Posted by: EcoPeace Middle East | March 8, 2017

March 1st 2017 – EcoPeace Middle East Environmental Peacebuilding Newsletter

 Ein-Gedi “Alumni” Youth Campyouth water trustees ein gedi

EcoPeace’s Good Water Neighbors project gathered together 22 youth for a regional “Alumni Water Trustees” camp in Ein Gedi earlier this month. They came together to leEin Gediarn about the Dead Sea and its lack of water, the challenges that need to be dealt with in the area, and then did a practical exercise; leading the “Neighbors Path” hike in the area where they were the ones giving the presentations and developing the discussions.  Read a blog written by one of our interns about her experience in this Youth Water Trustees Camp.

Ein Gedi also houses one of EcoPeace’s EcoParks.  (Others include the Auja EcoCenter in Palestine and the Sharhabil Bin Hassneh EcoPark in Jordan – more on them below…) Here in Ein Gedi, environmental education focuses on sustainable practices in a dry, desert atmosphere, including mud building, solar cooking, water conservation techniques and more. A new feature is our greenhouse that grows many organic vegetables – enough so that the park can provide lunch to the local elderly community!


Cross Border Women’s Tour in Jordanwomens mtng

On February 12th-13th, EcoPeace held a gathering for the Women of the Dead Sea. Women from the Tamar Regional Council in Israel and women from Safi, Jordan came together to discuss the future of the region. These women shared their stories, struggles and successes in order to join forces and become leaders in the region. The women also visited an EcoPeace model farm in the region, saw the sinkholes on the Jordanian side, and spent some time at the Women’s Center in Safi where they learned about natural dyeing techniques.


Sharhabil Bin Hassneh EcoPark had a busy month!

SHE1If you happened to be at the Sharhabil Bin Hassneh EcoPark SHE2(SHE) this month, you would have seen incredible action!    (1) The EcoPark was the chosen site for the Nahj Training & Development NGO to hold their leadership skills workshop; (2) the EcoPark hosted a 2-day seminar for several Jordanian and Palestinian “Alumni” of our Good Water Neighbors program that included cleanup campaigns and activities related to environmental awareness; (3) a one-week retreat for a group of American CIEE study abroad students in cooperation with Jordan University, who are here studying Arabic and engaging in community service in Jordan.  They visited the municipality, the local schools, and enjoyed their time with the local Bedouins as well; and (4) an amazing 2,500 visitors that came to picnic and enjoy the outdoor atmosphere last Friday. The SHE EcoPark is clearly “on the map” in Jordan!

EcoPeace Speaks With Palestinian-Israeli Bereaved Families Forum

EcoPeace staff presented our programming to a group of Israelis and Palestinians fromuri the Bereaved Families Forum.  The organization brings together over 600 Israeli and Palestinian families who have lost a family member due to the ongoing conflict. The families participate in joint activities to show that reconciliation between people and the two nations is indeed possible, and is a prerequisite to having “sustainable peace.”  We were pleased to learn that the group was interested in local and cross border environmental issues – and asked how they can join in our activities.


EcoPeace’s Good Water Neighbors project is supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and USAID West Bank/Gaza CMM program.



EcoPeace Water & Energy Nexus

We invite you to take 4 and 1/2 minutes of your time to watch this terrific video describing Solar panels1EcoPeace’s Water & Energy Nexus project – a project that aims to create healthy interdependencies over natural resources between Israel, Jordan and Palestine.  Another way to create better water security and unity in the region!


The Water & Energy Nexus project is supported by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung                                                                                                     


Keeping the Dead Sea Afloat (in the news)

Dead SeaIn continued efforts to keep the Dead Sea in the public’s limelight, EcoPeace was interviewed by several media outlets this month; both regarding the historic Dead Sea Swim event as well as about the Dead Sea’s  environmental crisis in general.  To read more about the Dead Sea Swim event, The Business Insider Article and Science Alert Article are good places to start!  A double page spread of the Dead Sea Swim was also included in the ‘Journal for Science and Environmental Policy’ special edition focused solely on the Dead Sea, (by The Israel Society of Ecology and Environmental Sciences – not available on line). To learn more about the ongoing environmental issues facing the Dead Sea in general, read The Times of Israel article – – with much input from EcoPeace.


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


Auja EcoCenter news

The Auja EcoCenter hosted a Green Building Training, entitled “Palestine Go Green!” on Auja green building seminar2February 14th.  The workshop focused on 3 main topics: Introduction to Green Business and Buildings; Case Studies from Palestine and the U.S.; Potential Opportunities for Green Building in Palestine. Participants included mid-career level professionals in renewable energy, green building and sustainable development, working in governmental positions or in NGO’s.


This capacity building workshop is part of an environmental education project being funded by the U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem


J Street Conference 2017

jstreet conferenceOur very own Mary Alexander represented EcoPeace at the Annual J Street National Conference in Washington, D.C. on February 25th-28th. The conference brings together thousands of Pro-Israel and Pro-Peace leaders and advocates from around the world to help strategize ways to solve the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and how to send these messages to the United States Congress.


To learn more about the conference, check out their website; they have a detailed summary of what went on in Washington, D.C.




EcoPeace staff Speaks with the Visiting Danish Minister of Environment

The Danish Ambassador to Israel invited EcoPeace staff to give an overview of IsraeliDanish Minister Palestinian cross-border water issues to a delegation of visiting diplomats from Denmark, including their Minister of Environment & Food, and several Embassy staff.  Focusing on our “Water Cannot Wait” campaign, and especially the water crisis looming in the Gaza strip, we explained that with today’s desalination bolstering Israel’s water economy, Israel can afford to share water more equitably with Palestinians, as no sector in Israel would have its water allocation reduced.  And the “political gain” of such a move would be extremely welcomed internationally!  The Minister was deeply appreciative of EcoPeace’s approach, and said on Danish Public Radio following the meeting, that he will do what he can to help move this issue forward!  


EcoPeace Washington DC Internship Opportunity

4.1.1EcoPeace is looking for interns to work in Washington DC in conjunction with our newest initiative: the Center for Water Security. This initiative works on expanding our work globally, taking our knowledge of practical consensus building around environmental issues to other crisis-stricken, troubled, and water-scarce areas.  The Center will offer training, educating, and consulting services to civil society organizations in different regions around the world with the goal of empowering civil society to resolve and respond to conflict issues over shared water resources.


This minimum 3-month internship is an opportunity for high-caliber international students and young professionals to gain first-hand experience in the emerging field of environmental peacemaking, as well as providing support for EcoPeace’s ongoing projects and programs. More information on this internship can be found here.




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