Posted by: friendsoftheearthmiddleeast | October 31, 2014

1st Regional Conference Governance & Financing for the Mediterranean Water Sector

28-31/10/2014

Athens

Greece

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Ecopeace Middle East representative attended a “1st   Regional Conference of the Union for the Mediterranean (UFM) labeled project Governance & Financing for the Mediterranean Water Sector & Training on risk and insurance in PPPs for water infrastructure in Athens, Greece.0164

The conference, held in close collaboration with the EU funded Sustainable Water Integrated Management- Support Mechanism (SWIM-SM), aimed at reinforcing the regional dialogue, set off during the Launching of the UFM project in May 2013, and the sharing of experiences on the water governance and sustainable financing nexus by bringing together targeted Mediterranean stakeholders from within and outside the water sector, including public authorities, civil society and the private sector.

The conference took stock of the outcomes from the water Policy Dialogues conducted in Jordan and Tunisia during the first year of the UFM projects implementation (2013-2014) and discussed the way forward for the second year.

0168 EcoPeace Middle East presented about cross cutting themes and stakeholder engagement, reflecting on the work the organization has been doing regarding equity, poverty, rights and the environment  and focused on the importance of ensuring stakeholder engagement -and civil society in particular- in policy processes. Most notably, the organizations work in the region regarding its role in preserving the shared water resources that promote cooperation and joint management of the regions limited water resources was brought to the forefront in this regional gathering.

It is worth mentioning that  EcoPeace Middle  introduced a regional master plan funded by the European Union for the rehabilitation of the Lower Jordan River intended to improve the living conditions of the Jordan Valley inhabitants whether environmental or economic. The master plan incorporates national master plans into a single cohesive trans- boundary master plan that could be advanced in full or in part by decision makers both unilaterally at the national level, and at the regional level.

The required interventions will be presented in an international conference on Sustainable Development in the Jordan Valley in November, to be used by the consortium partners as an advocacy tool with national and international stakeholders, for the purpose of increasing the political will for the adaptation in full or in part of the study’s recommendations by national authorities in the region.

The Master Plan is built on the organizations vision of a rehabilitated river, managed jointly, shared equitably and accessible to all.  The Interventions identified relate to agricultural improvement, Water management, pollution control, policy and legislative improvement, tourism and cultural Heritage, Urban and infrastructure development, and finally, international cooperation.

For more information about the Master Plan, Click here

For an overview presentation about the regional Master Plan, Click here

This post is contributed by EcoPeace Middle East Media Officer/ Projects Coordinator at the Amman Office. 

20-21/10/2014

Israel

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Jordan Valley Authority delegation headed by his Excellency Secretary General Mr. Saed Abu Hamour and representatives from EcoPeace Middle East participated in a two days conference labeled “International Conference on the Rehabilitation of the Lower Jordan River (Phase A) and The Development of the Border Region Between the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan along the Jordan River” that took place in Israel from the 20th until the 21st of October.

The conference was also attended by close to 500 participants from various sectors including academia, municipal bodies, industry, and other representatives from the civil society renowned in the fields of river restoration and water management.  Most notably, the conference was attended by representative from the Israeli government in the persons of Mr. Silvan Shalom Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water resources, Minister for the Development of the Negev and Galilee and Minister of Regional Development, and Mr. Amir Peretz Minister of Environmental Protection.520

The conference included various sessions and presentations concerning the Master Plan for the rehabilitation of the Lower Jordan River and its surroundings, dilemmas of regional planning while maintaining and nurturing nature, and possible solutions for these dilemmas among many others.

His Excellency Mr. Abu Hamour, presented about the Jordanian Jordan Valley and the importance of it rehabilitation leading to development.  In his speech he stated that the three neighboring countries of Jordan, Israel, and Syria are responsible for the rivers degradation once flowing with a billion four hundred mcm per year before diversion of its sources. The rehabilitation of the river will entail attracting investment and tourism to the valley leading to its anticipated revival. He added that it is only through cooperation that this can be achieved. His Excellency shared the specifics of the Jordanian Master Plan as introduced to the government by EcoPeace Middle East.

On his turn, Minister of Environmental Protection Amir Peretz spoke about the River Restoration as a key for Cross-border Environmental Cooperation. He said “we have set for ourselves an iron rule: the war against terrorist organizations and extremists, along with the construction of a bridge infrastructure for peace with moderate Islam and moderate Arab states, with the moderate world and moderate Palestinians.” He added “this is the basis of our existence and our security in the Middle East. This bridge can be built and we should start building it now. Environmental issues can serve as the foundation for regional cooperation and reducing disparities.” He elaborated that cross-border environmental pollution does not stop at the border; an example is the deadly virus spreading in Africa and threatens the entire world. Winds and rivers flow and do not stop at the border.” A case in point is the Jordan River; holy in Abarahamic religions. He added that the river presents enormous potential not only for environmental development but for tourism as well.

During the session Vision of Communities: My Jordan Valley, Ms. Yana Abu Taleb, Assistant Director for Projects and International Affairs at EcoPeace Middle East presented the organizations vision for a rehabilitated river. In this regard, EcoPeace Middle took notice of the current degradation of the Lower Jordan River and together with international consortium partners the Stockholm International Water lnstitute (SlWl) and Global Nature Fund (GNF) undertook the development and publication of the first ever regional master plan for the Lower Jordan River Basin.472

Ms. Abu Taleb explained that the Lower Jordan Valley is divided between Jordanians, Israelis, and Palestinians, the latter denied access to the Jordan and receiving no water directly from the river. The root of the problem is conflict, she added.

She elaborated that the countries of Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon sharing the basin race to capture the greatest possible share of the Jordan’s water instead of seeing the valley as a single, transboundary watershed leading to its degradation.

EcoPeace Middle East mains strategic pillars for the rehabilitation of the Lower Jordan River basin as mentioned in the Master Plan are based on balancing the needs of people and nature, cross-border water justice which means that the Palestinian riparian rights and fair share of the benefits of an accessible and rehabilitated river are respected; a central component of the master planning process. Finally, encouraging community based activism to promote livelihood benefits for community residents. She concluded.

It is worth mentioning that EcoPeace Middle East will present a regional master plan for the Lower Jordan River Master Plan funded by the European Union in its upcoming conference on Sustainable Development in the Jordan Valley in November. The master plan incorporates national Jordanian, Israeli, Palestinian master plans into a single cohesive trans- boundary master plan that could be advanced in full or in part by decision makers both unilaterally at the national level, and at the regional level.

The required interventions are intended to improve the environmental and economic conditions of the Jordan Valley and its inhabitants. It will be used by the consortium partners as an advocacy tool with national and international stakeholders for the purpose of increasing the political will for the adaptation in full or in part of the study’s recommendations by national authorities in the region.

The Master Plan is built on EcoPeace Middle East’s vision of a rehabilitated river, managed jointly, shared equitably and accessible to all.

