Posted by: EcoPeace Middle East | May 5, 2017

May 1st 2017 – EcoPeace Middle East Environmental Peacebuilding Newsletter

Dear Friends,

April was another busy month for EcoPeace, combining high-level advocacy in a variety of settings worldwide with youth education and leadership building in local communities in the Middle East.

Check out our new website to learn more about EcoPeace and click here to support our activities.

Happy May Day,

EcoPeace Middle East

 

 

Wembley Central Mosque Event, UK

Wembley eventEcoPeace Jordanian and Israeli co-directors Munqeth Meyhar and Gidon Bromberg were invited to take part in a multi-faith event at the Wembley Central Mosque in London titled “Discussing the Journey to Freedom, Ethical Responsibility and Practical Collaboration”.  EcoPeace’s practical work to advance cross-border cooperation on environmental issues, specifically water, was the topic of discussion.

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IISS London: Water, Security and Peace: Environmental Issues in Israeli-Palestinian RelationsIISS

Gidon Bromberg and Ambassador Oded Eran were invited to speak at the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) in London about the strategic and security implications of water and other environmental issues on the relationship between Israelis and Palestinians, as well as their impact on neighboring countries including Jordan.

Although the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians has stalled, cooperation continues on common environmental issues. These issues, especially relating to shared water resources, have implications for both the security and the quality of life of Israelis, Palestinians and their neighbors.  Dana Allin, IISS Senior Fellow, moderated the discussion.

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EcoPeace Co-Directors in Oxford

with World BankEcoPeace Jordanian and Israeli co-directors Munqeth Meyhar and Gidon Bromberg attended the Skoll World Forum, which took place in Oxford in early April.  Each year, nearly 1,000 of the world’s most influential social entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and strategic partners gather to exchange ideas, solutions, and information. The directors also had a chance to meet with World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim.with Lord Alderdice

A highlight of the trip to Oxford this year was their opportunity to meet with Lord Alderdice, former leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland who played a significant role in the talks on Northern Ireland, including the negotiation of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. The Middle East region certainly has much to learn from him.

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EcoPeace Director at the European Parliament

brusselsThe Multinational Policy Development Dialogue of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung organized an experts’ lunch discussion in the European Parliament on the water-security-nexus in the Middle East.

EcoPeace Middle East Israeli co-director Gidon Bromberg was invited to present EcoPeace’s perspective on regional water security issues, together with Mr. Marc Frings, Head of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung office in Ramallah, and His Excellency Shaddad Al Attili, former Head of the Palestinian Water Authority and lead Palestinian negotiator for water and former Minister of Water.

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Young Female Environmental Leadership Camp – Ein Karem

A young female environmental leadership seminar was held in Ein Karem, near Jerusalem, this month.  A group of Jordanian, GroupPalestinian and Israeli girls from different communities participated and stayed in the ‘St. John in the Mountain’ Monastery.

They took part in planting activities, toured in nearby Ein Rafa with a local female urban planner and community leader. This was followed by a women’s leadership workshop about environmental leaders such as Koenjari Matay, Rachel Carson and Jane Goodall. The participants analyzed the leadership attributes of these environmental icons, such as courage, belief, empathy and persistence. The camp concluded with creative writing and reflections in the beautiful area of the Monastery.

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Regional Youth Camp – MEDFORVAL

medforvalA 3-day regional workshop was held this month in the context of the MEDFORVAL project at our Sharhabil bin Hassneh EcoPark in Jordan – with Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli youth.

Over the 3 days, the students took part in several activities that focused on biodiversity and its impact on the environment. They were given tools to understand the importance of environmental sustainability in our region. They toured the EcoPark and learned about forestation, biodiversity and solid waste management. They performed tasks about biodiversity and vegetation, helped clean the EcoPark while separating the waste to be collected for recycling and designed slogans to emphasize the need to protect the environment. Read more in this blog.

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New Hydroponic System Installed

As part of the Youth Water Trustees training in the Besor-Hebron Basin, EcoPeace installed a hydroponic system at the Meitarim HydroponicsBranko Weiss High School. The 8th grade science class together with their teacher and Ecopeace community coordinator Shlomit Tamari, planted tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, beets, and other vegetables.

The students learned how to check the fertilizers’ rates in the water by measuring the water’s electric conductivity. Thanks to the new system, the students can perform different experiments and enjoy a salad made from the vegetables they grow themselves.  A hydroponic system can be placed on walls, balconies and roofs, and uses 11 times less water than a normal vegetable garden. Eyal Barkan, Farmit agronomist, installed the system and taught the students about its different usages.

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EcoPeace at the Climate March

Climate marchIn honor of Earth Day 2017, climate marches were held across the globe, with citizens from all walks of life coming out to voice their concerns.

EcoPeace joined the many people that marched in Tel Aviv, particularly highlighting the effects that climate change can have on the regions’ already scarce natural water resources.  Diminishing our water resources with dangerous climate policies threatens Middle East security and could translate into regional instability; it was in this context that we marched and spoke out!

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ALLMEP Annual Community Fair 

EcoPeace participated in the Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP) Regional ALLMEP fairConference in Jerusalem this past month.  This year’s conference theme was “Scaling Up: A Practical Guide,” bringing together a diverse range of organizations, both Israeli and Palestinian, and Jewish, Christian and Muslim men and women from the region; all with the mission of coexistence, partnership, cooperation and development.

Mr. Donald Blome, the U.S. Consul General to Jerusalem opened the conference with inspiring words about the challenges in the region. EcoPeace distributed materials and explained how our work creates cooperative relationships to protect the environment and water resources.  Read more in this blog.

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Annual Environmental Education Conference in Israel: “The World’s Hottest Story”

Education conf.EcoPeace participated in the Annual Environmental Education Conference that dealt with climate change and extreme phenomena caused by these changes – desertification, dehydration of lakes and seas, global warming and extinction of species in the sea and on land, extreme storms such as hurricanes, and more.  The implications and effects of these phenomena on humans and the environment were examined while discussions were led to assess climate change on the personal, educational and national levels.

EcoPeace is paying close attention to all these issues, and will engage teachers and educators on these topics in future meetings and workshops.

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Two important meetings were held this month between representatives from the U.S. MalekConsulate and our Palestinian staff.  One with the Consul General to discuss youth and young professionals’ challenges and to promote sustainable projects involving water and environment; and another held in Hebron with the Consul of Public Affairs, together with other entrepreneurs, where discussions focused on the importance of grassroots projects and the good work being carried out in Hebron by the U.S. Department of State Alumni.

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

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New Publication

Check-out EcoPeace’s new publication as part of our series of faith based toolkits about the Jordan River; this one is a multi-faith toolkit titled “River out of Eden: Water, Ecology and the Jordan River in the Abrahamic Religions.”  It follows earlier  publications which separately discuss Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions related to the Jordan River.

This toolkit describes the demise of the River, what went wrong and why it matters; it provides a compilation of writings about the Jordan River, texts, prayers, essays and lesson plans to assist educators in designing a program, as well as suggestions for how your community can support regional efforts to rehabilitate the Jordan River.

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

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http://mailchi.mp/588be7424cdf/ecopeace-environmental-peacebuilding-newsletter

 

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