cannot work single-handedly to address water,
By Mahmoud Al Abed, Jordan
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
AMMAN — Jordan, which tops the list of the world’s
10 thirstiest countries and imports 97 per cent
of its energy, cannot work single-handedly to
these twin problems, speakers at an annual scientific event said on Monday.
In his remarks at the opening of the 12th Jordanian Scientific Week yesterday,
HRH Prince Hassan said the approach to address issues of water and energy should
be expanded by inviting other countries and regions to be part of efforts to
work out solutions.
The world’s population is growing by a quarter of a million people everyday
and resources are getting scarcer, he said.
Participants at the event, organised by the Higher Council for Science and
Technology (HCST), are discussing five major topics related to energy, water
and the human environment.
The Prince said a solution to the energy shortage through feasible use of renewable
alternative sources, which can also be used to produce water, is likely to
defuse conflicts, especially those motivated by the struggle over oil.
The region where Jordan is located, he added, should first be clear of weapons
of mass destruction and the funds spent on these programmes and the arms race
should be directed towards research in the field of renewable energy and efforts
aimed at addressing global challenges such as climate change and global warming.
“I am reinventing the wheel when I say that we, our neighbours and the entire
planet are in the same boat. Global warming and climate change are threats to
us all. Lack of rain leads to drought, jeopardises the lives of people and their
livestock and triggers waves of immigration, misery and human suffering,” Prince
In this context, he suggested a comprehensive development plan for the region
extending from West Asia to East Africa, underlining the fact that countries
in this region share similar challenges.
“If there are already no mechanisms for regions like these, new ones should be
worked out so as to define their priorities and find common ground between their
identities on the one hand, and the requirements of globalisation on the other,” the
Prince told an audience of mainly scientists and researchers from Jordanian
In his address at the event, newly appointed Minister of Energy and Natural
Resources Khalid Shraideh, who held the post of the HCST secretary general
and presided over the event’s preparatory committee, focused on the role
of science and technology in the drafting of water and energy policies
management and consumption control.
He called for establishing an entity to manage technology transfer and for
local development of technology related to these fields. The proposed entity
should also network with peer organisations in the world and, ultimately, play
an effective role in the development process in Jordan.
The opening ceremony also included a lecture by Professor Norbert Auner
from the Goethe-University in Frankfurt, who discussed prospects of using
as an energy carrier and Jordan’s potential in this regard.