For an overview of the Regional Master Plan introduced, click on the link

http://foeme.org/uploads/RHDHV_Presentation_17_3_13.pdf

For a draft Regional NGO Master Plan for the Lower Jordan River Valley Baseline Report, click on the link

http://foeme.org/uploads/FoEME_Baseline_Report_vs5_L.pdf

This post is contributed by Samar M. Salma, EcoPeace Middle East Media Officer/ Projects Coordinator at the Amman Office. 

 

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In partnership with Humboldt University and University of Jordan, Water Energy and Environmental Center in University of Jordan, as well as GIZ and ESCWA, the German Jordanian university organized a conference inaugurated by HRH Prince Hassan Bin Talal tilted “Social Water Studies in the MENA Region” State of the Art and Perspectives on the 28th and 29th of September. The conference aimed at initiating a stock – taking of social science research on water issues in the MENA region and illustrated how a social science perspective could be further developed as explained by Dr. Serena Sandri.

In her opening speech, Dr Sandri stated that the conference’s underlying proposition is that water scarcity emerges when there is conflict between the needs and the aspirations of a community of a specific society for a specific quality and quantity of water on the one hand, and the existing and available water resources on the other hand.

She added that what determines how much water quantity is needed and at what quality are human practices and social strata which shape but at the same time are influenced by issues like climate change and technological progress. Thus the way in which societies relate to water resources and organize their use requires an in-depth understanding of human and social dimensions of water use. However, she explained, that this does not deny the importance of technology and the knowledge natural process going on around water.

The conference posited accordingly the integration between technical approaches towards the studies of water and approaches of social sciences. An integrated approach; scientific, philosophical, and technical issues will contribute to improve the way societies and individuals deal with water resources, encompassing in this way aspects of ecological sustainability, aspects of promoting economic development, equity in addition to political and social stability.

Even though this approach is unique and promotes for a better governance of the precious resource of water, nonetheless, it is not easy as explained by Dr Sandi.  It requires from a methodological point of view interdisciplinarity, cultural and social understanding of peculiarities and specificities of different communities. Accordingly, the first bloc analyzed in the conference was looking at interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity and its challenges. The second challenge was to look at the content main research proposition which is the integration between social and technical aspects of water studies into an essential dimension in question.

On his turn, His Excellency Ralf Tarraf, German Ambassador affirmed that the conference aimed at highlighting the regional dimensions of water issues and pinpointing the many challenges facing the water sectors in the MENA region in addition to its impacts on the current situation.  10014578_703002863101705_6519213340117252604_n

HRH Prince Hassan, who chairs a High Level Forum for the Blue Peace Middle East plan, stressed the need for a comprehensive study that takes into consideration the political turmoil leading to increased waves of forced migration. He stated that our failure in Gods Earth is the failure of good governance and added that we live in a state of chronic anxiety due to lack of priorities. An example is Jordan’s investment in nuclear program at the expense of other priorities.

He also stressed the need for an inclusionist approach that can only be built on early beginnings of a credible knowledge base as opposed to the politics of division.

An inclusionist approach, he stated, that enables farmers to secure control over local water which is currently done by foreign NGOs that move farmers to do something cooperative. A case in point, the Grey water reuse for agricultural purposes in the Jordan Valley. He commended the Deir Allah communities that are not only willing to accept but also to reuse treated grey water for irrigation,  and noted that water scarcity in this rural area of Jordan is the main determinant of their willingness to reuse grey water rather than socio economic variables.  People of Deir Allah are part of indeterminism of Jordanians to do what they can in the most difficult of circumstance, he affirmed.

His Royal Highness also pointed out that it’s about time to start talking about production value added and emphasized the need to hold meeting on carrying capacity.

With regards to the critical water situation, HRH elaborated on the regions grim water realities by saying that West Asia North Africa is home to ten percent of the world’s land but less than one percent of the Worlds water. Hundreds of millions of people are deprived of basic rights to clean water. By 2030, 45 million Egyptians will be flooding of the delta by the Mediterranean risking nature displacement; another 45 million Iranians will be on the march.  As for Gaza, it will run out of renewable water by 2020.

HRH stated that water and energy are inseparable in the WANA region which has the fastest growing demand for energy in the entire world.

He suggested that in order for the region to solve its many problems we need to work on hinterland intraindependence relationships between oil producing countries and human resource populations neighboring them, to place the human being in the center of sustainability and investment,  to develop policy together and rely on intraregional cooperation, to develop a professional discourse into which everyone is committed. Finally, to legally empower people to speak out at all levels; civil, society, private sector and government to make them all stakeholders

He concluded his speech by stating that “Cooperation, partnership, interregional cooperation, intra-regional cooperation {are} not a nice to have option but … a must have option.” Click here for the full speech.

044The conference included discussion about the role of water studies in the region, in education and societies. Ms. Nancy Haddaden, Project Manager at EcoPeace/ Friends of the Earth Middle East presented a paper about “Challenges and Opportunities Associated with the Sustainable Development of the Lower Jordan River Valley”. In this regards, FoEME envisions a rehabilitated LJR accessible to the public. A restored historical flow of the river that will enable it to become a center of a healthy eco-system, a regional symbol of peace, and a source of prosperity for Palestinian, Jordanian and Israelis alike. In order to achieve this vision, FoEME collaborated with its international partners; SIWI and GNF, in order to create a regional NGO master plan for the LJR by developing and harmonizing national master plans into a single cohesive trans-boundary master plan that could be advanced in full or in part by the decision makers – both unilaterally at the national and regional levels. The master plan will be presented at an International Conference on Sustainable Development in the Jordan Valley in Jordan.  For more information about LJR Master Plan, click here. For the paper presented at the Social Water Studies conference, click here.

This post is contributed by Samar M. Salma, FoEMEs Media Officer at the Amman Office.

For a picture album, click here.

For the Arabic Press Release, click here.

For GJU Press Release, click here 

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Transcription of his HRH Prince Hassan Bin Talals Speech during the conference “Social Water Studies in the MENA Region: State of the Art Perspective” on the 28-29th September, 2014. You will find words placed between brackets {}. This signifies that the transcriber did not hear well the word used, or translated to English because the speaker used Arabic, or rephrased.

The speech was transcribed due to the many important points raised pertaining to grim water realities of the region in general and Jordan in particular.

{HRH thanked Co-Conveners}

My first tasking exercise as founder of North Africa West Asia, 5 years now is to ask the {co-conveners} and whom so ever they would like to align with to accept the invitation on North Africa West Asia forum what we hope will become North Africa West Asia institute to follow up on this session with a study on carrying capacity for our region, by which I mean that Jordan’s population in 1992 was supposed to be two and a half million people, today we are almost 10 million people.

