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Navigating Jordan’s sustainable development challenges

Apr 14,2024 - Last updated at Apr 14,2024

As a young Jordanian, I am deeply concerned about the future facing my generation due to the challenges brought about by climate change. In Jordan, we are confronted with three critical challenges: water scarcity, threats to food security and the urgent need for a shift towards renewable energy. These challenges are not merely environmental issues; they profoundly affect our health, economy, and overall well-being. The increasing temperatures, dwindling water supplies, and shifting/changing weather patterns are tangible evidence of these challenges. Additionally, Jordan’s position in the SDG Country Index underscores the urgency and magnitude of these issues, highlighting the requirement for targeted efforts to address these pivotal areas in our pursuit of sustainable development (SD).

The repercussions of climate change are especially alarming for my generation, as we stand on the frontline, facing the brunt of environmental upheaval. From dwindling water reserves and disrupted agriculture to escalating air pollution and intense heatwaves, the spectrum of risks is vast and deeply personal. The changing climate threatens to undermine our homes, economic stability, and future opportunities, casting a long shadow over our aspirations for a sustainable growth and development in the future.

As young individuals with dreams and aspirations for a better tomorrow, it is crucial that we recognize the gravity of the situation and the immediate need for action to address the environmental crisis. Our daily lifestyles, choices, and actions play a pivotal role in shaping the future, with the potential to either exacerbate these threats or pave the way for a more sustainable and resilient world. According to the “Youth For Climate Change-Engaging Jordanian Youth in Climate Related Policymaking” published on the United Nations Development Programme website in 14th December 2022, there have been numerous strategies that called for youth inclusion and engagement but little efforts to do so were made. Youth can contribute valuable insights through their experiences, visions for the future, and innovative thinking, playing a critical role in shaping the approach to climate change. Fostering the Empowerment of the youth and recognizing their importance as policymakers is a forward - thinking move. 

The journey towards a real, sustainable, and transformational future — requires harnessing practical solutions and innovative approaches to counteract the effects of socioeconomic, and environmental issues. Investing in clean and renewable energy sources like solar and wind power, adopting water conservation techniques, and supporting sustainable urban planning — are just a few of the strategies that can lead to a more resilient and sustainable Jordan. Engaging in environmental “activism”, grass-root initiatives, and school/community-based initiatives can also foster a collective movement towards sustainability, inspiring others to take part and contribute to a more environmentally “conscious” society.

As we approach the critical juncture of 2030, it is imperative for the voices, interests, and concerns of the “youth” to be at the forefront of the real, sustainable, and transformational change. Our generation holds the “key” to driving change and advocating for actions and policies that align with our vision for a real, sustainable, and transformational future. By raising awareness, engaging our peers, and demanding effective policy measures, we have the power to influence the trajectory of our nation’s development and ensure that we do not fall “short” of the ambitious goals and targets set by the Agenda 2030 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

From this perspective, I argue/believe it is — our — collective responsibility to shape the future of our country and address the pressing socioeconomic, and environmental issues. By championing the cause of sustainability, advocating for inclusive policies, and mobilising our generation, we can make a significant impact and secure a greener, more prosperous world for ourselves and the generations that follow. The time to act is now, to ensure that our voices are heard and that we remain steadfast in our commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

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