Costa Group, through its Costa Crociere Foundation, is joining forces with the Sahara Forest Project Foundation to revegetate the desert in Jordan with sustainable technologies.
The mission of the Sahara Forest Project -inaugurated under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan and HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway in September 2017 – is to green desert areas and create local green jobs through production of food, freshwater and clean energy, using saltwater and sunlight as the main input factors.
The Sahara Forest Project currently operates a 3 hectares-commercial size facility 12 kilometers north of the port of Aqaba, combining saltwater-cooled greenhouses, solar energy panels and different techniques for outdoor revegetation in dry areas.
The support from Costa Group – through its two brands Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises – will allow to scale-up the project to 20 hectares of commercial facility, realizing the exciting potential where every vegetable produced will take out CO₂ from the atmosphere and store it in revegetated land.
An important part of the agreement is represented by the involvement of Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises guests: guests cruising on Costa and AIDA ships calling at Aqaba will have the unique chance to taste at least ten different environmentally friendly vegetables produced by using solar power and saltwater in the Jordan desert.
“By supporting the Sahara Forest Project, we serve our guests vegetables grown in a way that fights the spread of deserts and creates a sound livelihood for the local population, in line with our sustainable development strategy and our concrete commitment to creating a greener planet” – Michael Thamm, Group CEO Costa Group and Carnival Asia
From October 2019 to October 2020, four Costa ships (Costa Mediterranea, Costa Victoria, Costa Diadema and Costa Deliziosa) and four AIDA ships (AIDAvita, AIDAbella, AIDAprima and AIDAblu) will be visiting Aqaba, for a total of 20 calls, bringing more than 45,000 guests.
Costa Group is leading the cruise industry when it comes to sustainability, as demonstrated by the introduction of AIDAnova, the first ever LNG-powered cruise ship earlier this year, and by the significant investments in shore power and innovative technologies for a zero-emission future. You can learn more about AIDAnova here. In October the group is launching its second LNG-powered cruise ship. You can learn more about Costa Smeralda here.