His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway officially opened the Sahara Forest Project in Jordan yesterday. The Sahara Forest Project is a Norwegian supported facility that will produce food, fresh water and renewable energy in the Jordanian desert. King Abdullah and Crown Prince Haakon have both accepted to the patrons of the project.
“We are honoured 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 realisation of large scale operations here in Jordan and in other countries,” said Mr Joakim Hauge, Chief Executive Officer of the Sahara Forest Project.
During the opening of the “Forest,” His Majesty King Abdullah and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon received a guided tour of the plant, followed by a meeting on green growth, where both the Crown Prince and Climate and Environmental Minister of Norway, Vidar Helgesen were among the speakers.
“It is impressive to see that they are able to produce both food, drinking water, and energy in desert areas. Areas that are not used to anything today. If you manage to scale the project, it could help fight climate change, create green jobs and solve important challenges for future generations,” said Crown Prince Haakon during the opening ceremony.
His Royal Highness has been to Jordan many times before to also focus on aid work in the Arab countries. In 2012, the Crown Prince participated with members of the Jordanian Royal Family in the ceremony which marked Jordan being cleared of land mines. Also during this visit in 2012, Crown Prince Haakon focused on the Sahara Forest Project. His Royal Highness was present when the project presented the results of its opportunity studies at a seminar in Amman.
The Sahara Forrest Project will produce up to 130,000 kg of vegetables each year as well as 10,000 litres of fresh water per day.