US embassy cable - 02AMMAN2652

JORDAN--FTA ENVIRONMENT COMMITMENTS

Identifier: 02AMMAN2652
Wikileaks: View 02AMMAN2652 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Amman
Created: 2002-05-23 15:01:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: ECON ETRD JO PREL SENV
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS AMMAN 002652 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
STATE PASS USAID FOR MSCOVILL 
STATE PASS USTR FOR NED SAUMS 
USDOC FOR 4520/ITA/MAC/ONB/PTHANOS 
TREASURY FOR PIPATHANAGUL 
STATE FOR OES/PCI SHIPPE, OES/ENV VALOIS, NEA/RA LAWSON, 
NEA/ARN BELL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECON, ETRD, JO, PREL, SENV 
SUBJECT: JORDAN--FTA ENVIRONMENT COMMITMENTS 
 
1. (U) This is an action cable; see para 5. 
 
2. (SBU) Jordan has made some progress in strengthening its 
environmental regulatory structure since signing the Free 
Trade Agreement (FTA) with the U.S. in October 2000. 
Specifically, seven new environmental by-laws, drafted by the 
General Corporation for Environmental Protection (GCEP), have 
been brought into effect.  The seven by-laws currently in 
force relate to: 
 
--the organization and management of GCEP; 
--the protection of coastal zones and marine waters; 
--the control of ozone-depleting substances; 
--the GCEP funding mechanism to combat hazardous and harmful 
waste; 
--noise pollution; 
--financial and administrative oversight for projects funded 
by GCEP; and 
--Environment Protection Fund responsibilities. 
 
Another 13 by-laws remain "in progress," according to our 
contacts at GCEP.  Those by-laws in that pipeline cover such 
issues as solid waste management, air quality, greenhouse 
emissions, pesticide use, and national parks management. 
 
3. (SBU) At the same time, an initial flurry of activity and 
discussion surrounding the creation of a stand-alone 
environment ministry or cabinet-level entity entrusted with 
environmental enforcement has noticeably ebbed.  A new 
environment law, of which a new environment regulatory body 
is a part, continues to rest with the cabinet "under review," 
almost one year from its drafting.  Even the Minister for 
Municipalities, Rural Affairs, and the Environment Tbeishat 
expressed his hope to the NEA Regional Environment Officer on 
May 21 that the law would be passed "soon," although he 
conceded that there is little outward sign of movement. 
 
4. (SBU) Jordan has also yet to name its participants in the 
Joint Forum on Environmental Technical Cooperation, 
stipulated by the "Joint Statement on Environmental Technical 
Cooperation" issued when the FTA was signed in October 2000. 
This body should meet prior to the first FTA Joint 
Commission, which should be held within one year of the 
FTA,s entry into force.  The joint statement also calls for 
an assessment of Jordan,s current environmental management 
capacity to be undertaken and its findings presented to the 
first meeting of the Joint Forum.  If the GOJ were to 
formally request assistance, USAID is prepared to fund this 
assessment, using a 2000 FTA-related environmental review it 
conducted on Jordan,s environmental institutional and 
legislative framework as a foundation study. 
 
5. (SBU) Action request:  Post is keen to advance our 
bilateral trade agenda and is prepared to assist in 
encouraging the Jordanians to enhance its environmental 
regulatory framework.  We believe that the most effective way 
to jumpstart a process would be for an appropriate Washington 
official (perhaps in USTR) to send a letter to a Jordanian 
counterpart (such as the Minister of Industry and Trade 
and/or the Minister of State for Economic Affairs), noting 
our readiness to follow through on the joint statement 
commitments to form an environmental forum and to conduct an 
environmental management capacity assessment survey.  Such a 
letter could suggest a timetable and would then serve as a 
basis for a potential Jordanian request for USAID assistance 
in conducting the survey.  Alternatively, we would be pleased 
to deliver this or a similar message directly, as instructed 
by Washington. 
Gnehm 

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