  • We talk about Refugees, {VPs, IVPs,} stateless person as though we were those UN reports. Are they not all Arabs, are we not Arabs.
  • If you can be a European and a German, why cannot you be an Arab, a Syrian { … etc} or an Arab and Iraqi or an Anbari.
  • I stopped by a taxi driver and said to him where you from, he said form Nablus. I said from Jabal Alnar he said we are all Jabal Alnar {Surrounded} god protects this country
  • The fact of the matter, that God will not protect this country if this country does not protect itself here {pointing to his head}
  • It’s all very well to hold a conference on the assumption that we are living in an arid zone but the real arid zone we are living in is between our ears as the good professor pointed out earlier.
  • The only Knowledge base and I love what he said “for whom and for what”. For whom I think I heard him say for the intelligence.
  • And I want to remind you all that the most affluent ministries associations are ministries of interior and I am not talking about our wives … alone.
  • Ministries of curative medicine, ministries of preventative medicine, education, health.
  • What you are calling social studies in my humble understanding places social studies between Natural studies and humanities.
  • Natural studies pursue academic passions; I was never an informed scientist. I like to think I am a
    constructive person. My daughter Sumaya went to the school of art where she produced amazing art in various forms, I said to her you did not get that from my genes and she said yes but you are creative in other ways which is kind of her.
  • As for the other side of the spectrum, humanities embroider either with historical background, or the time line narrative.
  • But the failure of the Arabs and I agree with you I am not optimistic either is failure of good governance.
  • But that does not mean I have lost hope because as we have said many times the prophet of Islam says and I believe there are similar texts in just about every religion, if the Day of Judgment comes and you have a fruit bearing sapling in your hand plant it anyway.
  • So I am not one of the Armageddon crowd I don’t believe in a VIP seat next to the deity have contributed in destroying the world he created.
  • But I do believe that our failure on god’s earth is the failure of good governance.
  • In that sense I want to say that we are living in a state of chronic anxiety. Chronic anxiety from the bombs falling on our heads potentially. Somebody asked me the other day why are soldiers wearing helmets I said I don’t know I suppose that they are worried something might fall on their heads. One has to be simplistic in explaining these things. But we also have chronic anxiety which I would call not over water scarcity or security but anxiety, in my case, over the absence of priorities.
  • We spoke about goods on the ground isn’t it about time to talk about good governance on the ground.
  • With the question always being How do wars end? My friend Sydney Baily the Quaker wrote a whole series of magisterial books on the subject of how do wars end. {How Wars End: The United Nations and the Termination of Armed Conflict} {For Arab-Israeli Wars and the Peace Process}
  • We know almost how they begin but since 1948, we have been successively depleted in our resources, in our thinking, in our energies by the fact that we have not been able to come to terms with the fact that the war has pores and before it resumes it’s about time we exercise good governance.
  • Israel by the way fought in 1948, whether they are Winners or losers, I just want to tell you that the income per capita in Israel according to Standard and Poors Gaza Operations Fiscal Effect Minor, income per capita in Israel is now about thirty eight thousand dollars making Israel one of the highest income economies in our view, Standard and Poors.
  • Israel trend growth is also at the highest spectrum of its peer group.
  • In per capita terms, this equates to trend growth of slightly less than 5 percent per year.
  • As far as gas is concerned, I want to point out new projection includes an estimated contribution from new natural gas production of about 0.3 percent.
  • So that makes Israel apart from anything else, the 5th most important country in gas.
  • European Ministry came to see me sometimes ago and in dignity at least from my {} because he was in my office said this is Gaza gas I said why are you so angry. You really want to be angry go out give a press conference and then resign.
  • So I want to say to you ladies and gentlemen that while we have been muddling through with the aftermath of war, they have been building a formidable reality in Palestine.
  • I want to ask you about “the co-conveners” a few things: one of them, you have said in your papers, you have made reference to CSR. Isn’t it time we started talking about production value added.
  • What production value added have we benefited from Arab oil, gas, or value added from Disi pipelines. What I am trying to say is what about the people living next to the pipelines.
  • If we want to think as you put it professor, you suggested we look at Reflexive knowledge for whom and for What is not only academic.
  • If this conference is going to produce another academic paper, I don’t think that it will have it wrung the alarm bell, and we don’t only need that, we need the alarm bell with few suggested outcomes.
  • And that’s why I suggested at the beginning to hold a meeting on carrying capacity, don’t misunderstand me, not carrying capability.
  • Khaled Tukan can announce that a deal has been struck with Rosatom The Russian Energy Giant for 10 billion dollars or so I read like everybody else, we read what the newspapers write. I have to say.
  • Now if you forgive my simple mind, by asking if South Africa in the same day signed to a Rosatom a 10 billion dollars, how is it that tiny Jordan with no past experience in nuclear program let alone creating a nuclear bomb which I believe South Africa has achieved, how is it that we are signing a deal with the same figure.
  • And not only that, how is it that Jordan is offering up to 70 million dollars for the studies to be conducted on the impact of the nuclear facility on top of a water aquifer, I am talking about Azraq Zarka.
  • So what the hell are we doing here? Are we just pissing in the wind!
  • Or are we really serious about saying to policy planners in Jordan that if you want to create a nuclear program with UAE, I understand we have much support and much interest.
  • Every time I fly to Vienna in an airplane, not my airplane, a royal Jordanian airplane, when I go to Vienna, it’s full of young Jordanians bright-eyed, bushy-tailed off to study nuclear this and that in Vienna.
  • When I was in Oxford in the dark ages in the 60s, the Pakistanis and Indians were studying nuclear this and that and then they bought {}, boom, the made a bomb and that was quiet a long time ago.
  • Nobody can convince me that we are going to indigenize the competence in nuclear programs in Jordan.
  • And if so, nobody can convince me that this is not at the expense of other priorities and other fund necessary for Jordan survival.
  • So I would suggest to you that one of the carrying capacity proposals you consider is to look at the resilience center of the University of Stockholm. Inter disciplinary, eco social in good governance.
  • Abdul Rahman Al Tamimi has presented us with work on the communities of Wadi Obeid, Kherbat Salama, {} and Resh. Areas of Palestine where water subsidies can be used as a tool for poverty alleviation to effective policies.
  • Areas of Palestine, ladies and gentlemen, to show you what dupes we have been when we dug wells in the foot hills of the west bank pre 1967. In those days it was quiet for {} not USAID. The precursor of USAID.
  • We were told that these wells were none productive, a few years later, {Subhan Allah} they are supplying over 50% of the water requirements of Israel. And we wonder why Israel wants to continue its occupation.
  • So the importance of the policies of inclusion as opposed to policies of division, or the politics of division is a key to that small country Jordan in the Middle surviving.
  • If we want stability, we have to look at creating a knowledge base whereby we look at all human beings.
  • That glass of water is not Palestinian, Iraqi, Syrian glass of water. That much water is available to all of us potentially or none of us.
  • An inclusionist approach, {thanked ESKWA for always emphasizing inclusionist policies} An inclusionist approach can only be built on early beginnings of a credible knowledge base.
  • I am told that those Syrians are turning Lemons into Lemonade. Those Syrians who have started over 280 industrial investments. 400 applied, 280 were chosen. How were they chosen? God only knows and maybe he doesn’t know either.
  • Anas Zeyaden speaks of the different ways of engaging youth. Thank you. To help with water conservation and combating the effects of climate change.
  • The Knowledge base that we are speaking about should take into account consideration achievements of IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature, largely through the work of our Lebanese colleagues of introducing and accepting the term Himma. So we are looking inclusion of human and physical environment. {Albeah, Alensaneya, wa Albeah al Masaheya aw Alheseyah}
