Posted by: friendsoftheearthmiddleeast | February 25, 2015

EcoPeace Maintains Pressure for Accountability over Eilat’s Oil Spill

EcoPeace Middle East has met with members of the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection with regards to the disastrous 4th December oil spill. As was reported by international press agencies at the time, the spill was caused when a pipeline that runs from Ashkelon near the Mediterranean sea, to Eliat near the Gulf of Aqaba burst, allowing 5000m3 of crude oil to spill, contaminating small reservoirs and ponds in the hyperarid Evrona nature reserve near Eilat.

The Eliat-Ashkelon Pipeline Company pipeline burst, releasing enough crude oil to fill 2 Olympic-sized swimming pools

The Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Company pipeline burst, releasing enough crude oil to fill 2 Olympic-sized swimming pools

In a meeting with the deputy minister of environmental protection, Ofir Akunis, EcoPeace was able to raise the issue of trans-border impacts from the spill on the Jordanian people through pollution of their land, water, and soils. The oil flow was stopped only a few hundred meters from the border to Jordan in the Arava Valley. Officers of the Ministry of Environmental Protection said that they were in direct communication with the Jordanian authorities, keeping them informed of the accident and its impacts.

In a site visit by a member of EcoPeace staff with an expert team from the Ministry of Environmental protection and the nature Park Authorities, further information was gathered. The Evrona area is a topographically closed basin, so there is almost no risk of drainage of the oil in to the Aqaba gulf. In the case of an extreme flash-flood event, an earth dam was constructed to prevent oil from moving South, ensuring the safety of the delicate coral reefs there. 3,000 m3 of oil was able to be recovered into oil tanks from the pools in the local wadi’s alluvial fan, and the 14 hectares of still contaminated soils are being treated. Around 25 thousand tonnes of the more heavily polluted soils have been transported to a special treatment site in Nemara disposal site, with other soils being treated in site, though as these treatments are still in the pilot stage, we wait to hear if this will be successful.

The oil spill mostly penetrated only few centimetres but affected depths of between 20 and 30cm in some areas.

The oil spill mostly penetrated only few centimeters but affected depths of between 20 and 30cm of soil in some areas.

Levels of air pollution decreased rapidly as the gas in the crude oil was evaporated in the first few days. Although the smell was strong enough to reach both the populated areas of Eilat and Aqaba, it did not reach a level as to be dangerous to health, and today air in the reserve, a few meters from the oil spills, is good.

EcoPeace have demanded deep and extensive investigation regarding the causes of the accident and that the results of the investigation will be open to the public.  The Ministry of Environmental Protection has opposed renewal of the pipeline until the company responsible, the Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Company, have satisfied their safety measure demands.  EcoPeace has also raised their objection to any oil drilling and transport near environmentally sensitive areas, or close to major freshwater sources. Ecologists are still unsure at this stage if the fragile ecosystem will survive.

It is still unclear how fully this delicate ecosystem will be able to recover.

It is still unclear how fully this delicate ecosystem will be able to recover.

This post is contributed by Dr Youval Arbel, Water Officer at EcoPeace Middle East in Tel Aviv.

Posted by: friendsoftheearthmiddleeast | February 3, 2015

February 1st, 2015 – EcoPeace Middle East Environmental Peacemaking Newsletter

Lower Jordan River Rehabilitation Efforts

This month EcoPeace Middle East joined European government officials and transboundary water experts at the United jan 2015Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s (UNECE) Expert Workshop entitled “Beyond Water: Regional economic integration and geo-political benefits of transboundary water cooperation.”  EcoPeace shared its broad expertise related to the economic and geo-political benefits of engaging in transboundary water cooperation in the Jordan Valley, contributing to the development of the UNECE’s policy guidance note on this issue.

jan 2015 2EcoPeace’s Faith Based Campaign for the Jordan River continues to attract interest and support from faith leaders around the world.  This month EcoPeace was invited to meet with a high level delegation of Christian, Muslim and Jewish faith leaders from the US organized by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. EcoPeace was received enthusiastically by the group led by Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church; Rabbi Steve Gutow, President, Jewish Council for Public Affairs; and Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, National Director, Islamic Society of North America who voiced support for EcoPeace’s innovative efforts to bring faith communities together in efforts to rehabilitate the Lower Jordan River, as well as the campaigns’ Water, Ecology and the Jordan River toolkits for Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities.

Tours for additional stakeholders were held this month as well, bringing more than 100 people from the Al Najah University Jan 2015 3and the Carmel Sports Club down to see the Lower Jordan River first hand.  The environmental degradation of the River, the historical and religious sites in the area, and the importance of the River were all part of the day’s highlights.

EcoPeace’s Jordan River Rehabilitation Project, including the faith-based activities, are supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the Osprey Foundation.

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“Green Economy Initiatives”

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EcoPeace Middle East’s “Green Economy Initiatives” (GEI) project held another set of cross-border tours in January; 3 daysjan 2015 5 in the Jordan Valley and Dead Sea areas in Israel and Palestine, and another 3 days in the Jordan Valley and Dead Sea areas in Jordan. The project brought together a group of 30 Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian Tour Operators and Tour Guides to see sites and local community “green” initiatives.

The final day in Jordan included a seminar / workshop that asked participants to put together 9-day cross border tourism itineraries based on the places and initiatives seen on both trips and focusing on different themes; Water & Environment, Religion & Faith, Jordan River Valley, as well as a 3-day Culinary itinerary that can be inserted into any one of the programs, cooked up by the expert food-oriented tour guides and chefs that were part of the group!jan 7

These tours are aiming to create new economic opportunities based on common interests, and to promote cross-border, green, tourism initiatives. Click here for a set of photos from the Jordan tour.

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

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Auja Environmental Center improvements

We are pleased to report that we have upgraded the Auja EcoCenter’s cafeteria area, with new windows, sun blinds and jan8planters. A new layer of wood has also been added on the roof floor, freshly painted, and strong enough to support three new ‘desert air-conditioners’ for better energy use in the Center.

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The Auja Environmental Education Center is supported by the Drosos Foundation.

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No Separation Barrier in Battir!

On January 4th, following two years of deliberations, the Israeli High Court of Justice decided to deny the request of the Israeli military to confirm the legality of the proposed route of the Separation Barrier that was planned to cut through the unique terraced landscape of Battir.  The case is based on a set of petitions filled by the Palestinian village of Battir, jan 10neighboring Israeli residents across the ‘Green Line’ and EcoPeace Middle East.

