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The Jordan Gateway Project was intended to develop, construct and operate an industrial estate including the development of infrastructure, offices and factories for rent. The project covered approximately 65 hectares located at the Israeli-Jordanian border along the Jordan River. In January 2001, local residents lodged a complaint with the CAO with the following concerns:
The adverse social and environmental impacts of the Gateway Project; and
The detrimental effects on the cultural and historical significance of the Jordan River.
The Jordan River is of special spiritual and cultural significance to the people of Israel. Furthermore, the project site itself is proximate to a nature reserve. At the time of the complaint, Israel had tentatively listed the Jordan River as a World Heritage Site. CAO Ombudsman sent an assessment report to the complainants in February 2001 and also directed a memorandum to the President of the World Bank.
Case Status: Closed
In the Memorandum to the President, CAO recommended that IFC ensure the following:
Jordan Gateway Project & IFC management prepare a project brief to be disseminated amongst affected individuals;
Jordan Gateway Project & IFC management propose measures to encourage long-term dialogue throughout the life of the project;
IFC undertakes ongoing project supervision by visiting Israeli and Jordanian communities to ensure their opinions and suggestions are canvassed actively.
The Board requested that IFC accept the recommendations of CAO. The case was closed in January 2005.
CAO case story page: http://www.cao-ombudsman.org/cases/case_detail.aspx?id=103