Posted by: EcoPeace Middle East | July 19, 2016

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

EcoPeace Ranked in the Top 200 NGOs in the World

EcoPeace was recently ranked by NGO Advisor as a top 200 NGO of the World. We were selected out of thousands of NGOs for outstanding impact, innovation and governance. NGO Advisor is a Geneva-based independent media organization that produces the Top 500 NGOs, a series of rNGOeviews of the best nonprofit organizations from around the world. Currently on its fourth edition, NGO Advisor combines journalism with comprehensive research to highlight innovation, impact, and governance in the nonprofit sector. We are very excited to have received such an honor.

 

EcoPeace Wins Energy Globe Award for Palestine

On June 5th, World Environment Day, our Youth Water Trustees program was selected as the Palestinian winner for the Energy Globe Award. The Energy Globe Award was founded in 1999 by Austrian energy pioneer Wolfgang Neumann and is one of today’s most Energy Globeprestigious environmental awards. The award presents successful, sustainable projects with the Energy Globe Certificate, an internationally recognized hallmark for sustainability that organizations can proudly display on their websites, promotional materials, and in their offices. This Energy Globe Award will broaden EcoPeace’s audience in the sustainability and environmental community and comes one year after our Jordan River Rehabilitation project won the Energy Globe Award for Israel.

 

Basin Leaders Come Together at Cross-Border Branding Meetings

Branding mtngEcoPeace is continuing the development of branding campaigns in the different watersheds in our Good Water Neighbors program. About 30 Israeli and Palestinian leaders from the Kishon/Muqataa watershed came together on June 2nd to tour the Ta’anach Sewage Treatment Plant with representatives from the Gilboa Effluents Corporation and discuss potential branding ideas. On June 14th, 10 local leaders from Hadera and Baka Al Gharbia addressed the current status of their watershed in a national meeting. These branding forums are in the early stages of developing a vision for what a shared watershed will look like. The final plans will be presented at a regional conference in November.

 

Youth Water Trustees Explore Neighbors’ Paths

Good Water Neighbors Youth Water Trustees from Bet Yerach High SchoYWT Neighbors Path Tourol in the Jordan Valley Regional Council wrapped up their school year with a Neighbors’ Path Tour. The main stops included the Water Authority’s Sapir Pumping Station at the Sea of Galilee, the Bitaniya Wastewater Treatment Plant, and the Chagal Waste Dump. The group of teenagers discussed the regional strategic importance of the Sea of Galilee, the importance of water treatment and recycling, and the impact of sub-group water sources, and enjoyed a tour that was both educational and entertaining.

 

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

 

Jordanian, Palestinian, Israeli Youth Meet at Jordan River Baptism Sites

On June 3rd, Israeli, Palestinian, and Jordanian Youth Water Trustees met at the Baptism YWT at Baptism SiteSites on both sides of the Jordan River to learn about healing their shared environment along the banks of the Jordan River. The day began with Israeli and Palestinian youth meeting at the old Lido Restaurant site near the Dead Sea for a discussion of the area’s history and dire water situation. From there, they traveled to the Baptism site on the west side where the Jordanian youth were already waiting on their side of the Jordan River at Bethany Beyond the Jordan. While Israelis and Palestinians stood and sang from the western bank of the river, the Jordanians joined in from the eastern bank, singing a rendition of “We Can Change It,” which was written by EcoPeace alumni in a past seminar. Check out the video here, which will be presented in the German Parliament at the beginning of July.

 

Rabbi Forman Memorial Day Activity at the Jordan River

EcoPeace was honored to lead a Jordan River study tour for family and friends Rabbi Forman Activity (2)of the late Rabbi David Forman, as part of the annual Rabbi Forman Memorial Activity Day on June 3rd. The group was diverse, from small children to older adults, but the get-wet-and-clean-up activity at the Auja stream was enjoyed by all. In between the group discussing the dire situation of the Jordan River and why rehabilitation is so important; they also joined together to sing songs about the River. As a bonus, Rabbi Forman Activity (1)group members met the group of Palestinian, Jordanian, and Israeli EcoPeace youth who were also at the baptism site [see above]. Pausing in their activities, the young EcoPeace activists taught the friends and family tour their original song about the Jordan River called “We Will Change It.” View their sing-a-long clip here.

 

Jordan River Peace Park Development Advances

Development of our Jordan River Peace Park has advanced this month, with a new sign and Peace Park2viewing structure added at Al Bakoora / Naharayim, where the small “island of peace” exists at the junction of the Jordan and Yarmouk Rivers. With water flowing in the zero canal for the first time since Peace Park11948, thanks to local community efforts, the Peace Park is advancing as an ecotourism and cultural heritage project and joint venture between the Jordan Valley Regional Council, the Springs Valley Regional Council, and the Jordanian Muaz Jabal Municipality, in cooperation with EcoPeace.

 

 

New Cabins Added at Sharhabil Bin Hassneh (SHE) EcoPark

SHE CabinsFour new cabins were built at the Sharhabil Bin Hassneh (SHE) EcoPark in Jordan, increasing the park’s overnight capacity from 24 to 36 guests. The new cabins have attached bathrooms with toilets and showers, as well as full Wi-Fi and electric capabilities. This significant expansion of available resources at the SHE EcoPark will allow more guests to stay for longer to enjoy cross-border cooperation and develop local eco-tourism along the Jordan River.

 

Virgin Helping Promote the Dead Sea Swim Challenge

On November 15th, a team of some 30 swimmers from around the globe will embark on the Virgin Photo6-hour swim across the Dead Sea, using special full-facial masks to prevent salt from entering their lungs. At the launch and at its conclusion, the Challenge will house public events involving communities affected by the changes taking place at the Dead Sea, seeking to attract decision makers who will be called on to take action to prevent its further demise. Check out more on Virgin’s promotion page for information on why this project is so important and exciting.

 

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

 


 

EcoPeace Sparks Interest at Annual Conference of Ecology and Environmental Sciences

Conference of Ecology and environmental sciencesFrom June 21st to the 23rd, EcoPeace representatives presented EcoPeace’s Water Energy Nexus project at the Annual Conference of Ecology and Environmental Sciences at the Tel Aviv University. People from across the environmental field in Israel participated in the conference, including professionals from the Ministry of the Environment, the Water Authority, and many researchers from around the world. People showed high interest in the presentation as the idea of regional environmental cooperation attracted many.

 

Socialists & Democrats Group of the European Parliament FeS&Datures EcoPeace

The Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament featured EcoPeace in their June 3rd press release on the Middle East Peace Conference in Paris. The press release emphasized that any potential peace agreement is contingent on support from both the Israeli and Palestinian public. The S&D Group Vice President Victor Bostinaru stated his desire for continued cooperation with “local NGOs bringing together Israelis and Palestinians – such as EcoPeace Middle East … with the aim of supporting concrete initiatives and projects which create people-to-people contacts and dialogue between both sides.”

 


 

These projects and others have been made possible thanks to the generous support of our friends and donors.

To make a contribution to EcoPeace Middle East efforts please visit our website’s donation page.

For more information on ways to support EcoPeace please contact Resource Development at michalr@foeme.org

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