This is an important win not only for Battir but for cross border cooperation between like-minded Palestinians and Israelis who have worked together for so many years. Trust building is a very powerful way to build peace and prevent building concrete barriers. Read more in our media release and more in this press coverage page on the issue.

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“Good Water Neighbors” Cross Border Youth Camp

EcoPeace held a cross border youth visit at our Sharhabil Bin Hassneh EcoPark in Jordan last month gathering together jan 11Palestinian, Jordanian and Israeli youth that live along the joint watersheds of the Kishon/Mukata stream, a shared Palestinian-Israeli watershed, and the Lower Jordan River. The first day’s activities of “ice breaking” and trust building games created a web of expectations, after which they divided up into small groups, sharing and learning about each other’s communities, their local environmental problems and their water realities. Together they came to the understanding that they are all connected and dependent on one another in their shared waters.

jan 12Participants also toured around the EcoPark to see several existing examples of eco-facilities and recycling solutions as well as the Park’s beauty, and later experienced teambuilding and empowerment through Out Door Trainings (ODT) activities.  The final drama workshop had the group role-playing about solving water conflicts through dialogue and creative thinking.

The “Good Water Neighbors” project is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

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EcoPeace participates in the ‘Arab Water Week’ Conference

The Third Arab Water Week, “Innovations & Sustainable Solutions for the Water Sector in the Arab Region“, was held from January 11-15, 2015, at the Dead Sea, Jordan, and aimed at tackling water management issues through establishing jan 13innovative partnerships and platforms of cooperative work on water issues in the region. The conference aims to provide a platform for greater coordination among the existing network of key partners active in the water sector in the region.

EcoPeace presented the organization’s efforts to promote regional cooperation and joint management of the limited water resources in the region, with a focus on the rehabilitation and management of the Lower Jordan River Basin.

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Posted by: friendsoftheearthmiddleeast | January 21, 2015

Good Water Neighbors Alumni Water Trustee Training, Ein Gedi December 2014

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There are a few ways to end 2014. You could do your taxes, throw a big party, make a list of wishes and goals for the coming year, or take a part in the significant Alumni Water Trustees Guide Training that was held in our Ein Gedi Eco Park.  We all met in the evening of December 29th, 23 high school students and a few staff members, including myself – an intern from Tel Aviv University’s Porter School of Environmental Studies.  Read More…

Posted by: friendsoftheearthmiddleeast | January 18, 2015

Success is always a good story to tell: Good Water Neighbors Project (GWN) is one

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Success is always a good story to tell

Good Water Neighbors Project (GWN) is a one

 

Mohammed T. Obidallah

Palestinian Good Water Neighbors Project (GWN) Coordinator

January 2015

In the heart of the Jordan River Valley, water is not only the lifeblood of expanding societies in an arid region – from the Jordan River to Galilee (Lake of Tabariya) and the Dead Sea; its waters are carved deep into the cultural landscape and considered holy in the world’s three major religions.

Despite widespread reverence for and dependence on these waters, they have become yet another casualty of the prolonged, deeply asymmetrical conflict– resulting in unequal access to safe water for Palestinians, pollution that impacts both sides of the border, and gridlock preventing Palestinians from improving sanitation infrastructure. Current water management becomes end-of-the-pipe environmentalism at best and a complete dearth of infrastructure for water use and waste treatment at worst. Today, over 96% of the fresh water that once flowed in the Jordan River basin is diverted, leaving what is left heavily polluted with untreated sewage. The Dead Sea, known for its medicinal minerals, loses a meter from its water level each year. Simultaneously, Palestinian communities suffer from inadequate water supply – accessing just a third of the water consumed by their Israeli counterparts – due to diversion by illegal Israeli settlements, poor infrastructure and limitations on Palestinian development caused by the Israeli occupation.

Because water does not recognize political borders, management and conservation of the water resources in the region must include a comprehensive approach that transcends unilateral actions. While the circumstances are dire, EcoPeace – Middle East (Formerly Friends of the Earth Middle East) believes that effective governance of water can be achieved at low political cost to Israel, and with huge benefits on both sides of the border – building lasting local connections based on the common management of shared resources, and preserving the environment for future generations.

In particular, the Good Water Neighbors (GWN) program, launched in 2001, is working on the ground in 28 Israeli, Palestinian, and Jordanian communities partnered around nine shared local springs or larger watersheds and aquifers to identify specific environmental needs and suggest cross-border solutions. So far GWN has leveraged millions of dollars in governmental, international, NGO-sponsored and private aid across its project sites. It has connected community leaders, hydrologists, and youth from both sides of the border to take ownership of their shared watersheds.

Regionally, Good Water Neighbors works to oppose further degradation of the environment and unfair division of water resources including in the West Bethlehem village of Battir.

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BATTIR

After three years working with EcoPeace – Friends of the Earth Middle East coordinating the Good Water Neighbors Project on the Palestinian side and  two years of debate, the Israeli High Court of Justice decided  on January 4th ,2015 to deny the request of the Israeli military to confirm the legality of the proposed route of the separation barrier that was planned to cut through the unique terraced landscape of Battir which would irreversibly destroy a canal irrigation system that has been sustained since the Roman times.

The case is based on a set of petitions filled by the Palestinian village of Battir, neighboring Israeli residents across the ‘green line’ EcoPeace Middle East, protesting the proposed building of the Separation Barrier on the site of the ancient terraced landscape of Battir.

Battir, characterized by extensive hand-built terracing and ancient irrigation systems, in World Heritage terms is considered an organically evolved landscape. Within the area are kilometers of dry-stone walls Terraces, necessary to hold the shallow soils on steep, stony slopes. This visually spectacular landscape also contains many other elements: a prehistoric hilltop, fortifications, roman graves, villages of ancient origin, fields of many different type and date, irrigation system and the features that made the landscape work for people struggling to gain a livelihood from it. Old tracks, contemporary with the fields, wind between them; among the fields and terraces are stone-houses, watchtowers, and steps and ramps between the terraces. Overall, these things form a cultural landscape of considerable scientific interest and beauty. Especially is this so in a Palestinian context where extents of such quality landscape have become quite rare under the pressures of modern development.

On June 20, 2014, EcoPeace Friends of earth Middle East celebrated successful efforts to promote Battir’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and maintains an ongoing campaign including a formal appeal to the Israeli High Court to prevent planned construction of the Israeli Separation Barrier through the heart of Battir’s terraced landscapes, which would irreversibly destroy a canal irrigation system that has been sustained since the Roman times.

