Non-Aligned Movement believes in the principle of sustainable development and, in this regard, has stressed the importance of formulating measure for the protection of the environment. NAM Member States have formulated specific programs for the protection of the environment. One such prominent program is the National Clean-up Campaign in Jordan.
National Clean-up Campaign was launched in April 2017 and, in the first phase, the campaign targeted over 60 public and tourist locations. The campaign was organised by the Ministry of Environment and involved the participation of other Ministries, civil society institutions, sports clubs, cooperatives and environmental NGOs in every part of the Kingdom.
According to the then Minister of Environment Yaseen Khayyat, the objective behind launching the campaign was to end the prevailing state of carelessness towards the cleanliness of the surroundings and “turn every citizen into a guardian that protects our forests, parks, streets, markets, universities and schools from litter”. The campaign aims to protect forests, parks, beaches and tourist and archaeological sites.
Dubbed “Our Environment is our Life”, the campaign targeted all of the governorates; parks, main streets, touristic sites, forests and nature reserves. The first phase of the campaign was a remarkable success and witnessed massive public participation. Under the “cry of a homeland”, thousands of people came out on streets, sport centres, parks, forests, schools and universities for participation in the cleaning campaign.
Since then, the campaign has been a remarkable success story and has been expanding to all parts of Jordan. The participation of the people of Jordan is increasing with every phase. In April 2019, 40,000 people from schools, youth centres, associations, private sector companies and public sector institution joined a cross-country clean-up campaign to curb littering and spread the word on the need to protect forests and parks.
According to the present Environment Minister Ibrahim Shahahdeh, the Clean-Up Campaign has encouraged the people to take responsibility for the protection of the environment by avoiding littering to keep forests and picnicking sites clean. In May 2019, Ministry of Education launched the “Baladak Beitak” (your country is your home) clean-up campaign across schools in the Kingdom of Jordan.
In the same month, the fifth phase of the Clean-up Campaign was launched and, in this phase, the Ministry of Environment coordinated with other Ministries. Moreover, a number of environmental institutions also participated in the realisation of the mission.
The sixth phase of the national clean-up campaign began on 27th May 2019. In this phase, the campaign was launched in Eira and Yarqa districts in Balqa Governate and also in Al Jafr district.
This phase of the campaign included the cleaning of mosques, schools, streets, the public market and several squares inside the district neighbourhoods. This phase also saw public participation in the Zarqah and Tafileh Governate in the country.
With every phase, the campaign has witnessed an increase in public participation. According to Isa Shboul, Assistant Secretary-General, Environment Ministry, the efforts to combat littering are paying off. More individuals, as well as families, are picking up litter at public places. According to Shboul, littering has dropped by half over the past few years.
The participation in the National Clean -Up campaign is not reduced to the public alone. It has also witnessed the participation of the members of the royal family. On 11 May 2019, Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan joined young volunteers in the cleaning of the Husban Forest.
During his participation, Crown Prince Hussein highlighted the importance of promoting volunteerism to serve Jordan, calling for support to the tourism sector by ensuring that tourist, archaeological and public sites continue to attract domestic, Arab and foreign tourist.
The Clean-up Campaign in Jordan is in line with the objectives of the Jordanian government in improving general public awareness in the field of environment protection and improve the institutional capacity in the organizations working in the environment sector.