  • And speaking of the human and physical environment is another example. Edra is speaking on water scarcity and irrigation in the Nile Delta, I hope we can have a chat because I have been invited to do the impossible. To address the Nile Basin Countries in December in Cairo. And I would like to thank your work on focusing on developing participation again inclusionist approaches that enable farmers to secure control over local water. And I like your choice of words because I am reminded of the fact that it is only with foreign NGOs, it seems that we are capable of moving local farmers to do something cooperative and I cite here the Grey water reuse   for agricultural purposes in the Jordan Valley. A house hold survey results, still house hold survey better than nothing in Deir Allah by Othman Mashagbeh, Ayub Gred and professor Migdal. The survey responses provided evidence that rural communities  are not only willing to accept but they are willing to  reuse treated grey water for irrigation.  Water scarcity in this rural area of Jordan is the main determinant, the main determinant of willingness to reuse grey water rather than socio economic variables. The main determinant of their wanting to continue to live productively in the Jordan Valley. Do I have to remind you who has his eyes on the Jordan Valley.
  • Those people living there are part of indeterminism of Jordanians to do what they can in the most difficult of circumstances.
  • So I go back to good governance. For listening to people. Not a monologue about the need for dialogue but an interaction.
  • There are many problems and we know, hundreds of millions of people are deprived of basic right to clean water. And that very United Nations asked me to present a report on water and sanitation and I did.
  • In fact if you look up my name on youtube, you will see it next to “World Toilet Day”. For those of you who are smiling, will you be smiling when disease affects us or our children.
  • West Asia North Africa is home to ten percent of the Worlds land but less than one percent of the Worlds Water.
  • And I do not have to remind you that before we say Alsalm Alaykom in 2030, 45 million Egyptians will be flooding of the delta by the Mediterranean, are risking displacement, nature displacement.
  • And 45 million Iranian, let us think of Iranians also as human beings will be on the march.
  • So that means a 90 million figure already.
  • As for Gaza, poor Gaza to run out of renewable water by 2020 means that Gaza the state, Gaza the city state, Gaza Sinai city state has to find a way out of this mess. I don’t believe that the rocket margin of 10 km 20 km have only to do with rockets but I believe it had a lot to do with ground aquifers.
  • As for Interdiscplinarity again, water and sanitation, eight hundred thousand children die per year from diarrhea, and as many as 88 percent of the diarrhea cases are linked to unsafe treated water.
  • We when I presented the report, I suggested that we look in a network form, at interlinked rules, they wanted the water lobby, water as independent issue.
  • I knew that the issue will be discussed on the 38th floor of UN building between the secretary general and all those governments who could influence the decision. And I knew that the decision was not going to be water. I felt it.
  • And when I saw World climate day, incidentally today is the United Nations Day of Peace, I hope you are feeling terribly peaceful, As for world climate, it seems to be very clear that a deal has been struck with the cooperate world spoiling the climate to make climate issues a priority.
  • As for WANA, we have joined the international appeal with over a hundred thousand signatories. Corporate signatories, NGO signatories in the conference held in Amman two weeks ago calling for justice as a standard on {}.
  • And justice of course is inclusive, Justice includes government, justice includes having the right to ask what are the priorities?  Renewable energy, oil shale, red dead canal! What is it, A la carte menu so that we have so much money that we can spend on anything and everything we want!
  • I am asking you to help your selves in the triple helix if I may use your expression of policy, socio economic contribution. One of your colleagues the other day said to me what is the kings vision for the next ten years. This vision of development for the next ten years. I said to him I am sure that we will be learning from the working groups and there was a working group meeting that took place in the Dead Sea with the prime Minister as a chair and I don’t follow Jordanian issues in detail but I want to say from my memory have you , I was addressing the men form the chamber of industries, 14 chambers, 16 chambers, 18 chambers have any of you ever sat down and discussed the priorities of Jordan Economy.
  • We talk about private interest being stronger than public interest and this is a glaring example of this fact.
  • And part of the reason of course if you want to take a policy support center then you have to have knowledge, but if this knowledge is limited to vested interest, it is not going to travel very far.
  • So I would like to suggest that maybe policy should include the water, sanitation and health program.
  • You can break even on 200 latrines, if you work on a computer from Singapore. Architect, designing Latrines. Is anybody in our IT sector sensitive to Jordanian issues.
  • Does Venture magazine encourage the discussion of local solutions {} rather than problematic or do we just show in glossy pictures the most important Jordanian men and women doing what for Jordan!
  • Water pollution and poor sanitation are directly connected to urban poverty and reduced productivity.
  • Which in turn are directly connected to 28 percent of urban residents in slums in West Asia and North Africa which in turn are directly connected to recruitments of extremist organizations.
  • To the parallel, Black economy, or whatever color you want to call it, which is doing much better, thank you very much, in certain instances than the official economy.
  • At least when we say we want to study people, Bretton Woods does not come back and say yes but you cannot study refugees because they are political economy.
  • I don’t care what you categorize them as. The fact is that they are drinking the same water, using the same facilities and the time has come to develop a carrying capacity based on knowledge.
  • So if I just conclude by suggestion one of two solutions.
  • Of course we all agree that the level of water lost for leakage, Dr Hazem who couldn’t join us today because he went to the hospital for a checkup …
  • 44% of that water is leakage caused by deliberate under registration and theft.
  • That’s a lot of water lost for any country let alone the 3rd poorest water country in the world.
  • Can we acknowledge that traditional water resources won’t be sufficient to meet the growing demands for water in a region characterized by exploding populations and increasing energy demands.
  • Population growth 17. 3% in WANA from 2014-2024
  • The merely 20 million Israelian, or Israelian dual nationality in the world, {and they are making}
  • … 500 hundred million Arabs but may be only 20 million Arabs {…}
  • That is the achievement that led to these economic facts and figures. Not only because Israel is in a situation of popular support from so many western countries but they have also done it themselves.
  • I don’t think that we cannot talk about water without talking about energy.
  • In the WANA region alone, we have the fastest growing demand for energy in the entire world.
  • What is this energy for, where is the carrying capacity once again.
  • Where is the concept of hinterland intraindependence relationship between oil producing countries and human resource populations neighboring them
  • And how can we develop without putting at the center of the construct sustainability and investment in the center of that human being.
  • Sustainability and investment in human capital
  • Is that not the policy we can develop together. When are we going to develop solutions for water extension and solid and liquid waste disposal.
  • When will this be a priority.
  • I am sorry if i over stepped my time I always do. So I will wrap up.
  • Can we understand what the Middle East desalination research center is doing is commendable? Can we work with them, we being the group of co conveners once again? What thoughts do you have on the subject.
  • This is carrying capacity.
  • Can we invest in technology to use treated water for industrial and domestic purposes as well as exploiting brackish underground resources.
  • So in brief, I would like to say what we should do differently is to consider the entra regional cooperation if we are that tiny country surrounded by these realities.
  • If we are moving towards millennium development roles and authentic view from the region. If ESKWA hopes to partner with its sister organizations in other regions. If we can be partners and not only clients, then I think intraregional cooperation is charity starting at home. The south, Center and North of Jordan.
  • A professional discourse into which everyone has committed.
  • Legal empowerment, legal enablement of people to speak out at all levels; civil, society, private sector, and government to make them all stakeholders whether they are mobility stakeholders or national stakeholders does not matter, they are human beings, and then possibly to move to good governance on the ground.
  • Anbar is just next door, Huran is just next door,
  • You talked the question of who merits the pot of gold. It’s the question of who manages their human resources, the physical resources and their economic resources most successfully.
  • So cooperation, partnership, interregional cooperation, intraregional cooperation, It’s not a nice to have option but it’s a must have option

