Cross-border activity of GWN water trustees alumni at the Jordan River
On May 29th, Good Water Neighbors (GWN) water trustees alumni and EcoPeace Middle East staff from Israel, Palestine, and Jordan came together at the Jordan River baptism site for our cross-border environmental education program. For political reasons, participants are not allowed to cross to the other side of the river, but the Jordanian group on the eastern river bank was nevertheless able to communicate across the Jordan with the Israeli and Palestinian group, which met on the other side of the river, only a stone’s throw away.
As a contribution to the “Big Jump Challenge”, for which participants jump into their river to raise awareness of the importance of preserving fresh water resources and rivers, the partnering groups from EcoPeace Israel, EcoPeace Palestine, and EcoPeace Jordan wanted to simultaneously jump into the Jordan River. Unfortunately, they were not able to do so because of its deteriorating situation and high level of pollution. Instead, the youth decided to do a symbolic group jump on both river banks and turn the activity into a campaign to raise public awareness of the situation of the Jordan River.
The signs they created spoke volumes about the river’s needs: “Water Cannot Wait”, “Save the Lower Jordan River”, and “Water Has No Borders”. They then took snapshots, which are being compiled into a short clip of participants holding small messages with facts about the Jordan River. Combined, they tell its sad story and call for governments’ commitment to clean pollution sources before they reach the river, the implementation of water conservation strategies. They also called on their governments to cooperate between each other to rehabilitate the Jordan River for the benefit of nature, the ecological system, and local communities, which could then flourish from Eco-Tourism in the future.
In July, an EcoPeace delegation, formed of two water trustees alumni from Israel, Palestine, and Jordan, as well as two EcoPeace staff members, will be presenting this clip at the “Big Jump Challenge” conference in Brussels.
We hope that our voices will reach out to everyone, and that together, we will be able to return life to the Jordan River. Support us in our sacred mission to Rehabilitate the Jordan by visiting www.savethejordan.com
Contributors: Lisa Kawar, Jordanian Education Coordinator and Ferris Storke, intern at the Tel Aviv Office