March 29, 2009 – EcoPeace Middle East Receives Skoll Foundation Social Entrepreneurship Award

Three-year Award Granted to Support Expansion of Water and Peace Activities in the Middle East

Tel Aviv, Amman, Bethlehem
March 29, 2009

EcoPeace Middle East today announced it is the recipient of a three-year, $750,000 award from the Skoll Foundation to expand its cross border community based activities and deepen its organizational capacity to advance water and peace issues in the Middle East.

The award is one of seven new Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship presented by the Skoll Foundation to recognize the most innovative and sustainable approaches to resolving the world’s most urgent social issues. EcoPeace Middle East joins a prestigious global network of Skoll entrepreneurs, now numbering 72 and representing 59 organizations, who are working around the world on issues including tolerance and human rights, health, economic and social equity, peace and security, institutional responsibility, and environmental sustainability.

EcoPeace’s unique innovation is the development of a shared regional vision to respond to the demise of the region’s transboundary natural ecosystems. These include the Dead Sea, the Jordan River, the Mountain and Coastal Aquifers, and the effects of Climate Change on the water resources in our region. EcoPeace’s model employs a combined ‘top-down’ (advocacy) strategy and a ‘bottom-up’ (grass roots / community) strategy, where through the ‘Good Water Neighbors’ community project, activities are carried out in all sectors of society – youth, adults and municipalities – to get our message across at a grass roots level.

“In the midst of conflict, we have produced very tangible results. All of the key issues that the organization has led are on the local, national, regional and often international agenda”, said Munqeth Mehyar EcoPeace’s Jordanian Director. “Not only will the Skoll support enable us to simply do more and do it more effectively, but the recognition given will help open news doors of influence,” he further stated.

“In these tough times, it’s particularly important to recognize those exemplary organizations that tackle the world’s most pressing social and economic challenges and deliver real change,” said Sally Osberg, president and CEO of the Skoll Foundation. “We’re pleased to welcome the three Directors of EcoPeace Middle East; Gidon Bromberg, Munqeth Mehyar and Nader Khateeb to the community of Skoll social entrepreneurs. EcoPeace Middle East is supporting systemic change in the areas of environmental sustainability and peace and security. Its innovative approach will bring great new ideas and new points of leverage into the ecosystem of Skoll social entrepreneurs working around the globe to create a world in which we all want to live.”

Gidon Bromberg, Munqeth Mehyar and Nader Khateeb were presented the award by Skoll Foundation Chairman Jeff Skoll, Skoll Foundation President and CEO, Sally Osberg and special guest, 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. R. K. Pachauri, at a ceremony on March 26 at the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University. Gidon Bromberg, Munqeth Mehyar and Nader Khateeb participated in the three-day World Forum along with over 700 attendees from the global social entrepreneurship community.

About EcoPeace Middle East:
EcoPeace Middle East (www.ecopeaceme.org) is a unique organization that brings together Jordanian, Palestinian, and Israeli environmentalists. Our primary objective is the promotion of cooperative efforts to protect our shared environmental heritage. In so doing, we seek to advance both sustainable regional development and the creation of necessary conditions for lasting peace in our region. EcoPeace has offices in Amman, Bethlehem, and Tel-Aviv.

About the Skoll Foundation:
The Skoll Foundation was created in 1999 by eBay’s first president, Jeff Skoll, to promote his vision of a more peaceful and prosperous world. Today, the Skoll Foundation advances systemic change to benefit communities around the world by investing in, connecting and celebrating social entrepreneurs – individuals dedicated to innovative, bottom-up solutions that transform unequal and unjust social, environmental and economic systems.

The Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship is the foundation’s flagship program. There are currently 59 organizations represented by 72 remarkable social entrepreneurs in the program, working individually and together across regions, countries and continents to deliver positive, sustainable change. The Skoll Foundation connects social entrepreneurs and other partners in the field via an online community at www.socialedge.org and through the annual Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship. The foundation also celebrates social entrepreneurs by telling their stories through partnerships with the PBS Foundation and the Sundance Institute, with the goal of promoting large-scale public awareness of social entrepreneurship.

For more information, visit www.skollfoundation.org.