Thank you for listening to me.

The speech is transcribed by Samar M. Salma, FoEMEs Media Officer/ Projects Coordinator at the Amman Office.

The speech is transcribed to the best of my abilities. 

water energy nexus pic

The Middle East is the most water stressed region in the world. Jordan is listed as one of the most water poor countries and Palestine suffers from an engineered water shortage as a result of the occupation. And with climate change expected only to exacerbate the region’s water shortages, the need to find new, affordable, and sustainable sources of water is only increasing.

Innovative technologies such as desalination and wastewater treatment and reuse are game-changing solutions that are already being used to increase the region’s access to freshwater. However, these technologies are highly energy intensive. For example, in Israel the average electricity consumption for desalinating a cubic meter of water is 3.5 kWh (or, enough energy to power a typical 60-watt light bulb for almost two and a half days!). And when these technologies are scaled up for national-scale production, the electricity consumption quickly adds up. In 2013, desalination and wastewater treatment consumed 10% of Israel’s total electricity supply.

But the region lacks a sufficient supply of conventional fuels to power these much-needed technologies for the long-term: Jordan has almost no fuel reserves (and import approximately 96% of the fuel used) and Israel’s natural gas reserves are expected to run out within 3-4 decades. Renewable energy, on the other hand, offers a more long-term, sustainable, and climate-friendly solution. While Israel and Palestine lack the sufficient open space for large-scale renewable energy infrastructure, Jordan’s eastern deserts have huge solar energy potential, offering plenty of open land and among the highest solar radiation in the world.

The region’s growing water and associated energy demand are regional problems, and, therefore, a solution that promotes regional interdependence, providing a source of both water and energy in a secure and reliable manner, can benefit all parties, in perhaps more than one way.

EcoPeace Middle East has, therefore, proposed the creation of a regional produced water-renewable energy community, in which renewable energy from Jordan can be used to desalinate seawater along the coasts of Israel and Gaza in order to meet the water demand of all three countries. (A complete version of the proposal can be found here.)

Such a solution—one that promotes regional interdependence—can, in addition to solving the region’s resource-related needs, help to foster a strategic stability in the region. The proposed mechanism would require long-term cooperation and provide equitable benefits for those involved, serving as a way to build trust among regional neighbors. Furthermore, solving the region’s water shortage – currently an issue of much political contention and social strife – could encourage Israel to move forward on a final water agreement with Palestine and even help broker broader peace agreements in the region.


This post was contributed by Jessye Waxman, Research Intern at EcoPeace Middle East, Tel Aviv Office.

52ca38e1-bf5c-47e3-a52b-8e1a32f6233aWashington DC, USA

On the 18th of October, 2014, at a panel discussion entitled “Building Peace Over Water in the Lower Jordan Valley: A Sister Cities Coalition” held at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C. a Memorandum of Understanding was signed to create sister city partnerships between US cities and Palestinian, Jordanian and Israeli cities together.

The event featured a presentation by EcoPeace / Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME), Sister Cities International (SCI), and Citizen Diplomacy Initiatives (CDI), and a panel discussion with mayors from Jordanian, Israeli, and Palestinian communities in the Lower Jordan Valley. (click here for a flicker album of photos from the panel discussion)photo (26)


Nader Khateeb, Palestinian Director explained that “since its launch in 2001, EcoPeace / FoEME’s award winning Good Water Neighbors project (GWN) has brought together Palestinian, Israeli, and Jordanian towns and cities to cooperate over transboundary water resources and jointly seek to advance a more sustainable peace in the region. We are delighted that today’s launch will add another powerful partner to the bottom-up community-led approach – cities and towns across the USA.”

Yossi Vardi, an Israeli Mayor of the Jordan Valley Regional Council who came to DC for this partnership launch said; “having U.S. cities join our trilateral efforts here in the region will empower our existing efforts and should help us see even earlier a rehabilitated Jordan River Valley as a symbol of peace.”

photo (27)Sister city programs allow individuals on a local level to participate in improving relations through non-political cultural, educational, and other people-to-people exchanges. By creating permanent relationships, sister city programs offer the best opportunity for citizens to participate in creating a climate for the peaceful resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Adam Kaplan, Vice President of Sister Cities International explained further; “these new partnerships will expand the scope of the existing collaborative projects to include cultural, educational, business, sports and other sister city activities, thereby allowing U.S. citizen diplomats to participate in the trust-building process.”

Director of Citizen Diplomacy Initiatives, Steve Kalishma said; “by committing to connecting Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian communities with U.S. cities in multilateral sister city relationships, we will show that working together, U.S. and Middle East communities are a positive force for peace in the Middle East”.

For more information, contact:
Gidon Bromberg, Israeli Director EcoPeace / FoEME; gidon@foeme.org; +972-52-4532597
Michal Milner, Assistant to the Director; m_milner@foeme.org; +972-54-2080121

 EcoPeace / Friends of the Earth Middle East would like to wish our Muslim friends and readers an Eid al Adha Mubarak!

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EcoPeace / Friends of the Earth Middle East will  celebrate our 20th Anniversary with a Gala Dinner on October 20, 2014 with author, journalist and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman as our guest speaker.  02

The event will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, near the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, DC, with a reception at 6:30 pm and dinner at 7:30 pm. Seating is limited. Please visit this page for more details.

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Green Economy – Regional Consultants Meeting & Tours for Tour Guides

A second regional meeting of the “Green Economy Initiatives” (GEI) project was held with the 3 hired business consultants – o3Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian – in late August. Consultants ­­­­­­­­­­reviewed the list of the local “green economy” businesses that each one identified in their respective country, from the targeted areas of the Jordan Valley / Dead Sea, and Bethlehem / Mateh Yehuda Regional Council in Israel, and brainstormed how to best match the businesses from each country while also proposing itineraries that would make a strong business case for cross border cooperation.

