September 9, 2010 – European Parliament passes historic resolution in support of rehabilitation of Lower Jordan River

European Parliament passes historic resolution in support of regional rehabilitation of the Lower Jordan River

September 9, 2010 / Amman, Tel Aviv, Bethlehem

The European Parliament passed an historic resolution on September 9th, bringing attention to the critical state of the Lower Jordan River and calling upon the governments of Israel, Jordan and Palestine to work together to rehabilitate the Jordan River.

Initiated by leaders of the Group of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) with strong support from all major parties in the EU Parliament, this resolution marks the first time that the EU Parliament has directly called upon leaders in the region to address the state of the Jordan River.

The resolution highlights that the Jordan River is a cultural landscape of universal significance in the Middle East and beyond which is today severely threatened by the diversion of 98% of its fresh water resources and a lack of regional management.

Veronique De Keyser, Member of the European Parliament and one of the initiators of the resolution states, “Sustainable water management and a fair distribution of water, which guarantees access by all parties to the River and respects equally the need of all people living in the region, is crucial for lasting peace and stability in the Middle East.”

“We are grateful to our friends and supporters in the European Parliament for their efforts to champion the cause of the Lower Jordan River and encourage the regional governments to lead this effort” said Munqeth Mehyar, Chairman and Jordanian Director of EcoPeace Middle East.

Gidon Bromberg, Israeli Director of EcoPeace adds “the resolution correctly indicates that regional efforts to rehabilitate the Lower Jordan River must focus on policies to improve domestic and agricultural water demand management which our recently released study indicated can conserve over 800 million cubic meters of water at costs less than the price of desalinization – some of which can go towards the rehabilitation of the Jordan River. The EP is calling in very clear terms that European money be spent on assisting the three sides to rehabilitate the river.”

“We believe that a serious regional effort to rehabilitate the Lower Jordan River can provide concrete, mutually benefits with a strong peace-building dividend,” said Nader Khateeb, Palestinian Director of EcoPeace. Adding “we are pleased that with this resolution the EU Council, Commission and Members will continue to raise this issue in bilateral and multilateral relations with Jordan, Israel and Palestine.”

To read the full text of the European Parliament Resolution click here.

For more information on the current state of the Lower Jordan River please see EcoPeace’s “Towards a Living Jordan River”: Environmental Flow Report and Economic Analysis of Policy Options for Water Conservation in Jordan, Israel and Palestine issued in May 2010 available here.

For further information please contact:

Munqeth Mehyar, Chairman and Jordanian Director of EcoPeace Middle East, T+962 6 5866602, [email protected] (spoken languages: English and Arabic)

Gidon Bromberg, Israeli Director of EcoPeace Middle East, T +972 52 4532597, [email protected] (spoken languages: English and Hebrew)

Nader Khateeb, Palesitnian Director of EcoPeace Middle East, T + 972 599606544, [email protected] (spoken languages: English and Arabic)

Zoltán Simon, Policy Adviser/ Middle East Policies for the S&D Group Secretariat, T +32 485628760, [email protected] (spoken languages: English, French, Hungarian)