Posted by: EcoPeace Middle East | January 8, 2018

January 1st 2018 – EcoPeace Middle East Environmental Peacebuilding Newsletter

Message of Peace


We put a year behind us shaped by political challenges that led many to the conclusion that peace cannot be achieved under the current conditions. Recent political developments such as the US announcement to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move its embassy there, have served to support this view.

The people of our region long for a real, just and lasting peace. The Treaty of Versailles did not lead to peace. It planted the seeds for revenge and more violence when conditions changed. Attempts to settle the conflict would be best served by an approach of mutual respect and goodwill between all parties, leading to agreements based on the principles of international law, where Jerusalem serves as the capital of two states living in peace and recognition of each other’s sovereignty.

At the dawn of this new year, we remind ourselves that the chance for peace is never lost. At EcoPeace Middle East we will continue to build an understanding that as neighbors we cannot disengage from one another, nor from our shared environment.

We urge our leadership to look at long-term mutual interests as the basis for decision-making and compromise needed to solve issues such as the water and sanitation crises facing two million people in Gaza and achieve a just and sustainable peace.

Water Security conference – INSS – January 11

Praying for Rain or Advancing Water Diplomacy? The Water Crises Facing the Region: Challenges and Opportunities for National Security

EcoPeace Middle East and the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), with thePublic taps for drinking water in Khan Younis. support of the Embassy of Germany, are pleased to invite you to attend a special conference on the regional water crises and its geo-political implications to be held at the INSS conference hall in Ramat Aviv on Thursday, January 11th, from 09:00 to 13:00. With the region increasingly threatened by climate change and facing its fifth consecutive drought year, the conference will include key note addresses and panel discussions on water security issues and their geopolitical implications at the bilateral and regional level.  A new EcoPeace/INSS discussion paper on Israeli, Jordanian, Palestinian water diplomacy efforts will be released at the conference with recommendations for policy makers.  Space is limited.  Please register your participation at this link.

Woodrow Wilson Center Event 

WW logo

If you are in the Washington DC area on January 16, 2018, you are invited to hear EcoPeace Israeli Director Gidon Bromberg speak at the event “A matter of survival; learning to cooperate over water“.  Leaders from around the world will come to share their insights on water and peace, and bring into focus the new U.S. Global Water Strategy.  More details in the above link.

Rome Conference

Giulia Giordano, EcoPeace International Affairs Manager, was invited to represent Rome1EcoPeace Middle East at the Rome Med – Mediterranean Dialogue 2017. This high-level initiative promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the ISPI (Italian Institute for International Political Studies) was held in Rome from November 30 to December 2nd. The event brought together top leaders of Mediterranean governments, business, civil society, media and academia.

Morocco Conference

EcoPeace’s Palestinian Co-Director, Nada Majdalani, and Regional Projects Manager, Morocco confYana Abu Taleb, participated in the International Workshop on “Water-Energy-Food Nexus implementation in the Maghreb” which took place in Rabat-Morocco from 18-20 December 2017, and was sponsored by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. The workshop focused on the interdependencies between the sectors of water, energy and food. EcoPeace’s Palestinian Co-Director emphasized emerging opportunities through cross-border cooperation that capitalizes on the advantages of each country. Her presentation of EcoPeace’s Water Energy Nexus pre-feasibility study that adopts this regional approach was well received


Barcelona Conference


EcoPeace’s Israeli Co-Director, Gidon Bromberg, and the Jordanian project coordinator of the Water Energy Nexus project, Mohammad Bundokji, participated in the Regional Conference on Water Governance in MENA and the wider Mediterranean region  in Barcelona, Spain from the 12th – 14th of December 2017.  Mr. Bromberg presented the results of the Water Energy Nexus pre-feasibility study and emphasized the transformative impact of such innovative solutions on the water and energy sectors in Jordan, Israel and Palestine. He also explained the next steps to be taken – a full feasibility study and a pilot project as proof of concept.  For more information on the conference, see the concept note and the agenda.

Hebron Gaza Negev Project

As part of EcoPeace’s ongoing endeavor to raise awareness for the health and Hebron Gaza_Bedouinenvironmental impacts of the water and electricity crisis in Gaza on Israeli communities, EcoPeace staff held 2 “town hall” style events with diverse audiences living in the Negev region. The first were Bedouin women from the Wadi Attir Project, a sustainable farm managed by the Negev Bedouin community; the second were Sderot residents. In both meetings, we discussed local environmental issues and women’s role in leading environmental change in the region. EcoPeace is excited about creating new partnerships with new populations in the region.

 This project is supported by the Government of Canada.

Cross Border “Ecological Corridors” Experts MeetingEcological corridors group

In the month of December, a group of Israeli ecologists and Jordanian stakeholders from the Jordan Valley and Royal Botanical Gardens met at our Sharhabil Bin Hassneh EcoPark in Jordan, to discuss the future possibility of a joint project on developing ecological corridors in the Jordan Valley and the Wadi Ziglab area. Knowledge was shared between the different parties with the hope of leading to future cooperation.  We identified objectives and a process for achieving such a project.

EcoPeace presented at the Israeli Ministry of Education’s Center of Science Education

Teachers trainingEcoPeace staff was invited by the Israeli Ministry of Education’s Center of Scientific Education to talk about the geopolitics of water issues in the Middle East.  Taking place near the Jordan River in the town of Beit She’an, the teachers learned about the complexity of shared water resources and understood that Israel can do a lot to help its neighbors and, as a result, gain regional security. Following the lecture, EcoPeace was offered to participate in the sustainable education day in the Israeli Knesset, which we gladly accepted.

Yatta1Yatta environmental class opens

EcoPeace’s Ramallah staff helped to organize an environmental class in a girls’ school in Yatta (Hebron district), contributing input on topics such as sustainability, water conservation, water recycling and more.  Outdoor trips to water resources, exhibitions of water issues, and lessons from our Environmental Education Resource Guide are all part of the curriculum.  We hope to partner with additional schools in the area to such classes.

Akko conference

Israel Urban ForumRotem Weizman, from our “Good Water Neighbors” project, presented EcoPeace’s work with communities across the region – Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian – at the Akko Urbanism Conference that focused on urban / cities’ resilience. She spoke about EcoPeace’s unique voice and strength as a cross-border organization and specifically EcoPeace’s achievement in Baqa Al-Garbia and Baqa Al-Sharkiya.

 The Good Water Neighbors project is supported by the Swedish International Development Agency and USAID CMM West Bank / Gaza.



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