In 2013, EcoPeace Friends of earth Middle East filled a request and the Ancient Irrigated Terraces of Battir have been enlisted in the 2014 World Monument Watch, because of the threats that menace the site. In 2011, Battir has been awarded the first prize ex-aequo of the UNESCO-Greece Melina Mercouri International Prize for the Safeguarding and Management of Cultural Landscapes. EcoPeace-  EcoPeace Friends of Earth Middle East also arranged different activities defending ancient terraced landscape of Battir and the Roman water System against any separation barrier  in the area including:

  1. Experts meeting
  2. Site Visits
  3. Diplomats visits
  4. Local, regional and international media

BACKGROUND

  1. The Cultural Landscape of Battir – Draft Opinion of Conservation Expert Dr. Mike Turner
  2.  Translations of the important sections of FoEME’s Petition to the Israeli High Court
  3. Video version of this event Celebrating the Terraced Landscape in Battir

EcoPeace Press Releases

  1. January 4,2015   ISRAELI HIGH COURT DENIES REQUEST OF ISRAELI MILITARY TO APPROVE SEPARATION BARRIER IN BATTIR   
  1. September 21, 2014 The Israeli Government Decided Not to Decide: Netanyahu postponed the Cabinet’s vote whether to build the Security Barrier in Battir, a World Heritage site
  1. October 20, 2013 – Battir’s Ancient Irrigated Landscape Declared an Endangered Cultural Site on the World Monument Fund’s 2014 ‘Watch List’
  1. May 2, 2013 – Israeli High Court of Justice Orders Israeli Military to Halt Building of Separation Wall in Battir
  1. December 13, 2012 – High Court Accepts the Petition of FoEME Against the Separation Barrier in Battir
  1. December 11, 2012 – Israel Nature & Parks Authority in Response to FoEME Petition Against the Separation Barrier in Battir
  1. December 6, 2012 – Route of Separation Barrier Threatens to Destroy Shared Palestinian / Israeli Cultural Landscape Site

Other Major Achievements: Hebron – Baqa – Tulkarem and Gaza

EcoPeace Friends of Earth Middle East has made major advancements despite entrenched geo-political conflict. Take Hebron, one of the most politically charged and environmentally damaged cases in Palestine. The importing of sulfuric acid, which can be used to treat waste produced by tanneries, was banned in Palestinian territories by the Israeli government until recently due to its dual use potential. In April, through the work of EcoPeace Friends of Earth Middle East partnership with prominent journalist Thomas Friedman and USAID, the Israel Defense Forces agreed to discuss this ban.

Despite advancements on permission for the use of sulfuric acid, large challenges loom in Hebron and across Palestine, as EcoPeace Friends of earth Middle East remains dedicated to prolonged engagement. In Hebron’s industrial zone untreated waste from tanneries, and from the ceramic and stone-cutting industries are released into the Hebron Stream that flows through Be’erSheva, Israel, and runs through Gaza before polluting the Mediterranean Sea. While the municipality of Hebron is responsible for establishing environmental regulations, the industrial area is designated H2, giving the Israeli Civil Administration sole enforcement power. Effectively, this leaves mass pollution unregulated. Israel has built and expanded the Shoket Waste Water Treatment Plant using taxes from both the Israeli and Palestinian sides of the Green Line in attempts to treat this pollution through “end-of-the-pipe” solutions. However, this facility constantly breaks down and cannot handle the industrial quantities of sewage. Recently, $45 million was pledged by the World Bank, European Union and French Development Agency for a new facility in the West Bank. The project remains incomplete as Palestinians effectively pay twice for adequate waste treatment.  Water resources like the Hebron Stream are the lifeblood of local communities on both sides of the border, and can be shared peacefully, but often fall victim to national political barriers – though water knows no borders.

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While watershed breakthroughs have been possible through the work of EcoPeace Friends of Earth Middle East and other organizations in the region, the case in Baka al-Sharqiya and Baka al-Gharbiya is not an exception. Many fully planned and funded projects sit idle due to gridlock as sewage continues to flow. For example, the Hebron and Bethlehem Governates are home to over 800,000 Palestinians, who produce about 500 tons of waste daily. Currently, this waste is disposed of in 18 unregulated and unsanitary dumpsites, seeping into groundwater and causing health hazards for local residents. This problem persists despite a secured investment totalling over $27.5 million from groups like the World Bank, European Union and USAID designated to build a secure, sanitary landfill, transfer stations, and access roads at al-Minya. In fact, in October 2013, construction of the site was completed, is and now in operation. Located in Area C, under Israeli jurisdiction, the Israeli Civil Administration has made licensing and operation of the site contingent on an agreement to accept the waste from surrounding Israeli settlements, a condition that the Palestinian Authority, along with both the Joint Services Council and the World Bank refuse to condone.

Likewise, Israel’s military occupation of Palestine has allowed institutions to sidestep national and international regulations to pollute precious resources. Situated on the western edge of Tulkarem, Palestine, along the Green Line, there was once a strip of green space. In the 1980’s Israeli pesticide factory Gishuri relocated to this space, without a permit, to avoid Israeli’s more stringent environmental regulations. Instead of closing the polluting plant, in 1994 the Israeli Civil Administration began considering plans to turn the area into a formal industrial zone, as six more Israeli factories began producing in the region. Despite complaints from both Israeli and Palestinian residents in nearby areas, these factories continue to pollute the air and water with burning plastic and untreated industrial sewage without any approved statutory plan. Recently, EcoPeace Friends of Earth Middle East has begun to bring media and government attention to these cases, involving neighboring Israeli mayors to advance these complaints within their government.

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Beyond the military occupation of the West Bank, much has been written about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. But residents are reaching a perilous scarcity of a most basic resource: water. The coastal aquifer, currently the only water supply for Gaza’s 1.5 million people is near collapse. Groundwater is extracted at near triple the recharge rates. The remaining water is polluted by nitrates from untreated sewage and fertilizers from agricultural land, while water from the Mediterranean Sea infiltrates the aquifer raising its salinity to unsafe levels. Now, over 90% is unsafe for drinking without treatment. As early as the Oslo II Accords in 1995 Israel agreed to sell 5 MCM annually to the Gaza Strip and constructed a pipeline to Gaza for this purpose, but disagreements between Israeli authorities and the Palestinian authorities have prevented even a drop of water from flowing let alone even a proposal for a Palestinian water carrier that could connect and supply both the West Bank and Gaza. In fact, a fully completed Waste Water Treatment Plant that would serve over 400,000 residents in Northern Gaza was funded by the World Bank and has been fully completed since November 2013. However, it has sat idle since upgrades for additional supply were not completed and disagreements have prevented the necessary 3 MW of electricity from reaching the plant, as inches away, pollution runs untreated into the coastal aquifer and Mediterranean coast. EcoPeace Friends of Earth Middle East continues to monitor and seek solutions to this humanitarian and water crisis.

