Posted by: EcoPeace Middle East | October 10, 2012

October 1, 2012 – Friends of the Earth Middle East – Environmental Peacemaking Newsletter

Jordan River Master Plan International seminar

Jordan River Master Plan International Seminar

The first SWIM-Jordan River Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) Middle East Seminar washeld this month, bringing together approximately 80 high level officials from the region and the international community. They included representatives of all key Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli decision making bodies relevant for the rehabilitation of the Lower Jordan River, representatives of four major transboundary river basins (Danube, Rhine, Ganges and Okavango) as well as numerous leading international experts on transboundary river management.  

As part of the high level seminar, RHDHV, the international consultant hired to undertake the FoEME masterplan for the Lower Jordan River, presented its work plan for discussion, SIWI led an innovative World Café session to solicit feedbacks on key policy areas from the stakeholders and FoEME presented an advanced draft of its regional study of the economic benefits of the rehabilitation of the Lower Jordan River. 

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New Publication (1) – Jordan River Concept Document

New Publication (1) – Jordan River Concept Document

This concept document, “Take Me Over the Jordan” is intended as an update to FoEME’s March 2005 publication “Crossing the Jordan“. This revision synthesizes the earlier document with research FoEME

has since published: an Environmental Flows report on the rehabilitation of the river; Economic Analyses of opportunities to conserve and produce water in Palestine, Jordan, and Israel; and a Roadmap for Israel in the initial phase of the rehabilitation of the Jordan River.

This document also refers to new studies that will be completed shortly, such as a study of the shared Economic Benefits of the river’s rehabilitation, faith-based toolkits to engage the Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities in river rehabilitation, a regional NGO master plan for the Lower Jordan River, and the publication of a proposal for a Model Basin Commission for the Lower Jordan River.

The SWIM- JR master plan project is supported by the European Union’s Sustainable Water Integrated Management (SWIM) Programme. The Jordan River Rehabilitation Project is supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, the Global Nature Fund / Ursula Merz Foundation, and the Osprey Foundation.

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“Good Water Neighbors” Regional Conference – Jericho

“Good Water Neighbors” Regional Conference – Jericho

FoEME held its annual Regional Conference in Jericho on September 12th-13th, with the attendance of 280 Israelis, Jordanians, Palestinians and International guests. Participants learned about the cross border water “Priority Initiatives” identified in each of the “Good Water Neighbors” communities this past year — initiatives that address immediate issues of concern, all achievable through practical steps that are outlined in the new publication (see new GWN publication item below) and distributed at the conference.

Representatives from the project’s funders (USA, EU, Sweden and Germany) all gave warm and supportive welcoming words; and representatives from the World Bank, the US Agency for International Development, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, the German Cooperation Agency, the Spanish Foundation for the Promotion of Social Culture in Jerusalem, and the Union for the Mediterranean, presented  their water & sanitation and other projects in the region, updating the audience on the wide spectrum of activities being undertaken in the area.

Other important panelists included Parliamentarians from all 3 countries, journalists, as well as mayors and municipal representatives from the participating communities. Click here for the Agenda of the event.

Read more about this event on our website’s events page, on our blog, and view a collection of photos on this Flickr album.

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New publication (2) – GWN project’s “Priority Initiatives”

New publication (2) – GWN project’s “Priority Initiatives”

This new publication, entitled “Community Based Problem Solving on Water Issues – Priority Initiatives for the communities of the Good Water Neighbors project“,describes the efforts of the Good Water Neighbors project team to identify environmental challenges and provide feasible solutions for “Priority Initiatives” in the participating communities.

Project Briefs outline the current state of affairs with respect to threats and opportunities to the environment and water supply, the objectives that each proposed response aims to achieve, and the steps required to advance each Priority Initiative. Each Project Brief is designed as a roadmap to guide the efforts of stakeholders through project activities and as a tool for informing government decision makers and international donor organizations about the Priority Initiatives.

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GWN joins the “London 2012 Olympic Peace Makers

London 2012 Olympic Peace Makers

FoEME is pleased to report that 2 GWN representatives were selected to join 30 teenagers from conflict zones and areas of violence around the world – from Iran, France, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Israel and Thailand – to be trained as “Youth Peace Ambassadors” during the Olympic Games in London.

The UNESCO Youth Peace Ambassadors Training Programme workshop covered topics such as; the Roles of a Peace Ambassador, developing Action Plans, how to evaluate activities for peace, and more. Collective activities included video recording an event; creating a Chant for Peace; developing an Internet Tour on war and peace; Peace through Tourism using sports and cultural exchanges, and other initiatives that were developed during the workshops. Our Youth Peace Ambassadors are now hard at work continuing to pursue their “environmental peacemaking” ideas raised at the workshop, and are networking around the world with their fellow Ambassadors!

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SHE Park

Seen as the area’s environmental education “hub”, the Sharhabil binHassneh EcoPark (“SHE”) in Jordan hosted an especially diverse group of people and events this month.

  • Swiss Students

    A group of 17 Swiss students, who are in the region learning about the Middle East, visited and stayed at the EcoPark, also going on Neighbors Path tours in Hemma, Muaz bin Jabal and Tabket Fahel.

  • The Mabaret Um al Hussein School, a leading orphanage school in Amman, brought 32 students to visit the EcoPark to learn about water, grey water recycling, solar energy, composting, dome building, mud building and community service.

  • 90 students from Amman’s Ahleih School visited the EcoPark tolearn about plant biodiversity at the site.

  • The local women’s center at nearby Pella organized a dinner and a visit to the EcoPark for a VIP delegation from Amman

    Ahlieh school on biodiverstiy

  • A delegation from GIZ, Kinetics and Azur Space held an important meeting at the EcoPark. The meeting focused on providing SHE with technology for a water purification system that uses solar energy.

For more information on how you can bring your group for environmental education visits to the SHE EcoPark, visit the Park’s website and / or write to asultan@foeme.org.

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