Posted by: EcoPeace Middle East | February 5, 2012

FoEME February Environmental Peacemaking Newsletter

Beit Shean Meeting on Fish Pond Reforms

FoEME initiated a meeting of active residents of Beit She’an with representatives of the agricultural fishery sector of the Harod Valley that flows through the ‘Springs Valley’ Regional Council and the Gilboa Regional Council, two participating communities of the Good Water Neighbors project.

The discussion revolved around the implications of the fish ponds on the health of local streams, against the background of the proposed reforms that aim to raise the standard of water discharged into the streams, and limit the dumping to only 3 months during the year. The meeting enabled the exchange of information, with agreement to pressure the Ministry of Finance to allocate the needed budget for the reform.

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FoEME’s “Good Water Neighbors” in Sri Lanka?

In January, TAG ID Foundation hosted FoEME to see the work of Sarvodaya, Sri Lanka’s largest people’s organization, including a site visit to the previously embattled Eastern Districts of Sri Lanka.

 Sri Lanka has both a growing need for good water & environmental practices, as well as a history of ethnic tension and civil war that makes the GWN model a good possible match for the area. It was suggested to first carry out a study – about the groundwater pollution, the lack of a solid waste system and possible uneven distribution of water for farm irrigation in the Eastern District of Sri Lanka – where Singhalese, Moslem and Tamil communities share a dependency on shared water sources.

The Good Water Neighbors project is supported by USAID, SIDA, the EU Partnerships for Peace program, and the Rosenzweig Coopersmith Foundation.

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Vote for FoEME’s ‘water solution’ as part of the 2012 World Water Forum

FoEME is gearing up for the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille, France this coming March! FoEME has been invited to present its Jordan River Rehabilitation Project as part of the ‘Contribute to Cooperation and Peace through Water’ session and our Good Water Neighbors Film has been pre-selected for screening within the Forum, outside it, and in public places during the World Water Forum.

Show your support for FoEME by voting for FoEME’s approach to rehabilitate the Lower Jordan River by clicking on stars next to our “solution”.

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Jordan River Palestinian Media Tour

This tour was a marked several ‘firsts’ for many of the participants and FoEME staff. Until recently, there was only a small window of time after Christmas when the Baptism Site near Jericho, al Magdasas as it’s called in Arabic (more commonly known as ‘Kaser el Yehud’) was open to visitors. The site has recently been renovated and is now open to the public all year ’round, without the need for permits or coordination procedures. For many of the local residents and media that joined the tour, this was their first time ever visiting the Lower Jordan River! Participants also got an extra special surprise when seeing water flowing in the nearby Auja Spring!

The Jordan River Rehabilitation Project is supported by the Swedish International Development Agency, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, the Global Nature Fund / Ursula Merz Foundation and the Osprey Foundation

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New project (1) – “Protecting Groundwater”

FoEME is pleased to announce the launch of a new project, “Protecting Groundwater” that aims to empower Mediterranean Basin municipalities with the technical and administrative skills to alleviate sources of groundwater pollution in their jurisdiction as well as enhancing cooperation to protect common natural heritage. Given the large role of local authorities in overseeing industrial and other polluting activities in their jurisdictions, they can in fact become significant actors in national and international efforts to protect shared groundwater resources.

The project was initiated at the end of January in a meeting between all four partners from Spain, Israel, Jordan and Palestine. The partners discussed ways of involving municipal staff in mitigation of environmental risks and determined a time table for the project activities.

The “Protecting Groundwater” project is supported by the European Union’s ENPI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme.

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New project (2) – “Regional Master Plan for the Lower Jordan River”

FoEME is pleased to announce the launch of another exciting new project – to create the first-ever Regional Master Plan for the Lower Jordan River.

Together with partners at the Stockholm International Water Institute and Global Nature Fund, FoEME will be working with leading consultants to undertake comprehensive studies resulting in an integrated water resource management plan for the Lower Jordan.

The Jordan River Master Plan project is supported by the European Union’s Sustainable Water Integrated Management (SWIM) Programme.

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FoEME Presents Jordan River Peace Park Project at International Conference on Sites of Conscience in Casablanca, Morocco

FoEME was 1 of over 30 organizations from throughout the Middle East and North Africa region invited by the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience to present initiatives dedicated to “transforming places that remember the past into places promoting civic action”.

Indeed, FoEME’s proposed Jordan River Peace Park includes many remnants of history located on the site; the Three Bridges and the Naharayim Power Plant are of particular symbolic value, emphasizing the river’s historical role not as a divider, but as a crossing, and thus a meeting point. The combination of an environmental conservation goal and a transboundary site made FoEME’s presentation unique and was received with great interest.

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Auja Environmental Education Center website now in Arabic!

We have just upgraded the website of the Auja Environmental Education Center to include an Arabic version!

Check it out!

The Auja Environmental Education Center is supported by the Drosos Foundation

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FoEME is looking for a Social Media Intern in our Tel Aviv Office

Anybody interested in gaining first-hand experience in the emerging field of environmental peacemaking as well as providing support for FoEME’s ongoing projects and programs?

Contact us!

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