Posted by: EcoPeace Middle East | June 2, 2015

June 1st, 2015 – EcoPeace Middle East Environmental Peacemaking Newsletter

Jordanian, Israeli, and Palestinian Youth Meet at the Jordan River

1Good Water Neighbors (GWN) trustees alumni and EcoPeace staff from Israel, Palestine, and Jordan met on opposite sides of the Jordan River at the “Qasr el Yahud” / “Bethany Beyond the Jordan” baptism sites to advocate for the rehabilitation of the Jordan River. The participants jointly called on their governments to advance regional cooperation on shared water issues, creating posters reading “Water Cannot Wait,” “Save the Lower Jordan River,” and “Water has No Borders”. Support us in our mission to Rehabilitate the Jordan by visiting www.savethejordan.com and look out for a more detailed blog post soon! Pictures from the event are posted on our Facebook page.

2On May 2nd, the last regional camp of the GWN youth project was held at the Sharhabil Bin Hassneh Ecopark (SHE). Attended by 34 youth water trustees, the camp focused on technologies for sustainability. Students learned about simple and cheap techniques to desalinate water using solar energy, drip irrigation using plastic water bottles, and treating water for agricultural use. They also learned how to make a simple and cheap fly / mosquito trap by using only a plastic bottle, sugar, yeast, and water. Participants realized the importance of taking a lead role as youth water trustees in raising awareness and promoting sustainable practices to help preserve our shared resources.

The “Good Water Neighbors” project is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

Water & Energy Nexus Advocacy Tour to Brussels and Berlin

3As part of the advocacy efforts of EcoPeace’s newly launched Water & Energy Nexus Project (WEN), a delegation of eight professionals from EcoPeace and governmental representatives from Palestine, Jordan, and Israel conducted an introductory visit / advocacy tour to Brussels and Berlin between May 3rd and 8th. They conducted a series of meetings with officials from the EU parliament, the European Commission, research institutes, political parties, donor agencies, and the German government, in an attempt to raise political will and international support for WEN. National and regional round tables and conferences, as well as follow up visits to Brussels and Berlin will take place in the coming months.
The Water & Energy Nexus project is funded by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS).

Green Economy Initiative wraps up Tour Guide Program

4The “Green Economy Initiatives” (GEI) project held its final Tour Guides tour last month for a group of 50 Tour Guides from Israel, Palestine, and Jordan. The tour focused on the Jordan Valley Regional Council area in Israel, showing participants several touristic sites that meet the ‘green economy’ criteria; sustainable management, leaving a low environmental impact & involvement of the local residents.
5Sites included the Rob Roy canoe outfitter, where participants enjoyed canoeing on the Lower Jordan’s River small stretch of still clean water; the “Benot Tmarim” initiative that offers driving of EcoCars up to a stunning viewpoint of the Jordan Valley; lunching at a locally owned restaurant serving food grown in the area, and more. It was exciting to see how an exchange of ideas led to an exchange of contact details. Click here to see many more photos in this Facebook album.
Sharhabil bin Hassneh EcoPeace: Adventure Zip Line!

One aspect of Green Economy Initiative was promoting adventure tourism in Jordan, Israel, and Paletsine. EcoPeace’s efforts culminated in the opening of the longest zipline in the Middle East in cooperation with Stronger team at the Sharhabil Bin Hassneh EcoPark (SHE) in Jordan. Join us for the adventure of a lifetime at SHE!

picSHE’s kitchen is finally fully equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, allowing us to provide high quality services to our guests and cater to the needs of the increased number of visitors to the EcoPark. Old shipping containers were reused, and heat insulators, as well as gypsum board were installed. In addition, the kitchen now has a new cooling system to better preserve food and maintain food quality.

Updates from Auja EcoCenter

8The Auja EcoCenter is now equipped with a Home Biogas system, supplying the kitchen with an additional supply of methane gas by treating organic waste from the EcoCenter’s kitchen through anaerobic digesters. The EcoCenter is now one step closer to being fully dependent on renewable energy sources.

The Auja EcoCenter also installed eco-facilities in the “Small Hands” kindergarten in Jericho. This marks an important step forward for the Auja EcoCenter’s mission to raise environmental awareness among children and promote environmental education in kindergartens, schools, and universities.

9Together with the Ashtar Theatre in Ramallah, the Auja EcoCenter hosted a theatrical performance, discussing the challenges of the Jordan Valley area. Among the more than 25 participants were residents of Auja, the Jordan Valley, other towns in the West Bank, as well as visitors from abroad.

Ein Gedi EcoCenter installs Aquaponic and Hydroponic systems

In the framework of the Green Economy Initiatives (GEI), LivinGreen recently set up an educational aquaponics and hydroponics systems at the Ein Gedi EcoCenter to grow organic vegetables. Aquaponics is a method to grow both fish and plants in a re-circulating system for the mutual benefit of both. The systems, financed by USAID, are designed for food security in poor communities. The aquaponics system consists of a fishpond, whose water goes through a sedimentation and a biological filter. In the filters, bacteria turn the poisonous nitrites and ammonia into nitrate, which is then used to fertilize vegetables in the hydroponics systems. These systems are based on a method of growing vegetables or plants using mineral nutrient solutions in water, without soil.0

The “Green Economy Initiatives” project is supported by USAID’s Conflict Management & Mitigation Program.

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