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Seven Hour Swim across the Dead Sea
November 15th was a historical day as 25 swimmers swam across the Dead Sea for the first time in recorded history in order to raise awareness about the environmental damage facing this shrinking body of water. EcoPeace, along with the Tamar Regional Council and the Ministry of Regional Cooperation, organized the event that garnered a record number of news releases and extensive media coverage.

The team of 25 dedicated swimmers from around the world swam the 17-kilometer (11-mile) challenge in seven excruciating hours from the Jordanian to the Israeli shore with the help of special full-facial masks that prevented salt from entering their eyes and lungs. A video of the event can be viewed here and press coverage can be viewed on our website.

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

Annual International Conference: Water Security & Sustainable Development for our Common Future
EcoPeace held its annual International Conference on the shores of the Dead Sea in Jordan from November 22nd-23rd under the patronage of the Jordanian Minister of Water. The event, titled Water Security and Sustainable Development for our Common Future, discussed water and peace issues in the region and is one of the only public gatherings where Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian ministerial participation takes place.

Over 250 high level regional and international officials, local leaders and activists attended the two day event. Topics of discussion included the water and sanitation crisis in Gaza and the promotion of a Palestinian/Israeli water accord. The second day included presentations from international experts on transboundary water management relevant to the plight of the Lower Jordan River; including from the Colorado and Rio Grande Rivers in US & Mexico, from the Sava River in the Balkans, from the Rhine River in Central Europe and from the Orange-Senqu River in Southern Africa.

Joint Palestinian-Israeli Youth Environmental Training Day
On November 25th Palestinian and Israeli youth from Auja and the Lower Jordan River participated in environmental activities at the Baptism Site on the River Jordan. This event is part of EcoPeace’s Good Water Neighbors project and a new initiative funded by the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem.

Participants had the opportunity to partake in outdoor training activities and learn about the Jordan River and about water issues through direct interaction. The group also participated in a humus workshop to learn about “virtual water” in food. 

EcoPeace Participates in International Conferences
EcoPeace Bethlehem staff participated in two significant international conferences this past month.
The first involved a network of 7 youth organizations that came together to present the results of their collaboration initiative: the Mediterranean Youth Climate Network (MYCN), aimed at uniting the young climate community of the region. The event also included the official signing into effect of the MYCN’s Charter and Governance system. 

In addition, EcoPeace participated in the First Palestine Resilience Conference in Amman, Jordan from November 24th-25th. The conference was organized jointly by the Government of Palestine and the United Nations Development Program of Assistance to the Palestinian People and provided the setting for practitioners, donors, government actors, non-government actors, and the private sector to meet and discuss ways to influence resilience-based programming across Palestine.

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

Roundtable in Cooperation with Oxford University
On November 13th EcoPeace held a national roundtable in cooperation with the University of Oxford for the Defining Food and Water Security in the Levant (DeFWS) project. The meeting was held at the EcoPeace office in Tel Aviv with participants from the Office of the Quartet, Ben Gurion University, Israel’s Water Authority, the Ministry of Agriculture Extension Service, the Ministry of Regional Cooperation and the Ministry of Economy.

This research-based project aims to produce new knowledge on achieving sustainable agriculture and water sectors in Jordan, Palestine and beyond, which balance food and water security as well as sustainable regional development.

This project is in partnership with the University of Oxford and supported by the British Council UK.

Conference on December 8th in Tel Aviv

Can Water Bring the Political Process to A Safe Shore?

ISRAELI and INTERNATIONAL ROUNDTABLE Event:
Water Issues, from Source of Conflict to Vehicle for Regional Cooperation and Stability

The Institute for National Security Studies (INSS)
40 Haim Levanon Street, Tel Aviv

Click here to register


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