Through continued local stream rehabilitation projects and the successful creation of eco-centers in Auja and along the banks of the Jordan River, implementation of waste water sanitation solutions in communities like Fasayel and the villages of West Bethlehem, and fostering cooperation across borders like the Jordanian-Israeli model farm, the Good Water Neighbors program continues to protect water that knows no boundaries and good neighbors that are willing to build relationships across them.

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One of our Israeli Alumni Water Trustees wrote about her experience as an active youth in the GWN Water Trustees program. She has participated in a few cross border youth events and in an alumni Guides training. She was selected to participate as an assistant in one of our upcoming cross border youth events.

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*נכתב על ידי עדי פלדמן, מקיבוץ עין יזרעאל, בוגרת תכנית הכשרת נאמני המים של פרויקט מים ושכנות טובה, לפיתוח מנהיגות סביבתית חוצה גבולות.

בתחילת כיתה ט’ הגיעה לבית הספר שלי רכזת מטעם ארגון אקופיס המזרח התיכון והציגה לנו  את פרויקט המים ושכנות טובה. היא סיפרה על בעיות המים המשותפות  לנועדי פלדמן ולמדינות השכנות בעלות גבול משותף אתנו.  היא המשיכה את דבריה  וסיפרה  לנו שבמהלך שנת הפעילות נעסוק  בנושאים כגון חשיבה יצירתית לפתרונות חיסכון במים ושימוש חוזר. לדוגמה: אם אני שוטפת ידיים המים הולכים ישר לביוב אך אני יכולה לעשות בהם שימוש חוזר ושהם יזרמו לניאגרה,  כך שבעצם כשאני מורידה את המים בשירותים אני משתמשת במים ששטפתי איתם את הידיים. כיוון שבעיית המים היא חוצה גבולות, הרכזת סיפרה לנו על מפגשים  חוצי גבולות  שנקיים עם בני נוער ערביים מחוץ לגבולות ישראל וגם בני נוער ערביי- ישראל. זאת במטרה להכיר ללמוד את מציאות המים המשותפת לנו ולהם ולקדם פתרונות יחד.

מאוד התרשמתי מהנושאים שהפרויקט עוסק בהם ובמיוחד עניין וסיקרן אותי לפגוש ילדים ערבים. אני מאוד פתוחה ואוהבת להכיר תרבויות אחרות וחשבתי שזו תהיה הזדמנות טובה , מכאן החלטתי לנסות ואינני מתאכזבת מהחלטה זו.

במשך שנת הלימודים נפגשנו לפעילויות פעם בשבוע. בהן למדנו על בעיות המים האזוריות ותכננו פרויקט לבנות ולהציג בבית הספר. יצאנו לסיורים לראות  מפגעי טבע ובין היתר ביקרנו בבריכות מי הגבינה של תנובה ובסיום הסיור בעזרת תוכנת ג’י-איי-אס מיפינו  את מפגעי הטבע על מנת שעוד אנשים  ידעו שיש  מפגעים. בנוסף, התכוננו למפגש חוצה גבולות עם ירדנים ופלסטינים, ודיברנו על הסטיגמות ועל הפחדים שיכולים להיות לנו בגלל מה ששומעים מהעולם. במסגרת הפעילות של הארגון יצאתי למספר מפגשי נוער חוצי גבולות.

בחופשת הקיץ השתתפתי במפגש נוער חוצה גבולות שהתקיים בבי”ס שדה אלון תבור למשך שלושה ימים. ולמדנו יחד איך אפשר להעביר מסר הנוגע למים ולהעלותו למודעות הציבור בדרכים יצירתיות. המפגש תוכנן להביא יחד בני נוער פלסטינים, ירדנים וישראלים, אולם לצערנו הירדנים לא הגיעו בגלל שביתה במשרד החוץ שמנעה מהם לקבל ויזות בזמן. זה היה מאוד  מאכזב. במהלך המפגש יכולנו לבחור בין מספר סדנאות המיועדות ללמידה ותרגול העברת מסר , ובסיום כל קבוצה הציגה את המסר שלה מול קהל. היו סדנת תקשורת (במחשב), דרמה, יצירה ובנייה אקולוגית. אני השתתפתי בסדנת בנייה אקולוגית שבה בנינו  מתקנים לחיסכון במים, טיהור וניקוי  מים, ושימוש חוזר בעזרת חומרים ממוחזרים.  אחד הדברים שבניתי היה מתקן קטן לטיהור מים בעזרת בקבוקים, אבנים, חצץ ופחם. במסגרת תוכלו לראות הסבר למתקן הטיהור. ובסיום הצגנו מול הקהל אודות השפעת האדם על הטבע ועל הצורך לשתף פעולה ולנקות יחד כדי לנקות את המים.

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מסגרת: בניית מתקן לטיהור מים: לקחנו בקבוקי פלסטיק גדולים, חתכנו להם את התחתית  וחרצנו  חור בפקק, לאחר מכן חיברנו  את הבקבוקים לעמדו כאשר הפקק המחורץ מונח עם המתח למטה  ובבקבוק הראשון (העליון) שמנו אבנים וככל שירדנו, כך שמנו חומר קטן יותר בבקבוק  לסינון הסופי שמנו פחם ובסוף ראינו שהמים שמוזגים מלמעלה באמת יוצאים נקיים.

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במפגש נוסף שהשתתפתי בו הראינו לבני נוער מג’למה השכנה את מקורות המים שלנו, ואת נחל הקישון המשותף לנו ולהם. גם הכרנו להם את המושג קיבוץ ואף ביקרנו יחד בקיבוץ שיתופי עין חרוד. שמחתי להראות ולהסביר להם את החיים בקיבוץ, היות וגם אני מתגוררת  בקיבוץ שיתופי והמושג היה זר להם. היה לי מעניין לשמוע את בני הנוער הפלסטינים מג’למה  מדברים על החקלאות שההורים שלהם עושים, שהיא פשוטה וקטנה יותר בממדיה מהחקלאות שלנו.

