Jordan is affected by some 300,000 land mines in approximately 500 minefields which cover an area of 60 million square meters. The majority of these mines were laid along the Western borders during the Arab / Israeli conflicts of 1948 and 1967, whilst some are also located along Jordan's Northern borders.
In 1973 a Royal Decree established the Jordan Demining Project and demining activities commenced. Jordan is one of a few countries within the region to be party to the Ottawa Treaty, although more than half the world's land mines are located in the Middle East region. Under Article 5, Jordan aims to be mine-free by May 2009.
Jordan 's harsh environmental conditions make clearance activities difficult. In particular the desert conditions, which combined with winter flash flooding, can cause migration of mines.
Norwegian Funded Mechanical Demining Program 2004
Norway has been one of the largest donors to Jordan 's mine action initiative.In 2001,as part of this ongoing support, the Royal Norwegian Government donated a Compact 230 Minecat mechanical demining machine to Jordan . They have continued to support this project in the following years with the provision of specialized training and spare parts.
In 2004 the Norwegian Government engaged the services of Cleared Ground Demining Ltd to undertake an assessment of the program and make recommendations. Following the assessment Norway requested that Cleared Ground implement the recommendations. Hence Cleared Ground became the first clearance NGO to have operations in Jordan. The initial phases of the project were to upgrade the Minecat to current specifications so that it would be better adapted to the harsh desert conditions, and to train the operators, mechanics and electricians from the Jordan Armed Forces. Cleared Ground then worked in partnership with the military on clearance operations in the fertile Jordan Valley, and until early 2006 on a tourism development at the Red Sea resort of Aqaba.