2009

The Sahara Forest Project concept launched as a novel way of greening the deserts by bringing environmental technologies together inspired by biomimicry.

  

The first Sahara Forest Project Feasibility Studies being presented at the UN climate negotiations, COP 15, in Copenhagen 2009. 

From left: Olav Kjørven, Assistant Secretary-General of UNDP, Rawya Mansour, Chairperson Ramsco for Sustainable Development, Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, Special Envoy on Climate Chenge, former Prime Minister of Norway, Paul Simpson, COO of CDP Water Disclosure Project, Martin Frick, CEO Global Humanitarian Forum, Frederic Hauge, Founding Partner The Sahara Forest Project and President The Bellona Foundation, José María Figueres, Former President of Costa Rica, President of The Global Observatory.

2010

In Jordan on the Invitation of HRH King Abdullah II of Jordan, meeting with relevant ministers: 

From left: Joakim Hauge, CEO Sahara Forest Project, Kjetil Stake, Managing Director Sahara Forest Project, HE Minister of Agriculture Jordan, Egil Thorsaas, Norwegian Embassy in Amman, HE Petter Ølberg, Ambassador at The Norwegian Embassy in Amman, HE Minister of Mega Projects, Frederic Hauge, Founding Partner of The Sahara Forest Project and President of The Bellona Foundation, HE Jordanian Minister of Water.

First field visit in the Jordan desert assessing the project’s viability in the region. From left: 

Joakim Hauge, CEO The Sahara Forest Project and Kjetil Stake, Managing Director The Sahara Forest Project

2011

Signing Memorandum of Understanding with local authorities in Aqaba for access of 220 ha of land under the patronage of the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, HE Jonas Gahr Støre and HE Nasser Judeh Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs :

From left: Frederic Hauge, President The Bellona Foundation, HE Mohamed Saqr, Chief Commissioner Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority

An early picture of The Sahara Forest Project team at a workshop preparing the Feasibility Studies for Jordan: 

From left: Michael Pawlyn, Founding Partner of The Sahara Forest Project, Director Exploration Architecture, Frederic Hauge, Founding Partner of The Sahara Forest Project, President The Bellona Foundation, Bill Watts, Founding Partner of The Sahara Forest Project, Partner Max Fordham Consulting Engineers, Silvia Borras Researcher The Sahara Forest Project, The Sahara Forest Project, Kjetil Stake, Managing Director The Sahara Forest Project, Joakim Hauge, CEO The Sahara Forest Project, Dr Virginia Corless, Science and Development Manager, The Sahara Forest Project. 

Dr Virginia Corless and Bill Watts meeting with local experts in Jordan while conducting the Jordan Feasibility Studies.

Illustration of the planned Sahara Forest Project Test- and Demonstration Centre in Aqaba,  Jordan

The first Sahara Forest Project testing facility in Qatar, ”The Local Calibration Station (LoCal)”

2012

Signing ceremony in Oslo for constructing The Sahara Forest Project Pilot Facility in Qatar. Agreement being signed between Yara, Qafco and The Sahara Forest Project under the patronage of the Norwegian Prime Minister HE Jens Stoltenberg and Qatari Prime Minister HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani

From left: Khalifa A. Al Sowaidi, CEO Qafco, Jørgen Ole Haslestad, CEO Yara International, Joakim Hauge, CEO The Sahara Forest Project

Presenting the findings of the Jordan Feasibility studies in Jordan in the presence of HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Jordanian Minster of Environment, HE Yaseen Khayyat, Former Jordanian Minister of Energy and Environment HE Khaled Irani, Norwegian State Secretary for Foreign Affairs HE Gry Larsen, members of Jordanian press and civil society.

Illustration of the Sahara Forest Project Pilot Facility in Qatar

Picture of the Sahara Forest Project Pilot Facility in Qatar under construction.

Picture of first baby cucumber from The Sahara Forest Project Pilot Facility in Qatar

The Sahara Forest Project participated at the UN Climate Negotiations, COP18, in Qatar, Doha and hosted and participated at a number of side events.

Sahara Forest Project at UN Side event, Cop 18 Doha. From left: Managing director Kjetil Stake, CEO Joakim Hauge and co-founder Michael Pawlyn.

The first cucumbers grown in the desert using seawater and solar power were harvested at The Sahara Forest Project Pilot Facility in Qatar and served to participants at UN Climate Negotiations in Doha. The Norwegian Minister of the Environment on guided tour at Sahara Forest Project Pilot Facility in Qatar.

From left: Bård Vegar Solhjell, Norwegian Minister of the Environment, Khalifa A. Al-Sowaidi, CEO of QAFCO and Joakim Hauge, CEO of Sahara Forest Project.

The Sahara Forest Project Pilot Facility was opened by HH the Heir Apparent of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The Qatari Crown Prince also enjoyed a tour of the pilot facility, developed by Yara, Qafco and The Sahara Forest Project.

2013

The second crop of cucumbers and the first crop grown directly from seed, was being harvested. The yield is significantly higher than in typical greenhouses in Qatar and matching the production of large cucumbers in the UK.

The first barley and rucola was harvested at the Sahara Forest Project pilot facility in Qatar. The harvesting of the barley was done in a traditional way at small scale farms by workers who are farmers back home.

Through two and a half years of studies, field testing and operations a solid foundation is in place for enabling the roll-out of The Sahara Forest Project. The Sahara Forest Project Pilot Facility in Qatar successfully met expectations and verified significant comparative advantages using saltwater for the integration of food production, revegetation and renewable processes. A result report with the key findings was published.

In 2013 The Sahara Forest Project had key note speeches at a number of important conferences, exhibitions and think thanks. CEO Joakim Hauge presented The Sahara Forest Project and the impressive results from the pilot facility in Qatar at TEDx, Chatham House and other major events