordan that exceeds 160 Million Euros at this moment, and that he looked forward to further enhanced cooperation, particularly when it comes to synergies such as creating jobs, fighting poverty and opening up for further research.

His Majesty King Abdullah II and Crown Prince Haakon of Norway inaugurate the first phase of the Sahara Forest Project Launch Station in Aqaba.

Green jobs creation
"The ambition of the Sahara Forest Project is revegetation of desert areas and contributing to social development by creation of green jobs. We want to achieve this through profitable production of food, freshwater, biofuels and electricity," Mr. Hauge said.

The Sahara Forest Project Launch Station in Jordan is realized with support of Norway, EU, USAID, Grieg Foundation, Sundt AS and Yara International.

"Together with the valuable support of the Jordanian government, this public-private consortium will be a powerful alliance in establishing Aqaba as a regional power house for new way of using arid landscape," Mr. Hauge said.

USAID has contributed with funding for shipping and inclusion of materials and equipment from the successful Pilot Facility outside Doha, Qatar.

Triple Bottom Line approach
The Sahara Forest Project is founded on the idea that deserts once again can be green. And that this can be realized through activities with a triple bottom-line.

"Everything we do on the ground in Jordan is measured against three goals. Our activities need to be good for people, it needs to be good for the environment, and it needs to be good for business," Mr. Hauge said.

Hub for green growth systems
The objective of the Launch Station is to pave the way for large scale expansion of restorative farming in Jordan. The Launch Station is the first step towards the full-scale Sahara Forest Project Jordan Center of 20 hectares.

"Even though we are extremely proud of what we have achieved so far, this is not the end point. It is only the beginning. Jordan may very well be the hub for green growth systems in the near future," Mr. Hauge concluded.

For more information:
Sahara Forest Project
+47 960 48 828

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