Posted by: EcoPeace Middle East | January 6, 2016

January 1st, 2016 – EcoPeace Middle East Environmental Peacemaking Newsletter

“WEN” National Conferences in Amman and Tel Aviv

EcoPeace’s Amman and Tel Aviv offices held their national conferenceWEN Ammans for the Water/Energy Nexus project (WEN) on December 2nd and 3rd respectively in cooperation with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. Both events brought together experts, stakeholders, scholars, environmental activists and government officials to discuss the national report of the project. The AmmanWEN Israel conference was divided into four sessions, which included presentations by the CEO’s of Kawar Energy and Philadelphia Solar who spoke about their successes and challenges in relation to renewable energy. The Tel Aviv conference included panel experts such as the USAID West Bank/Gaza Mission Director, Dave Harden, Deputy Minister for Regional Cooperation, MK Ayoob Kara, World Bank representatives, and leading academics and political figures.

Read more in these Jerusalem Post and Ha’aretz articles on the project’s press coverage page

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


 

 

Good Water Neighbors at YOCOPAS Conference

On December 10 and 11, Palestinian and Israeli Alumni and Youth “Water YOCOPASTrustees” participated in the first Regional Youth Conference for Peace and Sustainability (YOCOPAS) hosted by the Eastern Mediterranean International School at HaKfar HaYarok. The youth also took part in a role-play simulation that used aspects of the EcoPeace Environmental Education Resource Guide to experiment with power relations among stakeholders in different watersheds.

The simulation broke the participants up into groups, to act as one of the three stakeholders: Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians. They were asked to pretend that they were at an international water summit, representing their stakeholder, and to come up with a solution for the shrinking Dead Sea. Throughout the simulation the participants learned about the environment of the Dead Sea, the hot desert climate with very little rainfall. Due to the decreasing water level, open and developing sinkholes are becoming increasingly problematic. Industrial exploitation and the deteriorating environment are impacting all of the local communities. With this information in mind, the participants had to negotiate some sort of consensus based on joint interest and mutual benefit for all the involved parties.

One of the facilitators of the workshop from EMIS and an EcoPeace Water Trustee, Maksim Lezginov, said this about his experience running the simulation:

”This workshop has provided me with a lifetime experience of facilitating a workshop in which people from 3 opposing sides participated and came up with a very surprising and well-built solutions to a complicated problem, showing that a peace can exist but only through joint cooperation.”

Yerous Getoo, another EcoPeace Water Trustee from EMIS, had a similar to view Maksim, saying:

“I was surprised to discover that we all had the same aim eventually and most people agreed with each other. I really enjoyed taking part in the workshop and participating in it, and above all watching others being exposed to the subject for the first time and considering it seriously.”

This is workshop was a great accomplishment for both the EMIS students and the EcoPeace youth. They were able to convey an important message that joint cooperation is one of the pathways towards peace.

 

Water Trustees Experience Transboundary Water

The local Community Coordinator of the Kishon Watershed took a group of 10th grade Water Trustees on a Neighbors Path tour to better understand transboundary water basins aWater Trusteesnd the relationship between humans and the environment. The visit also demonstrated the cultural heritage of the region where stories from the Bible take place in this special landscape. The group started at an impressive overlook near the entrance to Moshav Barak and continued on to Ramon, where the Kishon stream crosses the Green Line, coming from Jenin. Later they held an improvisation play about the history of the place and continued on to Kishon Park to learn about the rehabilitation of the polluted stream and steps being taken to remove heavy metals from the water.

 Workshop Tour to the Judean Hills Springs

The first of a series of on-site workshop tours to the Judean Hills Mountain Springs was held on December 25th. The workshop series is an outcome of the Mountain Springs Masterplan initiated by EcoPeace. Springs SoreqCooperation with the Soreq Environmental Unit and Nature & Parks authority brought about this exciting program in which local activists meet with a wide range of professionals to gain knowledge and awareness of conservation and development around the local springs and terraces.

 

Fifteen residents from around Mate Yehuda as well as hydro-therapists from Tel Aviv participated. They were introduced to a variety of issues and opinions that mark the mountain springs as “hotspots” in our environment and culture. The next meeting will be held in February focusing on the local habitat, ecosystem and archeology.  If you are interested in joining please contact us at info@foeme.org

 

 

Full Moon Xmas Hike with Auja EcoCenter

On December 25th, a group of 15 people from France, U.S., Belgium, Germany, and Palestine participated in Auja EcoCenter’s Full Moon Hike to see and experience the local environment and wild life at night. The hike started from Auja on Highway 90, winding between the area’s farmsFull Moon and agricultural fields. The hike is done without the use of artificial light and requires participants to use all of their senses, including sight, and hearing and touch under the light of just the moon. The hike ended with an authentic Bedouin dinner where food is cooked in an underground pit (Zarb). Future hikes are planned for the late winter and early spring.

 

 

 

Come join us in a Mud Workshop in our Ein Gedi EcoCenter!

 

Ein Gedi Workshop

Come join us! 2 days of a fun mud ecological experience in our Ein Gedi EcoCenter!

We invite you to a natural fun building activity with mud.

Let’s connect with nature, Mother Earth and nice people.

No special knowledge required. Only motivation, a good mood and work clothes!

Pizza from an earthen oven will be sold on premises!

 Friday and Saturday, January 8 and 9 between hours of 10:00 – 14:00.

If interested or for further details contact info@foeme.org

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

 

 

 


 

EcoPeace at Two Conferences in Turkey

EcoPeace staff presented our organization’s work at two conferences in Antalya, Turkey this month. The Arab Peace Initiative organized a conference on December 17th to highlight the positive contribution religion can bring to societies to foster understanding and peace. Theanwar in turkey conference was organized in the framework of the EU’s Partnership for Peace Program. A number of religious leaders and political figures from Palestine, Jordan and Israel presented and attended. The second conference, the Arab Peace Initiative: Towards the State of Palestine on the Ground discussed the Arab Peace Initiative in light of the decisions of the 2015 Arab Summit in Cairo.

 

EcoPeace Directors visited the US

EcoPeace’s Israel Director, Gidon Bromberg, Palestine Director, Nader Visit to USKhateeb, and Jordan Assistant Director, Yana Abu Taleb visited the US in the early part of December. Key meetings included a briefing on Gaza in the House of Representatives and presentation of our Water Energy Nexus project to the World Bank. We would also like to congratulate Congress for releasing funds to USAID West Bank/Gaza as these are urgently needed to solve Gaza’s water and sanitation issues.

 

 

 

From all of us at EcoPeace Middle East

Happy New Year!!!

2016

 

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