ובחופש הגדול האחרון הצטרפתי למפגש נוער שהתקיים בקיבוץ מנרה למשך שלושה ימים, הפעם כצוות של בוגרי התכנית. כצוות קיבלנו אחריות ומשימות, תכננו פעילויות ערב לכולם, עזרנו למדריכים להעביר את הפעילויות וכן נתבקשנו לתת דוגמה אישית להתנהגות מכבדת בין המשתתפים.  בסדנאות השתתפתי בריקוד פלאש-מוב, שמיועד להעברת מסר. נהניתי מהאתגר לבנות ריקוד עם הבנות מהקבוצות האחרות וראיתי שהם ילדים מאוד מוכשרים, ולא פחות מבני הנוער אצלנו בישראל. תכנון הפעילויות כצוות הבוגרים היה מאתגר יותר, היות וכולם רצו לתרום והציעו רעיונות. לבסוף כפיתרון עשינו שילוב של כל הרעיונות ביחד. למרות המכשול, למדתי משאר המשתתפים. ובערב האחרון קיימנו ערב תרבות משותף, בו למדתי לרקוד דבקה והכרתי את המוזיקה של הירדנים והפלסטינים. היה משעשע ונראה שכולם נהנו.

לא מזמן השתתפתי בהכשרת הבוגרים של פרויקט מים ושכנות טובה שנערכה בסוף שבוע בצאלים ובה למדנו ורכשנו כלים להדרכה.  יחד איתי השתתפו  נציגים של קהילות הפרויקט מכל הארץ כולל בני נוער מבאקה אל גרביה. שאיתם התחברתי גם כן. במהלך המחנה  למדנו כיצד להוביל פעילויות ODT , ככלי לפיתוח עבודת צוות, גיבוש והגברת מודעות להתנהגות החברתית. בפעילויות אלה עסקנו בדברים שלא רואים במהלך היומיום שלנו. לאחר שקיבלנו הרבה כלים משמעותיים, כמובן שלא יכולנו לסיים את ההכשרה בלי להתנסות קצת בעצמנו, וכך יצאנו  לטיול באזור צאלים, ובקבוצות קטנות הובלנו  פעילות או הדרכה על הנקודות  במסלול. זאת הייתה חוויה מלמדת ומעצימה בשבילי.

בשנה הקרובה אני מתכוונת לקחת חלק בפעילות הארגון כבוגרת התכנית, להשתתף כצוות במפגשי קהילות חוצי גבולות בהובלת פעילויות, ליווי ועזרה למדריכים. אני מקווה מאוד שנצא 20140913_085805למפגש חוצה גבולות בירדן שתהיה לי ההזדמנות לבקר ולראות את הקהילות שם.

הפעילויות והמפגשים חוצי הגבולות  אשר השתתפתי בהם  עזרו לי להבין את המציאות המורכבת  שבה  אנו חיים.  דרך השתתפותי בפרויקט גיליתי שיש אנשים, אפילו שכנים שלי, שבכלל אין להם מים, ואנחנו אפילו לא יודעים איך הם מסתדרים במצב הזה. יש ימים שהם לא יוכלו להתקלח כי אין להם מים זורמים ונגמרו כל המים במיכל האגירה  המצוי על גג ביתם.  בפרויקט הזה הכרתי אנשים עם תרבויות שונות ולמדתי על אורח החיים שלהם. יותר מכל למדתי מה אני יכולה לעשות בשביל עצמי ולסביבה שלי, ושלא יהיו מים מזוהמים, וכמובן גם לכל האנשים שצריכים להשתמש באותם המים. למדתי שצריך לשתף פעולה עם השכנים החולקים איתנו את המשאבים כדי לפתור את הבעיות הסביבתיות המשותפות. ושצריך לקחת אחריות על הסביבה שלך. אני חושבת שכולם צריכים לזכור שלא משנה מה אתה עושה בטבע זה גם יחזור ויפגע בך וגם יפגע באנשים שבחיים לא פגשת ואלי לא תפגוש מתישהו.

עדי פלדמןimage

 

 

Posted by: friendsoftheearthmiddleeast | January 6, 2015

January 1st, 2015 – EcoPeace Middle East Environmental Peacemaking Newsletter

d1EcoPeace Middle East would like to wish our supporters a happy and healthy New Year 2015. While this past year saw continued tragedy in the region, EcoPeace marked 2014, our 20th anniversary year, as a year of success. On the critical issues of concern to the organization, water justice, water for nature and environmental peace building, real progress was made. From a conference in January, entitled “Cross Border Environmental Issues and Water Resources in the Context of the Peace Process“, featuring Ms. Tzipi Livni and renowned NY Times journalist Thomas Friedman (who later published this OpEd), UNESCO’s declaration of Battir as a World Heritage Site in June, and our efforts in establishing a regional master plan for Rehabilitating the Jordan River at our “International Conference on Sustainable Development in the Jordan Valley” in November. Thomas Friedman helped close the year for us by describing EcoPeace as the model for peacebuilding in our region.

 

We are hoping for 2015 to be a game changer for the Arab-Israeli Conflict. In fact, the year has already opened with an Israeli High Court decision in our favor to freeze the building of the separation barrier at Battir, rewarding many years of hard work for our cross-border efforts. See articles in Haaretz, AFP and more…  In 2015 we remain determined to double our efforts once again to advance our vision of sustainable peace. We remain grateful for your support that enabled and empowered us to achieve the success gained.

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“Green Economy Initiatives”d2

EcoPeace’s “Green Economy Initiatives” (GEI) project held 2 cross border tours last month, bringing together a group of 30 Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian ‘Adventure’ Tour Operators and Guides. The group spent 3 days in Israel and Palestine, and another 3 days in Jordan, visiting ‘adventure’ tourist sites and meeting additional supporting vendors in this sector of tourism. Click here for a set of photos from the 2 tours.

Such tours aim at promoting cross-border, green, tourism initiatives, and creating new economic opportunities based on common interests. The tours, in addition, aim at raising awareness about shared environmental resources in the region. Already, new cross border tourism itineraries – bicycling, hiking, rappelling, horseback riding, to name a few – are being developed! Stay tuned!

