November 26, 2007 – Regional Mayors Gathering on Cross Border Eco-Tourism

Invitation to Regional Mayors’ Gathering on Cross Border Eco-Tourism
Dan Panorama Jerusalem Hotel, 39 Keren Hayesod Street, Jerusalem, November 29, 2007

November 25, 2007

With the renewed efforts to establish peace in the Middle East during the upcoming Annapolis Summit, EcoPeace Middle East would like to invite you to participate in a regional conference of Mayors, municipal leaders and other stakeholders from Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli communities involved in EcoPeace’s cross-border “Good Water Neighbors” project.

The conference will take place at the Dan Panorama Hotel in Jerusalem this Thursday, November 29 from 08:30 – 16:00.

The “Good Water Neighbors” project was launched 7 years ago, involving 17 Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli communities, partnered in their efforts to promote environmental awareness, local solutions and peace building.

EcoPeace has been working together with professional planners and stakeholders from each community to develop the idea of a “Neighbors Path.” These paths or trails have been designed to highlight each community’s environmental, cultural and natural values. Visitors also obtain insights into past and present water management practices and their effects on the community. Each community tour also relates to its partner community across the border, emphasizing the interdependence created by shared water resources.

“This unique project is aimed at advancing sustainable rural and economic models in local communities,” says Michal Sagive, Israeli coordinator for the Good Water Neighbors project. “These trails will give the tourist a different perspective regarding the region’s reality.”

Examples of ecotourism and alternative rural development opportunities in the region will be presented, including EcoPeace’s “Neighbor’s Paths.” In addition, a panel of Mayors and municipal representatives from Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority will speak about joint regional environmental and economic opportunities. The event aims to showcase ecologically and culturally sound models for income generation activities in local communities.

Abed Sultan, Jordanian coordinator of the Good Water Neighbors project stated that “the ‘Neighbors’ Paths’ in Jordan, by promoting eco-tourism, offer an alternative income source other than from agricultural production. These trails will also provide some variety to the current Jeep tours that are typically offered to tourists.”

Please RSVP with your interest to attend to Mira Edelstein; [email protected], 03-5605383 ext. 3, or 054-6392937

The GWN project is funded by the EU Partnerships for Peace Program, USAID’s Conflict Management and Mitigation program and the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Foundation.