Jordan River outreach continues…
Several outreach activities took place this month to make sure the Jordan River continues to be talked about; they included filming for an item on German TV that will be aired next month; filming for a full length documentary about the Jordan River with the French-German ARTE company to be aired later in the Spring; as well as tours and presentations given to international delegations visiting the region such as the Telos Group, the Euphrates Institute and the Young Muslim Leaders group.
Bringing back some Jordan River water to the Pinchas Rotenberg legacy
EcoPeace was delighted to attend a ceremony held at Naharayim that inaugurated the rejuvenation of the 'overspill dam', with water from the Jordan River brought in via the 'zero canal'. This is a small section of the infamous hydro-electric power plant built in the 1930's by Pinchas Rotenberg that harnessed the waters of the Yarmouk and Jordan Rivers together to produce electricity. This is also the area of EcoPeace's Jordan River Peace Park initiative. In attendance at the ceremony was the Jordanian Ambassador to Israel, the mayor of the Jordan Valley Regional Council, and other invited guests.
EcoPeace Participates in International Workshop on Transboundary Conservation in Montana and Meets the Friends of the Mississippi in Minnesota
As part of a U.S. visit this month, EcoPeace's Israeli Director participated in a 4-day workshop, Hands Across Borders, with leaders from 28 transboundary conservation initiatives located on 6 different continents. Through a mix of presentations, problem-solving clinics, and field trips, the participants shared their experiences in catalyzing, enabling, and sustaining transboundary conservation initiatives. The conference was held in partnership with University of Montana’s Center for Natural Resources & Environmental Policy and Glacier National Park.
Additionally, the Director toured parts of the Mississippi around St. Paul, Minnesota, with Friends of the Mississippi, to better understand the pollution plaguing this historical river. You can read more about the Mississippi River’s condition here. Friends of the Mississippi River engages citizens to protect, restore and enhance the Mississippi River and its watershed, in a similar way EcoPeace works to rehabilitate the Jordan River. Shared values, a common mission and agenda make them a new great friend of EcoPeace’s.
EcoPeace's Jordan River Rehabilitation project, including faith-based activities, are supported by the Swedish International Development Agency and the Osprey Foundation.
EcoPeace’s Sharhabil Bin Hasseneh EcoPark Named in the Top 100 Green Destinations for 2016!
EcoPeace’s Sharhabil Bin Hasseneh (SHE) EcoPark was named as one of the Top 100 Green Sustainable Destinations for 2016. The award celebrates the efforts of tourism destinations that maintain responsible and sustainable tourism initiatives and is a follow-up to National Geographic Traveler’s Destinations Stewardship surveys and the 2014 Sustainable Destinations Global Top 100. The Top 100 initiative aims to recognize tourism destinations that have worked hard to make a difference and take sustainability seriously.
EcoPeace is the 100th Grantee of USAID’s West Bank / Gaza CMM Program
On September 7th EcoPeace participated in a momentous occasion as it signed on as the 100th grantee of USAID’s West Bank / Gaza Mission's Conflict Management and Mitigation program. We are proud to be a recipient of such a significant award which allows us to promote our Good Water Neighbors project for the next two years. We will especially be focusing on increasing the involvement of women and girls in water related projects throughout the region.
Cross Border Forum Meets with Wadi Attir Project
On September 8th approximately 25 members of the Hebron / Besor cross border forum participated in a tour of the Wadi Attir Project to help with brainstorming of potential branding ideas for the watershed. They also had the chance to meet and discuss ideas with Dr. Mohammad Al-Nabari, the current Mayor of Hura and a founding member and co-chairman of the Project. The Wadi Attir Project is a groundbreaking initiative which demonstrates an approach to sustainable desert agriculture that leverages Bedouin traditional values, know-how and experience with modern-day science and cutting edge technologies. It is a project of the Hura Municipal Council and The Sustainability Laboratory.
Palestinian and Israeli Staff Learning
It’s not often that all staff get to go out in the field but on September 20th, Bethlehem staff joined the Tel Aviv office for an educational tour of the Ashkelon Desalination Plant where we learned about the technology behind the science, toured the plant and discussed the past closures due to wastewater seepage from Gaza; just another aspect proving Israeli and Palestinian shared water resources and the need to promote an agreed-upon water accord. The day ended with a tour close to the Gaza border to discuss the severe over-extraction rates of the coastal aquifer which suffers from seawater intrusion. The situation is aggravated by seepage of wastewater leading to high nitrate measurements. As the current unilateral actions have proved ineffective and are not providing affordable sanitation and water supply schemes, this has become one of EcoPeace’s dominant projects; calling for urgent and effective transboundary cooperation between the Palestinian and Israeli governments.
EcoPeace Presents at UK’s Wilton Park
Representatives from the Amman, Bethlehem and Tel Aviv offices as well as Khalifeh Ad-Dayyat, Mayor of the Jordanian town of Deir Alla came together last week with colleagues from around the world at Wilton Park to discuss the challenges of water scarcity and innovations to benefit water scarce communities. The EcoPeace team gave a joint presentation about "Sharing Innovation to Address Water Challenges in the Levant."
EcoPeace’s Good Water Neighbors project is supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).