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Three regional tours were also held during September for Tour Operators and Tour Guides from Israel, Jordan and Palestine. The tours exposed tour guides to local green alternative sites including organic-farmland, restaurants, women entrepreneurs and adventure tourism, which aim to develop partnerships and assist in the promotion of cross-border business opportunities. Click here for more photos from the 1st tour held in Jordano4

The “Green Economy Initiatives” project is supported by USAID’s Conflict Management & Mitigation Program.

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Water and Energy Nexus

This month FoEME representatives presented our proposal for Jordanian, Israeli and Palestinian integrated planning to support water and energy needs for the future of the region at the Stockholm International Water Institute’s 2014 World Water Week.o6

FoEME’s presentation highlighted the ideas in our recently released paper “A Water and Energy Nexus as a Catalyst for Middle East Peace.”  This paper explores the rationale for the creation of a proposed water-renewable energy community based on interdependence among Israel, Jordan, and Palestine, where much needed water is produced through desalination on the Israeli and Palestinian Mediterranean coasts and the additional electricity needs are met by extensive investment in solar renewable energy in Jordan’s eastern deserts.

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For those of you who did not attend the Haaretz Peace Conference, we would like to share with you a video clip that was just released, interviewing Israeli Director Gidon Bromberg, on FoEME’s position on water and the peace process.o7

FoEME’s Water Cannot Wait Campaign is supported by the Skoll Global Threats Fund, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

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Jordan River Rehabilitation – Faith Based seminars

FoEME is giving a series of seminars as part of its faith-based campaign calling for the revival of the Jordan River. The seminars bring together guest speakers who share their expertise, experiences and insights with the audience to motivate and engage them to interact with the campaign. The seminars are followed by field visits and tours to the Jordan River, to raise awareness regarding the current degradation of the Jordan River.o8

A seminar recently given in Jordan to leaders of the Muslim faith presented the sacredness of the Jordan River in Islam. FoEME staff distributed toolkits to help Islamic communities – in Jordan and around the world – to learn about the contemporary reality of the Holy Jordan River and to join in efforts to rehabilitate the once mighty Jordan.  Click here for more photos of this seminar

010Another seminar was given at the Community Ecumenical in Jordan, about the River and its value to   Christianity with toolkits to help Christian communities learn about the reality of the River and join in efforts for its rehabilitation.  Click here for more photos of this seminar.

And on the Western Bank, at the Kaser el Yehud Baptism Site, a tour of the Jordan River was held on September 18th, accompanied by 09Archbishop Soareos Malki Murad, Bishop of the Middle East, together with the Women’s Union of Bethlehem that included all Christian denominations. Click here for more photos of this tour.

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SavetheJordan.com website launch

On September 1st, the Save the Jordan website was launched – in three languages – to further advance the faith-based 011campaign. The ‘Save the Jordan’ campaign aims at garnering the support of religious figures in the three Abrahamic religions to advocate for the river in their congregations, and through endorsements of the covenant and providing donations. To support FoEME in its efforts to rehabilitate the River, join our campaign.

FoEME’s Jordan River Rehabilitation Project is supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the Osprey Foundation.

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Swedish Consulate Visit to the Jordan River and Battir

On September 22nd, EcoPeace/FoEME Directors hosted a Swedish diplomatic delegation, consisting of the Swedish o12Ambassador to Jordan, the Swedish Consul General to Palestine, the Deputy Head of Mission at the Swedish Embassy in Tel Aviv, as well as senior staff from the three offices and SIDA senior representatives.

The day opened with a presentation of EcoPeace/FoEME’s Good Water Neighbors’ recent achievements. The group then embarked on a tour to the Lower Jordan Valley, including stops at the Baptism Site; EcoPeace/FoEME’s environmental education center in Auja; the Kidron Stream, and the Village of Battir. See more photos of the tour on this Facebook album

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Good Water Neighbor’s “Water Trustees” Alumni

The Good Water Neighbors (GWN) project recently trained 60 former “Water Trustees”, 20 from each country, Israel, Jordan & Palestine, for the project’s new Alumni program.  At the invitation of a leading Israeli newspaper, Maariv, who asked to o13learn about the GWN program, three Palestinian and two Israeli Alumni were interviewed about their positive experience as “Water Trustees”, how it influenced them, and how it inspired their dreams and aspirations.  Click here for the article that followed the interview, entitled “Jumping in the Water” (in Hebrew) (page 1 / page 2).

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Good Water Neighbors gets an A+!

FoEME hired an external company, the Butterfly Effect, to evaluate the last 2 years of the Good Water Neighbors (GWN) project. We are extremely pleased with the results. The last paragraph is perhaps the most encouraging:014

“The GWN’s strategy of long-term deep work in the communities, sustaining a cross-border communication network, and insisting on addressing practical tangible results and interests, rather than just peace or cooperation in general, bears fruits. It changes the discourse of those involved with the project and many have adopted the narrative of environmental peacebuilding/ cross-border cooperation that the GWN project advances into their professional and personal lives.” Click here for the full report

The “Good Water Neighbors” project is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

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Mate Yehuda Master Plan receives wide exposure

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The Master Plan & Survey of the springs in Mate Yehuda was presented in the Israeli Society of Ecology and Environmental Science (ISEES) annual conference, held last month. FoEME staff led several full sessions during the conference, many of them devoted to demonstrating the unique ecological value as well as the cultural heritage of the springs of the Judean Hills.  The conference was an excellent opportunity to present the different surveys and Master Plan’s key recommendations, for preservation or rehabilitation of these springs, to the attending scholars and professionals.

The Spring Master plan is one of the outputs of the “Protecting Ground Water” project, funded by the European Union’s ENPI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Program.

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A FoEME Amman representative attended a workshop entitled “Donor Coordination Meeting: Evolving Roles, Responsibilities and Needs in the Jordan Valley” conducted by USAID Jordan’s Institutional Support and Strengthening Program (ISSP)016

The purpose of the workshop was to present the new strategic priorities of the Jordan Valley Authority (JVA) to the donors, to ensure that current and planned donor programs in the valley are consistent and supportive of the JVA’s strategic objectives.  FoEME is working closely with the JVA on a host of water and sanitation issues in the Valley, as well as the rehabilitation of the Jordan River.

Read more in this blog.

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 Inauguration of Madaba’s Eco-Village

In collaboration with the Municipality of Madaba and the Jordan Society for Sustainable Development (JSSD), a sister company of Friends of the Earth Middle East, the 27th September 2014 marked the inauguration of Madaba’s Eco-Village. The event included multiple activities such as planting trees in the Cooperation Forest, walking through the Eco-017Camp, and a mini football game.

