Jordan’s immediate neighbors are Iraq, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Syria and the Palestinian territories in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Jordan’s external borders are 1636 kilometers long. The longest single border is that to Saudi Arabia, with 744 kilometers. In 1965, following negotiations with Saudi Arabia, Jordan was awarded a bilateral agreement around 22 kilometers of coastline south of Aqaba. Jordan’s coastline (Aqaba is the only access to the sea) is now 26 kilometers.
Since 1950 and also after the occupation by Israel in 1967, the three districts west of the Jordan, Jerusalem, Hebron and Nablus (West Bank) also belonged to the administrative area of Jordan. In 1988 King Hussein I gave up all legal claims to the West Bank and declared that he held the PLO responsible. The border between the Dead Sea and Aqaba was defined in the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty of October 26, 1994. Jordan was given back 380 square kilometers of land that, according to old maps, belonged to it. With another return of territory in the north, Jordan regained access to the confluence of the Yarmuk and Jordan rivers.
Little raw materials
According to areacodesexplorer, Jordan has few raw materials. Are important bromine and phosphate and potash (here Jordan is in each world in the top ten). Jordan also has copper, iron and sulfur in smaller quantities.
Depending on energy imports
The Ministry of Energy and Resources is politically responsible for the issue of energy. The national energy agency NEPCO is responsible for the supply network as well as the import and export of energy sources. The Jordanian electricity network is connected to the networks in neighboring countries.
The International Atomic Energy Agency provides a detailed overview of historical and current trends in the Jordanian energy sector in its Jordan Report.
Jordan has no petroleum, but has considerable shale oil reserves (the country is said to be fifth in the world). The country’s uranium reserves are also important. So far, Jordan has been 95% dependent on imports for its energy supply. Securing the energy supply in the medium and long term is a major challenge for the state.
For decades, Jordan mainly relied on fossil fuels for its national energy supply. Around 80 percent of the energy demand was secured by the import of natural gas from Egypt until 2012. Due to numerous terrorist attacks in Sinai and the general political situation in Egypt, these imports were stopped.
Jordan has been planning to start producing nuclear power since the early 2000’s. The plans met with relatively violent protests from the population and led to passionate debates, as a study by F. Goussous makes clear. The construction of a nuclear power plant at Mafraq in cooperation with the Russian Rosatom was finally abandoned in 2018.
The national energy plan (2007-2022) provides for a far-reaching expansion of solar and wind energy, among other things as part of the so-called “Green Corridor” project. Around 15% of all Jordanian households currently heat their water with solar energy. By 2020, at least 30 percent of private households should generate their hot water using solar energy. Several municipalities and regions are in the process of using solar energy at least in part to convert, including the industrial city of Sahab near Amman and the Petra region. The Ministry of Religions is also using renewable energies and is converting mosques across the country with support from GIZ. Jordan wants to cover part of its energy needs with imports from Israel (under the label of an international company). The planned close cooperation with Israel is viewed very critically by the Jordanian population. The dispute over the pros and cons of imports from Israel led to heated debates, especially within the Muslim Brotherhood movement.
Despite its small size, the landscape of Jordan is very diverse and attractive. The topography of the country is largely shaped by the Jordan Rift. In the north of the country, Mediterranean hilly landscapes with pine and oak forests dominate, while in the Jordan Valley, some tropical fruits grow. The far east and south of the country are almost exclusively desert. The water level of the Dead Sea marks the lowest point on the earth’s surface at 430 meters below sea level. At the highest point in the country, the Jabal Umm Adaami (1854m) in the southern Jordanian Wadi Rum, the most spectacular results of the gigantic earthquake can be seen that extended the East African rift to the north an estimated 30 million years ago.
Large landscape areas
In Jordan, seen from west to east, there are three major landscapes, each running in a north-south direction:
- The Great Rift Valley, which extends from Northern Syria (Orontes) to Central Africa. In Jordan, the depression runs from the lower end of Lake Tiberias (Sea of Galilee) and is called Ghor. The Jordanians differentiate between the northern part, between Tiberiassee and Dead Sea (Arabic Ghor, or Ghor Shimali) and the part under the Dead Sea or immediately south of the Dead Sea (Arabic Ghor Dschanubi, South Ghor). From there the Great Rift Valley continues as Wadi Araba to the Red Sea, from then on intercontinental to the Great Lakes in East Africa as the so-called East African Rift.
- The high plateau running from the center to the south with the Jabal Umm Ad-Dami (1854m) as the highest point
- The so-called Badia, desert and desert steppe, consisting of stone and lava desert as well as sandy desert