Delegates from the Israeli/ Jordanian Lower Jordan River Rehabilitation Committee, along with Representatives from the Jordan Valley Authority “JVA” concluded a joint visit to the eastern side of the Jordan River Valley on the 9th of April, 2014 organized by the latter and led by Ecopeace/ Friends of the Earth Middle East “FoEME”. The representatives visited the North Shuneh Waste Water Plant and the Bakoura Island whereby Ms., Yana Abu Taleb; FoEMEs Jordanian Deputy Director and Mr., Adnan Budeiri; Assistant Director/ Research and Development elaborated on the organizations efforts to create a Jordanian National Park. In this regard, FoEME has spearheaded the Jordanian National Park project for multiple years in its attempts to rehabilitate the Jordan River and succeeded in advancing the project to the forefront of the national priorities of the governments of Jordan and Israel.
The pilot project is not only vital for the rehabilitation of the river, but will also ensure environmental regional cooperation between neighboring countries as affirmed by Ms. Yana Abu Taleb. She explained that “by attracting local, regional, and international visitors, the park will be of great importance for tourism, biodiversity protection, and most importantly peace as the project will encourage experts from both countries to jointly work together to solve pending environmental problems including the rehabilitation of the Jordan River. In so doing, she added, “we create a unified vision of a healthy river managed and shared jointly and equitably by neighboring countries.”
Mr., Adnan Budeiri explained that the establishment of the park will help in restoring the area’s ecosystem. For example, the waters of the lake situated at the center of the park will also flow into the Jordan River, restoring some of its historic flow. The representatives were impressed by the Bakoura area and its natural and cultural value and stressed the need for a better ecological and environmental management of the site and concluded the visit at the Sharhabel Ben Hassneh Ecopark where they were introduced to the ecology and environment of the park.
This post is contributed by Samar M. Salma, FoEMEs Media Officer/ Projects Coordinator at the Amman Office.