PRESS RELEASE: EcoPeace Middle East addressing UN Security Council: “Water and Environment Issues Cannot Wait”
On April 29 2019, EcoPeace Middle East Palestinian and Israeli Co-Directors, Nada Majdalani and Gidon Bromberg, accompanied by the organization’s Jordanian Co-Director, Yana Abu Taleb, spoke at the UN Security Council debate on the Middle East.
They came with a message of environmental peacebuilding, calling to shift environmental resource management from conflict to cooperation across borders. Majdalani and Bromberg emphasized to Council members the urgency to advance large-scale action on cross border water and environmental issues. The potential found in these issues could have significant impact on regional security.
Ms Majdalani, in outlining the impact of conflict on water resources, stated: “As we speak today, 97% of the groundwater under Gaza is not suitable for human consumption. After more than 12 years of blockade, consecutive wars and loss of life, including children, and the failure of internal Palestinian reconciliation, a humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip is happening right now, right before our eyes.”
Referring to the situation of Palestinians in the Jordan Valley, she then continued: “They see a complex political reality that works against even their basic needs. Restricted access to water, confiscation of land for the expansion of illegal settlements and talk of looming annexation of Area C”
In presenting a vision for the future, Mr. Bromberg suggested a departure from 20th century assumptions that dictated water diplomacy. Mr. Bromberg stated; “Water was left unresolved as a final status issue because coming to an agreement over sharing scarce natural water was difficult and would produce winners and losers. But now, the advancements in water technologies this century, much led by Israeli innovation, present real opportunities.”
Given the recent 15 years of drought faced by the region, EcoPeace has proposed an innovative water and energy exchange that can respond to climate insecurity and create healthy interdependencies between our economies and societies. Mr. Bromberg said; “The combination of manufactured water coming from the Israeli and Palestinian Coast, and sold east to Jordan, powered by solar electricity produced in Jordan and sold west to Israel and Palestine, is a potential geo-political game changer that can guarantee water and energy security for all.”
EcoPeace requested the Security Council adopt resolutions that urge our three governments – Israel, Palestine and Jordan – to advance cross border cooperation on water and environment, including: the rehabilitation of the Jordan River and Dead Sea, meeting Palestinian water rights and needs, and implementing a water/energy exchange that guarantees our shared future in the face of climate change; all in the context of a two state solution.
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For more information or to request an interview please contact:
EcoPeace Israeli Director, Gidon Bromberg on email@example.com or +972 524 632 597; EcoPeace Palestinian Director, Nada Majdalani on firstname.lastname@example.org or +970 562404001