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This project is funded by
the European Union

Jordan and Integrated Maritime Policy

Partner Countries

The project’s approaches at the national level are designed to be flexible; adaptable to a range of interests and capacities; and tailored to the specific needs of Partner Countries...

Specific objectives, needs and goals are developed in close coordination with each Partner Country, and – where Partner Countries express interest- a flexible “Roadmap” approach is to be developed both to structure the delivery of assistance and to define the long term visions and goals for individual Partner Countries.

Specific assistance can be delivered in a variety of forms, including national meetings or workshops between different maritime and coastal policies.

  • Jordan and Integrated Maritime Policy

    General presentation: Maritime facs

    Jordan is almost entirely land‐locked and only has a small (27 km) marine coast to the Red Sea, centred on the town and port of Aqaba, and bordering Israel and Saudi Arabia (with Egypt a closely opposite country in the Gulf of Aqaba). There is no Mediterranean coast. Consequently, many maritime priorities are quite localised, and relate to development of the Aqaba region (e.g. through activities such as tourism, diving and protection of coral reefs), although the region is important economically for the whole country and many aspects of the maritime sector have national and regional implications.

    Maritime and coastal assets
    Maritime and coastal policies

    Jordan does not have a national maritime policy or national maritime governance framework. There is no overall national maritime vision, and maritime matters do not feature prominently in central government policies. This is largely because in practice responsibility for most maritime sectors is devolved to sub-national entities: the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) and, for maritime transport and ports, the Jordan Maritime Authority (JMA).

    At the ASEZA level, there is some coordination internally between the different Directorates of ASEZA and externally with JMA, but not comprehensively. ASEZA has adopted a number of well-defined policies, in particular associated with the reregulation, management, and protection of the natural environment and which include coastal and maritime elements, and there are plans for the development and use of land and coastal areas. The ASEZA Master Plan includes several zones and reserves for the protection of Aqaba’s cultural, archaeological, historical and natural heritage and diversity. Areas (marine and terrestrial) include: five environmental zones, coral reserves, archaeological reserves, natural area reserves and a Beach Protection Zone.

    Legislation exists for several maritime activities, but a common view amongst stakeholders (governmental and non‐governmental) is the need for clarification of the roles and responsibilities under the legislation and identification of gaps. A new framework maritime law is currently being developed.

    Jordan claims a territorial sea of 3 mile and has signed maritime boundary agreements with Israel and Saudi Arabia (but not Egypt, with which it also share its maritime boundary).

    Outlook on the development of a national maritime policy

    Maritime assets are critically important in Aqaba, and being a key economic driver for a key economic region, are also important at the national level. As maritime assets are very concentrated, the need to manage them in an effective way, and in an integrated way, assumes high importance. Jordan would benefit from the development of a national integrated maritime policy encompassing all the country’s maritime sectors.

    The first steps towards this are being taken, through the establishment of a Working Group to oversee the development of maritime policy. The roadmap towards the development of IMP should consider the following priorities:

    • Creating an adequate governance structure at central governmental level (but potentially composed of appropriate representatives from national agencies and ASEZA) in order to provide national oversight of the national maritime policy;
    • Taking stock of the country’s maritime administration, organisation and stakeholders, through a comprehensive mapping exercise at national level involving all maritime stakeholders, and in particular to clarify the roles and responsibilities of organisations in the maritime sector;
    • Identifying the legislative gaps and inconsistencies, and developing improved maritime legislation;
    • Improving coordination and consultation amongst all stakeholders as regards the development of policy and its implementation;
    • Addressing the present gaps in knowledge (availability and accessibility) in the marine and maritime fields.