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

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“Good Water Neighbors” Youth campd3

A cross border youth activity was held last month with youth from the Dead Sea watershed: youth “Water Trustees” from the Jordanian villages of Shouth Ghor, Ghor Mazraa and Fifa visited Israeli youth from Ein Gedi. They learned about the local environment, visited an Agricultural Research & Development Center, learned about the Model Farm project and participated in workshops in the Ein Gedi EcoPark. They were very inspired, especially by the agricultural center and the Model Farm Project, asking for ways to be involved, and taking home many memorable experiences.

 

Israeli Environmental Science Teachers enjoyed a sunny winter’s day tour of the Jordan Valley, Dead Sea & the EcoPark in Ein Gedi. d4

The first stop on this day was a visit to the Palestinian Baptism site at Kaser-el -Yahud, where many teachers learned for the first time about the sorry state of the Lower Jordan River. They continued to the shores of the Dead Sea, to see sink holes and to hear about EcoPeace’s ongoing efforts to mitigate the Sea’s rapid shrinking. The teachers then visited the EcoPark in Ein Gedi and learned about solar cooking, wise water irrigation systems, dry toilets, and even experienced some mud building. Relevant activities from the Good Water Neighbor’s Resource Guide were presented throughout the tour, giving teachers methodological tools to take cross border issues back into their classrooms.

Alumni training in Ein Gedid6

EcoPeace held a national alumni training in Ein Gedi EcoPark in the end of December.  The training aimed to provide our alumni with technical, social and guiding skills so that they can lead cross border activities and eco-facility workshops. They practiced leading social activities, how to plan a lesson and a guiding session, how to give and receive feedback as a tool for personal development and improvement, and also went on the local Neighbors Path tour to learn about the challenges facing the Dead Sea. They also participated in workshops such as how to build a solar cooker, a geodesic dome, and more. The final session had each group presenting what they learned from each of their workshops, including the rationale for eco facilities, their benefits, and instructions on how to Do It Yourself!

Battir named IIPT / Skal ‘Village of Peace’

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EcoPeace is proud to report that the Village of Battir, recently recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, will be declared an IIPT/ Skål Village of Peace.

IIPT (the International Institute of Peace through Tourism) is dedicated to fostering and facilitating tourism initiatives that contribute to international understanding and cooperation, an improved quality of environment, the preservation of heritage, poverty reduction, and the resolution of conflict – and through these initiatives, help bring about a more peaceful and sustainable world.  IIPT is dedicated to mobilizing travel and tourism, the world’s largest industry, as the world’s first “Global Peace Industry,” an industry that promotes and supports the belief that “Every traveler is potentially an Ambassador for Peace.” Read more in this article.

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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Jordan River Toursd8

EcoPeace was pleased to offer a full day study tour for professors and researchers attending the d13Ben-Gurion University conference “Borders at the Interface: Bordering Europe, Africa and the Middle East.”  The participants visited numerous sites along the Lower Jordan River getting an in-depth look inside issues of transboundary conflict, hydro-politics and EcoPeace’s approach to fostering interdependence and regional management as a conflict resolution strategy in bordering communities in Palestine, Jordan and Israel.
Additional tours this past month were offered to a group of educators from Jericho, as well as a group from the Faculty of the American University in Jenin.

d10EcoPeace continues its strong partnership with The Telos Group, an organization aiming to strengthen in-depth understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict among American evangelical communities.  EcoPeace regularly leads Jordan River study tours for the visiting delegations of Christian leadership to the region drawing from EcoPeace’s Water, Ecology and the Jordan River toolkit series. This toolkit series provides a comprehensive set of resources in English, Arabic and Hebrew for Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities to design services and educational programs on the Jordan River as well as suggestions for how faith community can support regional efforts to rehabilitate the Jordan River.  For more information and to get your faith based community involved in this effort visit

www.savethejordan.com.

EcoPeace’s Jordan River Rehabilitation Project, including the faith-based activities, are supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the Osprey Foundation.

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“Protecting Ground Water” project – Final Publicationd12

We are delighted to present the Final Publication of EcoPeace’s “Protecting Ground Water” Project; a project aimed to promote sustainable
management of water resources and alleviate pollution of groundwater in the Mediterranean Basin. It concentrated on four geographic regions: Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Malaga, Spain. A total of 30 municipalities from these four regions were selected to participate and while each of the four regions has its own specific environmental challenges related to groundwater pollution and sustainable management, there were also a number of shared challenges as well.  This publication summarizes the methodologies used, and recounts the activities, both national and regional, undertaken during the project.

The “Protecting Ground Water” project is supported by the European Union’s ENPI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Program.

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Posted by: friendsoftheearthmiddleeast | December 7, 2014

December 1st, 2014 – EcoPeace Middle East Environmental Peacemaking Newsletter

The Skoll Entrepreneurs Challenge for our Water Cannot Wait Campaign ends this Friday, December 5th, at 14:00 EST. It’s de1your last chance to donate to our cause.

The best part…Skoll is matching funds dollar for dollar up to $3,000 this week! Plus, each day we raise $100, we are entered to win an additional $1000. Help us by DONATING TODAY!

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We are delighted to share with our readers the front cover item in this past weekend’s Ha’aretz newspaper magazine dec2section that describes how WATER can be a catalyst for peace.  Our efforts have created clear political will; our message is being adopted by ministers, government officials, think tanks and academia. Unfortunately for our English language readers, the Ha’aretz English version of the article is only a summary of the full Hebrew language report. See “The half-full glass: Could ‘water diplomacy’ bring peace to the Mideast?”  (Click here for the on-line Hebrew version, or here for the print version of the Hebrew magazine).

EcoPeace’s Water Cannot Wait Campaign is supported by the Skoll Global Threats Fund and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

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Jordan River Regional Conferencedec3

The SIWI / EcoPeace / GNF November 10-12, 2014 “International Conference on Sustainable Development in the Jordan Valley” brought together over one hundred government officials from Jordan, Palestine and Israel, international diplomatic representatives, international development agency representatives, and basin experts.

Click on our website events page that includes links to the agenda, speeches made by prominent political figures, presentations given, and a photo album of pictures from the conference.

dec4This regional conference was convened in the weeks surrounding the 20th anniversary of the Israeli-Jordan Peace Treaty. While other 20th anniversary events in the region were cancelled due to major political and social rifts between Israel, Palestine and Jordan, the fact that we were able to convene a major regional conference including senior officials from the three parties, including the attendance of two Ministers from Israel, demonstrates a marked success in itself and wide commitment to the regional effort to rehabilitate the Lower Jordan River.