The project aims at enhancing social and economic development in the local Mediterranean basin through cross-border cooperation between the regional networks of local authorities and civil society organizations. It supports, in particular, the regional development processes through the implementation of integrated local projects in local and regional territories in addition to encouraging eco-tourism. Click here for more photos of the eventRead more in our blog (in Arabic).

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UN Convention on International Watercourses – recently entered into force018

FoEME would like to inform our readers that the 1997 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses recently entered into force, after many years of work. This is the only treaty governing shared freshwater resources that is of universal applicability. It provides a framework of principles and rules that may be applied and adjusted to suit the characteristics of particular international watercourses. It represents an important contribution to the strengthening of the rule of law in this increasingly critical field of international relations and to the protection and preservation of international watercourses. In an era of increasing water scarcity, it is to be hoped that the Convention’s influence will continue to grow.

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Representatives from Friends of the Earth Middle East “FoEME” attended a workshop titled “Jordan Valley Authority (JVA) Donor Coordination Meeting: Evolving Roles, Responsibilities and Needs in the Jordan Valley” that took place on Thursday, September 25th 2014.
The workshop organized by USAID/ Jordan “Institutional Support and Strengthening Program “ISSP” presented the results of the Jordan Valley Institutional Assessment (JVA IA) with key counterparts and stakeholders. The purpose of the JVA Donor coordination meeting attended by Ms. Barabara Rossmiller, ISSP COP, his Excellency Mr. Saed Abu Hamour Secretary General of JVA, Ambassador Lewis Lucke, USAID/ Jordan, Acting Deputy Mission Director was to present the new strategic priorities for the JVA to the donors to ensure that current and planned donor programs in the valley are consistent and supportive of the JVA’s strategic objectives.

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In his speech, Mr. Abu Hamour commended the collaboration between JVA and donor agencies especially USAID as the latter played an important role in enabling JVA to meet the rising challenges in the valley. He elaborated that climate change, scarcity of water, Syrian refugee influx, and rising population are factors that exacerbated the problem of providing sufficient potable and irrigation water.

Despite these challenges, his Excellency affirmed that the JVA is committed to raising irrigation efficiency and improving water management as it recently embarked in rehabilitating irrigation projects, in addition to providing new water resources to meet the increasing demands of the sector.  The JVA is also engaged in water harvesting projects in the highlands.

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His Excellency pointed out that the JVA is given the task of the integrated development of Wadi Arava to transfer into a region of sustainable development along the Jordan Valley, and to become a center of attraction for popular and economic services to residents of the region which will in turn contribute to the national economy.

He concluded his speech with listing a set of objectives for the valley including adjusting water tariffs to cover operational and maintenance cost, enabling Water Users Associations to become self-sufficient, working with farmers to transfer the tasks of water management. Finally, he affirmed that the JVA will continue to provide best services for irrigation and drinking water to raise the efficiency of water use and increase economic returns per cubic meter.

034In his turn, Mr. Lucke stated that the partnership between JVA and donor agency is very important since the commercial and agricultural activities strain Jordan Water system. Such strains prompt further cooperation to face the valleys rising challenges and to maximize the impact of donor funding in the valley.

Another vital component for the success of the JVA/donor partnership is the important role of the NGOs axis representing civil society. In this regard, FoEME has worked closely with JVA to solve the many of challenges facing the Jordan Valley including the creation of sewage network for the valley, rehabilitation of the Lower Jordan River, and establishment of the Bakoura National park.  The collaboration also included conducting independent studies that provided much needed data to shed light on the most pressing needs of the valley. The NGO Master Plan for the Lower Jordan River Basin, for instance, was developed with full support from the JVA. It identified a set of feasible interventions that will restore the basin’s environmental and ecological values within realistic financial and economic frameworks.001

An overview of the challenges, solutions and priority interventions reached in the Regional Master plan will be presented in the International Conference on Sustainable Development in the Jordan Valley that will take place later this year in Jordan.  It will bring together high-level international and regional organizations, as well as government officials from Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority to discuss the environmental, social, legal, political, economic, financial and regional impacts on the basin’s sustainable development in a forward-looking atmosphere focusing on practicality and cutting-edge solutions – where the Lower Jordan River is focused on as a life stream of the region. The Master Plan will be used by FoEME and its partners as an advocacy tool towards decision makers and the international community for the implementation of the proposed interventions.  Click on the link for an overview presentation about the Regional NGO Master Plan project.

 http://foeme.org/uploads/RHDHV_Presentation_17_3_13.pdf

The interventions are expected to be adopted by the JVA and donor agencies for the rehabilitation of the Jordan River. Once implemented, they will restore the rivers eco-system; ensure equitable sharing of water resources, and free public accessibility for all nationalities which will reflect positively on the region’s economic development perspectives.

This post is contributed by Samar M. Salma, FoEMEs Media Officer at the Amman Office.

Posted by: friendsoftheearthmiddleeast | October 1, 2014

الاحتفال بيوم التعاون الاوروبي في مادبا

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نظمت   الجمعية الأردنية للتنمية المستدامة في 27 من أيلول و بالتعاون مع  بلدية مادبا وبالتعاون مع مشروع “الشبكات الإقليمية لبناء القدرات والتنمية المحلية: تجربة عبر الحدود لربط لبنان، الأردن، فرنسا، إيطاليا (T-Net)” الممول من الاتحاد الاوروبي من خلال برنامج التعاون عبر الحدود لحوض البحر الإبيض المتوسط احتفال بيوم التعاون الاوروبي في موقع القرية الحضارية التابع لبلدية مادبا حيث تم افتتاح النزل البيئية والتي تم تنفيذها من خلال المشروع وبالتعاون مع بلدية مادبا.

وقال المحامي مصطفى المعايعه رئيس بلدية مادبا الكبرى انه ونظرا لاهتمام الذي توليه البلدية الى البيئة  ياتي افتتاح (نزل مادبا البيئية) اليوم والذي يعتبر اضافه السياحه البيئية الى انواع السياحات الاخرى المتوفره في مادبا مثل السياحه الدينية والعلاجية والتراثية والاثرية. واضاف ان البلدية تسعى جاهدة لبناء شراكات حقيقية وجسور للتعاون وخاصة مع الاتحاد الاوروبي لتحقيق اهداف البلديه والارتقاء بمدينة مادبا.

وعن المشروع تحدث نائب رئيس الجمعية الاردنية للتنمية المستدامة المهندس منقذ مهيار عن أهمية المشروع لدعم السياحة البيئية و تنمية المجتمع المحلي. و بحسب مدير المشروع الدكتور بهاء عفانه من الجمعية ان مشروع الشبكات الإقليمية لبناء القدرات والتنمية المحلية: تجربة عبر الحدود لربط لبنان، الأردن، فرنسا، إيطاليا (T-Net) الممول من الاتحاد الاوروبي من خلال برنامج التعاون عبر الحدود لحوض البحر الإبيض المتوسط، يهدف إلى تعزيز التنمية الاجتماعية والاقتصادية المحلية في حوض البحر الأبيض المتوسط من خلال التعاون عبر الحدود بين الشبكات الإقليمية للسلطات المحلية ومنظمات المجتمع المدني من لبنان والأردن وإيطاليا وفرنسا. ويعزز المشروع بشكل خاص، عمليات التنمية الإقليمية من خلال تنفيذ المشاريع المحلية المتكاملة في مختلف الأراضي اللبنانية والأردنية.

