Posted by: EcoPeace Middle East | December 5, 2015

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

 

EcoPeace at the European Parliament

Brussels Conference 3

EcoPeace’s 3 Directors from Bethlehem, Amman and Tel Aviv were invited to the European Parliament in Brussels, where they presented our Water and Energy Nexus project. The initiative seeks to utilize the strengths of each country and create a mutually beneficial exchange of energy from solar fields in Jordan and desalinated water from Israel and Palestine.

 

EcoPeace at the Israel Energy & Business Convention

EcoPeace’s Israeli Director, Gidon Bromberg, participated in the Israel Energy & Business Convention on November 23-24, leading a panel that discussed how best to promote cooperation between Israel, Jordan and Israel Energy and Business ConfPalestine in the fields of water and energy. Additional esteemed panelists included Dr. Yossi Beilin, former Minister of Justice, Adi Ashkenazi, Director of the Economics and Research Department at the Ministry of Regional Cooperation, Yosef Abramowitz, founder of the Arava Power Company, Dr. Amit Mor, conference organizer and Noam Segal from the Israel Energy Forum. They discussed the options and alternatives available to continue advancing partnerships between the countries.

As part of the Ha’aretz peace conference held on November 12th in Tel Aviv, EcoPeace organized and held a high level panel on the water, panelists Gaza side eventsanitation and energy crisis in Gaza and its geopolitical implications. The panel entitled “On Our Doorstep, Water & Energy Crisis in Gaza”, focused on the humanitarian crises facing 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza, which, if not urgently dealt with, is likely to lead to a health, environment and security crises region wide.

 

Read more on our Events page that includes links to our press release about the panel, as well as the full conference agenda.

 

The Water & Energy Nexus project is supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

 

 


 

“Model Farm” project inching forward…

Moving forward with the cross border Israeli / Jordanian “Model Farm” project, EcoPeace staff traveled with members of the Israeli Tamar Regional Council, the head of the R&D Center of the Central Arava, and the project manager of the future farm, to choose the best of 3 suggested Model Farmfarms in Jordan. The visit concluded with a specific farm being chosen, and gladly, one that has potential for a large impact.

 

To read background about this project, read the 3rd item in our July 2014 newsletter, our press release, this blog, and this Jerusalem Post article.

 

Good Water Neighbors Alumni training in Israel

On November 27-28, a 2-day Alumni leadership training seminar was held in the Israeli Jordan Valley Regional Council area, bringing together Alumni froAlumni1m the Kishon/Harod Basin, the Sorek Basin, Ein Gedi, Baka Gharbia and the Jordan Valley Regional Council. Here is an account from one of the participants:

 “We went down to the Jordan River Valley and discussed how to protect it, along with protecting other bodies of water in Israel, Palestine and Jordan. We learned how to lead activities to prepare us as counselors. We each had a theme to discuss, we had to think of how to present it to the rest of the group in creative ways that would make sure that everyone paid attention and learned, but also had fun….It was a very enjoyable trip. I learned a lot about leadership and the water crisis and I also had a lot of fun with people that I met on the trip. I am very much looking forward to our next meeting!


 

 

 

EcoPeace Organizes & Participates in 2 Climate Marches

On November 27th, ahead of the Climate Change talks being held in Paris, EcoPeace Middle East, the Israel Bicycle Association and Green Course, organized a large event in Tel Aviv to advocate for clean, renewable energy sources. The March began at the Rabin Square, where the French Climate Change TLVAmbassador, the Israeli Environment Minister and other MK’s addressed the participants. EcoPeace “Water Trustees” from our Good Water Neighbors project represented the future generation with an inspiring speech about environmental peacebuilding in 3 languages – Hebrew, Arabic and English. EcoPeace also organized an event near the Sea of Galilee for youth “Water Trustees” involved in our Good Water Neighbors project there.Climate Change heart

 

Participants at the two events formed huge green hearts, calling on the Israeli government to commit to reducing emissions and chanting “We can’t wait any longer – it’s time for 100% renewable energy!” Hundreds of activists participated in these events hoping that clean energy would get the attention it deserves.

 

Aquaponics in Ein Gedi

Our new Aquaponics garden is up, running and growing food! in the Ein Gedi EcoCenter! A must-see for anyone wanting to learn a nEin Gedi aquaponics 2ew method of growing crops! The system combines aquaculture (i.e. raising fish in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment.

 

Water from the fish tank is fed to the plants where the by-products are broken down into nutrients that can be utilized by the plants, with the water then recirculated back to the aquaculture system. What a wonderful way to conserve water in the desert climate of Ein Gedi, near the Dead Sea!

 

 

New Developments at the Auja EcoCenter

The Auja EcoCenter, located near Jericho, has been hard at Auja Giftshopwork improving and developing the property. Recently an attractive ‘Gift Corner’ was added to the center, showcasing ceramics and crafts that visitors can purchase as a memento of their experience at the Center. Other improvements were in landscaping, adding ne3w plants, a covered outdoor seating area, and more. Come visit and see for yourselves!

 

Also at Auja: a visiting UK group that included photographers Jill Enfield, Frank Dabba Smith and Sally Enfield Rabinowitz, who visited the Middle East and stayed at the Auja EcoCenter, led an extremely creative art project to help bring awareness to the environmental challenges facing the Jordan River and the Dead Sea. Click here to see a video they prepared.

 

International Children’s Day River Clean-Up

In honor of International Children’s Day, EcoPeace Water Trustees from Emek Hafer and Baka Jat communities in Israel were seen working together cleaning up the Alexander River.Kids Project

 

They took water samples from the River, used a portable lab to check its quality, and held discussions on how to protect their shared River from further pollution. They were even featured in the leading daily newspaper!

 

EcoPeace’s Good Water Neighbors project is supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

 

 


 

NGO Master Plan for the Jordan Valley presented in several events this month

EcoPeace staff took advantage of several opportunities this month to present our NGO Regional Master Plan for the Sustainable Development in the Jordan Valley and to promote our ‘Marshal Plan’ vision that aims to convert a polluted river and highly depressed economic area to a model for river rehabilitation, economic growth, and regional stability.MP cover w_b

 

We presented at the (1) Amsterdam International Water Week Conference, the world’s most cross-cutting conference for integrated water solutions, that was held on November 3-4, (2) in Brussels, before staffers of several Members of the European Parliament, and (3) in Luxemburg, before representatives of the EU Sustainable Water Integrated Management programme, the mechanism that supported the development of the Master Plan.

 

 

 

 


 

Faith Tourism on the Jordan River

On the 22nd of November, EcoPeace Middle East was invited to present our interfaith and ecotourism project work at the Institut français du Proche-Orient (IfPO) at a Workshop entitled “Faith tourism in the Islamic World: Between Practice and Heritage Issues” in Jordan.Helen_IfPO_conference

 

Sharing our interfaith and ecotourism work with an international community of academics allowed us to be part of a wider discussion on the importance of sustainability and stakeholder consultation in developing tourism within the region.

 

EcoPeace’s Jordan River Rehabilitation Project, including faith-based activities, are supported by the Swedish International Development Agency and the Osprey Foundation.


 

 

 

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