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Press Release | 22/06/2021

New Climate Centre for Sustainable Resource Management in Jordan Valley

The GIGA is part of the new Centre for Climate and Environment in Amman, Jordan, which brings together an international research team to work on sustainable resource management in the Jordan River Basin.

    The German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, DAAD) has approved a petition to create a global Centre for Climate and Environment to promote adaptable and sustainable management of natural resources in the Jordan Valley. At the Centre, housed in Amman, Jordan, Dr. Christiane Fröhlich and Prof. Dr. Eckart Woertz, Middle East experts at the GIGA, will collaborate with partners in Germany, Israel, and the Palestinian territories. The project is one of four new global research and teaching centres dedicated to climate and environment that are located in various developing and emerging countries and that operate in cooperation with German universities. The inititiave was made possible by a special fund set aside by the German Federal Foreign Office.

    Hamburg, 22 June 2021 – Scientific cooperation between emerging economies and industrialised countries is of particular import in areas related to climate change and pandemic containment. Against this backdrop, the DAAD is dedicating EUR 22 million for the creation of eight global centres, four for the study of climate and environment, and four dedicated to research on health and pandemic prevention. Next to research and the design of teaching programmes, at the core of this endeavour are cooperation with actors from the realms of politics, business, and civil society, as well as the translation of research results into practice.

    The “Regional Centre for Sustainable Adaptation to Global Change in the Middle East” (SAGE Centre), under the direction of Prof. Katja Tielbörger (University of Tübingen) and with the participation of GIGA experts Dr. Christiane Fröhlich and Prof. Dr. Eckart Woertz, is based at the University of Jordan in Amman. In a region characterised by drought and water scarcity, specially tailored agricultural practices and resource-aware water management are crucial in the face of the challenges of climate change. Israeli and Palestinian scholars and actors are integrated into the foundation and operation of the Centre.

    The creation of an interdisciplinary master’s programme on climate change and resource management is planned; it will cover a broad spectrum of topics from the natural sciences to economics and other social sciences. Courses will be held at the University of Jordan and at German partner universities. A second pillar of the Centre will be a graduate programme under whose auspices 20 doctoral fellowships will be awarded. The research topics to be covered will be finalised in cooperation with regional actors from political and business circles in order to ensure their practicality from the get-go. The Centre is not simply meant to serve scholarly exchange but is also envisioned as a platform for knowledge transfer to the public and a point of contact for political decision makers.

    Beyond that, the Centre is intended to transcend political and religious divides. People from Jordan, Palestine, and Israel will join together to find lasting solutions for the ecological problems of their shared region. The participating scholars may even have been researching in the region for years and already have numerous similar transnational cooperations under their belts. The new Centre for Climate can build on these contacts and the concomitant trust they bring.

    Contact: Dr. Christiane Fröhlich Research Fellow Phone: +49 (0)40 - 428 25-582 Email: christiane.froehlich@giga-hamburg.de Prof. Dr. Eckart Woertz Director of the GIGA Institute for Middle East Studies Phone: +49 (0)40 - 428 25-504 Email: eckart.woertz@giga-hamburg.de