H.E. Saed Abu Hammour, Secretary-General of the Jordan Valley Authority (JVA), initiated a well-received call for action during the conference when, on behalf of Jordan, he invited the Israeli and Palestinian governments to convene a meeting in Jordan to discuss river rehabilitation efforts and a suggested signing of a trilateral Memorandum of Understanding between the parties.

The NGO Regional Master Planning draft materials presented an advanced planning vision for the Lower Jordan River.  This vision is rooted in the use of the Lower Jordan River as a multi-functional water conveyor and requires a major shift from conventional thinking. The plan aims to utilize and reuse river water multiple times at various stages of its flow.  Moreover, the vision is based on shared benefits, sustainable development, and fair rights and access to the shared waters of the transboundary Lower Jordan River for all riparians. Read more in this blog.

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Living Lakes Network – NGO Declaration

During the 14th International Living Lakes conference entitled “Lakes in densely populated regions – balance between dec5people and nature“, EcoPeace Middle East received a “Declaration of Non-Governmental Organizations Supporting the Rehabilitation and the Sustainable Development of the Jordan River“.  The event was organized by Global Nature Fund, and attended by 350 delegates from 33 countries around the world.

EcoPeace staff presented the challenges facing the Dead Sea and the factors leading to its continuous shrinkage that are directly linked to the deterioration of the Lower Jordan River; the main water source for the Dead Sea, and emphasized the need to support the implementation of the action plans developed in the NGO Trans-boundary Master Plan for the Rehabilitation of the Jordan River.  Read more in this blog.

EcoPeace’s Regional NGO Master Plan (SWIM-JR) Project is supported by the European Union’s Sustainable Water Integrated Management (SWIM) Programme.

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Jordan River Faith Based Campaign Activities

This month EcoPeace Middle East continued to build partnerships and alliances with faith based communities and networks dec6throughout the region and around the world.  At the 12th Annual Assembly of the United Religions Initiative’s Middle East & North Africa Region event, EcoPeace encouraged individuals concerned about the status of the Jordan River to launch their own campaigns using the toolkits created by EcoPeace for Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities and demonstrating support by signing the Jordan River Covenant.   Read more in this blog. Our efforts to build partnerships with faith based communities were also highlighted by the Green Pilgrimage Network’s guidelines for faith leaders, cities, towns and pilgrims which cited EcoPeace’s approach as examples for other communities.

EcoPeace also continues to build local awareness and support through conducting study tours with faith based communities.  This month EcoPeace gave representatives of the Hebrew Union College administration and 50 rabbinical students a full day tour of the Jordan Valley, describing the hydro-politics of the region and how faith based communities can contribute to the transboundary River’s rehabilitation.

EcoPeace’s Jordan River Rehabilitation Project, including the faith-based activities, are supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the Osprey Foundation.

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Protecting Ground Water (PGW) – Implementation Plans

The “Protecting Ground Water” project is pleased to present the Implementation plans from each municipality that participated in the project. Together with the project environmental consultants, they prepared Implementation Plans for Hazards Reduction and Prevention. The objective of these plans is to enhance the capacities of the municipal staff to prevent groundwater pollution. It is based on previous project stages, including: the HRP guidelines and the audit reports of the current state of environmental hazards to groundwater.

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EcoPeace Middle East would like to thank all officials, consultants and trainers, who contributed from their knowledge and experience to the project; especially those who have proved great professionalism and tolerance to the complex and intense political environment that we have all experienced. We also want to thank all the Mayors and the Municipalities’ staff who took an active participatory role in PGW. Your cooperation along the way in the tense and complex political atmosphere we live in is indeed remarkable and appreciated. The “ball is now in your court” – to implement and strengthen the capabilities, the knowledge and the connections you have gained.

The “Protecting Ground Water” project is supported by the European Union’s ENPI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Program.

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EcoPark news:

EcoPeace is pleased to announce that the Sharhabil Bin Hassneh EcoPark recently installed a 5KW solar PV system – an dec8on-grid system – and is now operational. The electrical company installed a dual meter that allows the park to sell electricity to the national network when there is a surplus, often at night and during higher demand periods.  The system will help reduce the electrical bill of the park and increase sustainability. We would like to expand the present day 5KW to 60KW so that we can cover the entire park’s electrical demand.

dec9EcoPeace is moving forward with solar power also in our Auja EcoCenter.  Check out our new solar cooker!  It was exhibited in Nablus last week and we are now working on cooking lunch for you!

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“Good Water Neighbors”

On November 15th, a training for the Good Water Neighbors’ staff and school teachers was held at the Sharhabil Bin dec10Hassneh EcoPark in Jordan under the title: “Technologies for Sustainability”. The workshop began with the installation of the EcoPark’s solar cooker, after which a cake batter was prepared – to be baked using only solar energy!  The group also received a presentation about technologies for sustainability, starting with our water and environmental reality, and giving suggestions for sustaining ourselves and saving our water and environment. Discussions encouraged innovative thinking and creative ideas for sustainability such as grey water wetlands, domestic water saving ideas, solar desalination, non-electrical refrigeration, water filters, bottle farms, clay pots irrigation, using chemical-free ingredients for domestic hygiene, re-use of cooking oil, and more.

dec12In another event, students from Seeds of Peace joined our Good Water Neighbors Youth Water Trustees in a workshop at the Sharhabil Bin Hassneh EcoPark. The workshop aimed at introducing the concept of Environmental Peacemaking and included an awareness session about the current deterioration of the Jordan River.  The youth learned to design a campaign to ‘Save the Jordan River’ by setting up ‘SMARTER’ goals; “Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely/Tangible, Extended, Rewarding” for their campaigns to achieve maximum outcomes and outreach. Read more in this blog, and click here for a set of photos in our Facebook album.

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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“Green Economy Initiatives” Staff Trainingsdec13

This month, the Green Economy Initiatives project offered trainings for our 3 EcoParks’ staff, including site tours and training sessions on educational activities and management issues.  On November 19th, staff from the Ein Gedi and Auja EcoCenters visited Hava & Adam, a well-based Eco-Farm outside of Jerusalem, to learn about the educational activities offered there. Staff members were especially enthusiastic to learn about their methods of clay oven cooking, mud building, permaculture systems, solid waste recycling, grey water recycling, and more.

dec14In another visit to the Abraham Hostel in Jerusalem, the group was exposed to management and networking practices directed at international travelers and visitors. This included accommodation, maintenance standards and practices, reservations, reviewing web engines, providing activities and a unique atmosphere (‘hub’), involvement in the communities, and cooperating on a regional level.

