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September 2016

EcoPeace Advances Jordan Valley Solutions at World Water Week, Stockholm, Sweden
EcoPeace, together with the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), held a Side Event during World Water Week, entitled "Financing Sustainable Growth in the Jordan Valley".
The event included a presentation of our Jordan Valley Master Plan financing strategies and an update from the Lower Jordan River Drainage Authority, as well as SIWI’s joint infrastructure financial vehicle - a financing proposal designed to host a wide range of investments that will provide shared benefits and sustainable growth across transboundary basins. The panel that followed the presentations saw Israeli and Jordanian government officials, together with financial experts from the World Bank and the private sector (SEB) discuss financing options, including the establishment of a Jordan Valley Trust Fund.

EcoPeace's Jordan River Rehabilitation Project, and its faith-based activities, are supported by the Swedish International Development Agency and the Osprey Foundation.

Positive Movement for Gaza Sanitation Solutions and Regional Water Security

Following the disclosure by EcoPeace that the Ashkelon desalination plant had been closed earlier this year because of untreated sewage from Gaza reaching the Israeli shoreline, political attention has been drawn to the need for a reliable supply of electricity to power the newly built wastewater treatment plant in Gaza (NGEST)

Israeli PM Netanyahu's statement on Gaza:
In a speech on the recent reconciliation agreement between Israel and Turkey, PM Netanyahu justified the agreement by emphasizing the need to reach new understandings regarding water security and the need to advance the construction of a desalination plant and power station in Gaza.

US call for water solutions in Gaza:
A letter by a leading group of US congressmen addressed to Israeli Ministers Yuval Steinitz and Avigdor Lieberman expressed alarm at water security issues with Gaza and asked for a long term solution for the provision of power to NGEST.

Referring to the congressional letter, Globes Newspaper published the article 'US Congressmen: Gaza Pollution Threatens Israel' and the Jerusalem Post outlined high level support for several options in its article 'Gaza Sewage Plant Will Receive Electricity from Israel'.

"Water Has No Borders" - at Emek Hefer Festival
The annual 'Bridges over the Stream' festival was held in Emek Hefer this month, with EcoPeace Youth "Water Trustees" constructing and manning an EcoPeace booth. The festival included several days of art and music activities held on the banks of the Alexander River. Our message of "Water Has No Borders" was displayed at the entrance to the festival and served as a great conversation starter for the hundreds of residents and visitors that attended.

 EcoPeace in Seoul, Korea
On the 71st Liberation Day of Korea, the Archdiocese of Seoul hosted a series of peace promotion events, inviting people from conflict-affected countries to strengthen peace-building efforts from around the world. EcoPeace was honored to be invited to the "2016 Korean Peninsula Peace-sharing Forum" where our Jordanian Director, Munqeth Mehyar, presented our environmental peacebuilding work.

Touring the Yarkon Watershed
A tour to the town of Jaljulia on the Israeli side of the Yarkon watershed was held at the end of the month, attended by the Mayor of Jaljulia's Local Council, the Head of the Yarkon River Authority and EcoPeace staff. The tour focused on cross border environmental problems in the area and identified possible areas of cooperation. The group toured the area's beautiful historic sites, where they learned about the need for rehabilitation and for resources and witnessed the huge piles of garbage polluting the Kana River. This pollution is due to the closure of the local waste facility, and no alternative has yet been given for proper disposal of solid waste.

Cross Border Meeting in Baka Al Gharbia
20 residents from Baka Al Gharbiya and Baka Al Sharkiya, representing the Hadera / Abu Nar watershed, gathered together at the Al Qasami College to tour the campus and its labs. The tour was followed by a discussion about the challenges facing the shared watershed in which residents discussed a possible watershed 'branding campaign'.
Stay tuned to learn what they came up with!

Enhancing the Playground Area at the SHE Ecopark
What can one do with an old, unused bus? At our Sharhabil bin Hassneh EcoPark (SHE) in Jordan, together with students from the Kings Academy, we turned an old bus into a playground element: first lifting it off the ground, then building monkey bars underneath it, with two slides and four new swings. We decorated and painted it, being careful to remove any sharp edges. The play area is now shaded as well, giving visiting children an additional eco-facility to enjoy at the EcoPark. This element is a great example of how to reuse old materials in a creative fashion

Visit to the Model Farm Project, Safi, Jordan
On August 14th a delegation that included representatives from the Tamar Regional Council, the Arava R&D Center, and EcoPeace crossed to Safi, Jordan to meet the Jordanian farmers working on the Model Farm project. The group toured the area, discussed the farm's progress, and identified the next steps towards its continued successful operation. Pictured here is the water tank recently installed in the farm.

Tree Planting in Madaba, Jordan
As part of the Good Water Neighbors project, we are maintaining and building new eco-facilities in all of our communities. In Madaba, Jordan, in cooperation with the municipality, Youth Water Trustees planted some 50 Carob trees alongside the main tourist road in the city. A large campaign was conducted in order to include the public and increase their participation. Shop owners on the road were very pleased, saying "… these trees that were planted today do not belong only to the municipality…. they are ours, and it is up to us to protect them and water them. Thank you so much for this activity".

Additional Recent Press Articles on Water Security

A Solution to The Water Crisis?

Israel’s Mediterranean Desalination Plants Shift Regional Water Balance
The role that Israeli desalination plants might play on the regional chessboard from The Circle of Blue.

Heat Wave Aggravates Chronic Water Problems In Occupied West Bank
An article in the LA Times on water scarcity in the West Bank

New Hope That Water Can Be a Bridge to Mideast Peace
Op-Ed written by Gidon Bromberg and MK Hilik Bar and published in the Huffington Post

EcoPeace’s Good Water Neighbors project is supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

This new website was made possible by a grant generously
donated to FoEME from the Apte Family Fund.

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