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وللتعريف بطبيعة البرنامج قال منسق المكتب  الاقليمي لشرق البحر المتوسط  الدكتور عصمت الكرادشه  ان برنامج التعاون عبر الحدود لحوض البحر الإبيض المتوسط 2007-2013 (CBC MED) برنامج متعدد الأطراف ممول بشكل مشترك من قبل الإتحاد الإوروبي ضمن إطار آلية الجوار والشراكة الإوروبية ((ENPI حيث يوفر البرنامج إطار عمل لتنفيذ أنشطة للتعاون عبر الحدود ضمن سياسة الجوار الإوروبية. واضاف الدكتور الكرادشه، ان برنامج التعاون عبر الحدود لحوض البحر الابيض المتوسط هو تتمة للجهود التي تم بذلها ضمن إطار عمل الشراكة الاورو- متوسطية بهدف تطوير منطقة سلام واستقرار وازدهار وجوار بين دول الاتحاد الاوروبي الاوسطية ودول البحر المتوسط الشريكة التي تم  إدراجها ضمن الخطة الاستراتيجية برامج التعاون عبر الحدود. وفي هذا الاطار، يساهم هذا البرنامج في ترويج عملية التعاون المستدامة والمنسجمة على مستوى حوض البحر المتوسط عن طريق مواجهة التحديات المشتركة وتعزيز الإمكانات الداخلية.

وبموجب الإتفاقية الموقعة بين الحكومة الإردنية ممثلة بوزارة التخطيط والتعاون الدولي والإتحاد الإوروبي ممثلة بإدارة البرنامج فقد تم إستحداث المكتب الإقليمي للبرنامج لمنطقة شرق المتوسط في العقبة حيث تستضيفه سلطة منطقة العقبة الإقتصادية الخاصة ليتم متابعة جميع أنشطة البرنامج في الدول التالية: الإردن، مصر، قبرص، لبنان، سوريا، السلطة الوطنية الفلسطينية، اسرائيل  واليونان.

104يقوم البرنامج حاليا بتمويل 95 مشروعا يتم تنفيذها من قبل مؤسسات الدول المشاركة بالبرناج بكلفه اجماليه تصل ال 200 مليون يورو، تستفيد الاردن ما قيمته 15.5 مليون يورو من خلال 47 مشروع تنفذ في قبل المؤسسات الاردنيه. تغطي هذه المشاريع مواضيع عديدة منها الطاقة المتجددة، المياه، الزراعة والتنوع الحيوي، حماية البيئة البحرية، السياحة والاثار، التنقل والجمارك، تلوث الهواء والحوكمة.

وعن هذا الاحتفال بيوم التعاون الاروربي بين الدكتور عصمت الكرادشه انه يتم تنظيم ورشات عمل للاحتفال (بيوم التعاون الأوروبي لعام 2014) خلال شهر أيلول 2014 في جميع أنحاء أوروبا والبلدان المجاورة بهدف بيان اهمية التعاون والدعم الذي يقدمه الاتحاد الاوروبي في المساعدة على تبادل الأفكار والخبرات وإيجاد الحلول للمشاكل المشتركة. من المتوقع تنظيم أكثر من 200 ورشه وحدث من قبل برامج التعاون الإقليمية الأوروبية في 40 بلدا.

روان حداد: منسقة مشروع تي نت في الأردن

Posted by: friendsoftheearthmiddleeast | September 15, 2014

أزمة المياه في غزة

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نداء طارىء لتلبية احتياجات المياه ومعالجة مشكلة الصرف الصحي لبلدية عبسان  في قطاع غزة

لقد أدت الأحداث المأساوية في الشهر الماضي إلى خسارة مروعة في الأرواح والى تدمير  أنحاء شاسعة من  قطاع غزة

 و لقد تأثرت المجتمعات المحلية العاملة  مع جمعية أصدقاء الأرض الشرق الأوسط تحت مشروع جيران المياه الطيبون بشكل مباشر و على جميع الأصعدة  خصوصا  بلدية عبسان الكبيرة .حيث أفاد رئيس بلدية عبسان  أن البلدية تفتقر للدعم و تحتاج الى عشر الاف دولار لتوفير المياه الصالحة للشرب لواحد و عشرون ألف مواطن من تلك المنطقة لمدة شهر

و تخطط بلدية عبسان القيام بتوزيع المياه  في صهاريج التخزين المجتمعية حتى يتم إصلاح أنابيب المياه ويتم إرجاع الكهرباء. كما يطالب رئيس بلدية عبسان بتوفير أموال عاجلة لإصلاح نظام تحلية المياه المالحة المتضررة جراء الإقتتال و توفير مولد لتشغيلها حتى تعود الكهرباء.  أخيرا وليس آخرا، يرغب رئيس بلدية عبسان باستئجار شاحنات الصرف الصحي لضخ المياه العادمة التي تفيض حاليا في الشوارع من الحفر الامتصاصية المنزلية مما يؤدي الى تلويث موارد المياه وزيادة احتمالات المرض

789في استجابة لطلب عاجل من رئيس بلدية عبسان، اطلقت جمعية أصدقاء الأرض الشرق الأوسط  الشهر الماضي مناشدة طارئة للمساعدة بإمداد المياه النظيفة إلى عبسان، بالتزامن مع منع إنتشار الأمراض. و تمكنت الجمعية من جمع مساعدات تكفي لتغطية إحتياجات البلدية من المياه لمدة ثلاث أشهر. وتم توزيع خزانات مياه لإستخدام السكان. و تتضمن الخطوات القادمة إعادة تأهيل الأبار القديمة و إصلاح مصنع لتحلية المياه و توفير البلدية بالمزيد من خزانات المياه و المياه الصالة للشرب.

إن احتياجات  البلدية و إحتياجات سكانها  ملحة وللأسف ستبقى كذلك لعدة شهور قادمة حتى تبدأ وكالات التنمية الدولية جهود الإنعاش في جميع أنحاء غزة. لذلك تناشد جمعية أصدقاء الأرض و سكان عبسان القادرين على المساعة بالتبرع بشكل فردي في هذا الوقت العصيب  و تشكر كل من ساهم بدعم هذه الحملة

 يمكن التبرع عن طريق حساب باي بال الخاص بجمعية  أصدقاء الارض من خلال زيارة صفحة التبرعات لدينا

http://foeme.org/www/؟module=pages&sub_module=donation

بقلم سمر سلمى الضابط الإعلامي لجمعية أصدقاء الأرض الشرق الأوسط

مكتب عمان

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