Also on November 19th, the staff of the Sharhabil Bin Hassneh EcoPark in Jordan learned how to design and implement a dec15full-day environmental program for youth, including activities relating to the area’s flora and fauna, composting, solid waste, solar power, grey water, herb spirals, geodesic dome building and mud building.

 

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

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On November 5th, EcoPeace’s Directors participated in a conference organized by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung’s Brussels office. The conference, entitled “Securing Energy Supplies in the Middle East“, brought together Israeli, Palestinians, and International energy experts, to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the region’s energy sectors.dec17

The directors presented EcoPeace Middle East’s Water/Energy Nexus vision for the region. The vision seeks to create healthy interdependencies between Israel, Palestine and Jordan on renewable energy and water production.

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hussein_rabin_1994_800px_hh_08151283
The November 10-12, 2014 International Conference on Sustainable Development in the Jordan Valley brought together over one hundred and fifty government officials from Jordan, Palestine and Israel, international diplomatic representatives, international development agency representatives, and basin experts.

This regional conference was convened in the weeks surrounding the 20th anniversary of the Israeli-Jordan Peace Treaty, as events in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Israel, Palestine and Jordan caused major political and social rifts between the countries which led to the cancelation of all official events marking 20 years of peace.  That EcoPeace and SIWI were able to convene a major regional event including officials from the three parties demonstrates a marked success in itself and wide commitment to the regional effort to rehabilitate the Lower Jordan River.

H.E. Saed Abu Hammour, Secretary-General of the Jordan Valley Authority (JVA) initiated a well-received political DSCN6225breakthrough during the conference when, on behalf of Jordan, he invited the Israeli and Palestinian governments to convene a meeting in Jordan to discuss the NGO regional master plan.

From Palestine, the Secretary General of the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) specifically declared PWA support for the master planning effort and accepted the invitation of Jordan to attend such a trilateral meeting.

From Israel MK Ya’acov Peri, Minister of Science and Technology and Amir Peretz, Minister of Environmental Protection participated alongside two other Members of Parliament.   The Israeli officials utilized the platform to call for calming of regional tensions and expressed their support for this effort to rehabilitate the Lower Jordan River, explicit in their opinion that it must involve also Palestine.

The NGO regional master planning draft materials presented an advanced planning vision for the Lower Jordan River.  This vision is rooted in the use of the Lower Jordan River as a multi-functional water conveyor.  This requires a major shift from conventional thinking, aiming to utilize and reuse waters multiple times at various stages of its flow.  Moreover, the vision is based on shared benefits, sustainable development, and equal rights and access to the shared waters of the transboundary Lower Jordan River.

DSCN6360

Following the conference EcoPeace, SIWI, Global Nature Fund and RHDHV will continue to work to develop the NGO regional master plan while advancing political support through the trilateral regional meeting initiated by H.E. Saed Abu Hammour, Secretary-General of the JVA as well as aligning donor support with this vision through a series of financing funding meetings.  The partners will convene another regional conference in Jordan in May 2015.

DSCN6365

Click on the link for more information about the conference and the full text of the speeches:

http://foeme.org/www/?module=events&record_id=131

Click on the link for more information about the Masterplan:

http://foeme.org/www/?module=projects&record_id=205

This post is contributed by Elizabeth Koch-Ya’ari Jordan River Projects Coordinator at the Tel Aviv Office. 

Nanchang,

China

Jordan_Declaradion_Frame

During the 14th International Living Lakes conference that took place between Nov. 19th -24th, 2014 EcoPeace Middle East received a Declaration from Non-Governmental Organizations Supporting the Rehabilitation of the Jordan River.14_LL_Conf_TS (94)

The event that was organized by Global Nature Fund, a non-profit, private, independent international foundation for the protection of environment and nature, was attended by 350 delegates from 33 countries that developed a common understanding about the need to protect lakes, and discussed approaches to successful management.

During the conference, Ms. Nancy Haddaden, Good Waters Neighbors Manager presented about the Dead Sea and the factors leading to it continuous shrinkage that are directly linked to the deterioration of the Jordan River; a main water source for the Dead Sea.

WXP_2116 In addition, Ms. Haddaden received on behalf of the Jordanian, Israeli and Palestinian teams of EcoPeace the Declaration signed by 34 NGOs and delivered by Marion Hammerl, President of GNF and of the Living Lakes Network. During the ceremony, Ms. Haddaden and Dr. Alain Maasri Head of Unit Water and Living Lakes at the Global Nature Fund emphasized the need to support the implementation of the action plan developed by the transboundary Masterplan for the rehabilitation of the Jordan River that can be accomplished through pilot projects, capacity building and knowledge exchange, and also through financial schemes.

14_LL_Conf_TS 052

Click on the link for the full Declaration

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

This post is contributed by Samar M. Salma EcoPeace Middle East Media Officer in Collaboration with Ms., Nancy Haddaden and Mr. Alain Maasri from GNF.  

Posted by: friendsoftheearthmiddleeast | November 29, 2014

Seeds of Peace & EcoPeace Youth Water Trustees Join Hands to Save the Jordan River

DSCN6588On the 28th of November, 2014, students from Seeds of Peace joined our Good Water Neighbours Youth Water Trustees in a workshop held at the Sharhabil Bin Hassneh EcoPark. The workshop presented by Liza Kawar, GWN/Youth coordinator aimed at introducing the students to the work of EcoPeace Middle East concerning Environmental Peace-building and included an awareness session about the current deterioration of the Jordan River. In this session, Ms. Anwar Abu Hamour who is leading the Faithbased campaign to rehabilitate the River gave an introduction about the current deterioration of the River, its reasons, and the efforts done by EcoPeace to rehabilitate the Jordan River. She elaborated on the faithbased campaign launched by EcoPeace Middle East that targets religious figures in the three Abrahamic Faiths and aims at garnering their support for the Rivers rehabilitation. The workshop concluded with a “Campaign Planning” session whereby the students learned how to design a campaign to Save the Jordan River after setting up SMARTER goals “Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely/Tangible, Extended, Rewarding” for their campaigns to achieve maximum outcomes and outreach.

For more information about the campaign visit the link www.savethejordan and support our efforts by endorsing the covenant or starting your own campaign.

Click on the link to view more pictures from the workshop.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1018696741489548.1073741843.203430523016178&type=1

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

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