EcoPeace’s Marina Djernaes Presents at the United Nations
On July 14th, our Director of EcoPeace's Center for Peacebuilding Marina Djernaes, was a panelist at the 2016 UN Conference High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. Djernaes focused on the importance of finding joint solutions to cross border problems, stating that even though water is not necessarily the root of conflict, conflict impedes states’ ability to advance on many issues such as water. Emphasizing that the environment can become hostage to conflict, Djernaes illustrated EcoPeace’s approach to this problem; by looking at ways to get people to work together to solve shared problems. Djernaes suggested that the UN consider catalyzing this cooperation by helping engage civil society in creating sustainability among environmental, social, and economic areas. Check out the recorded session and photos.
Regional Teachers Seminar
From July 26th to 28th, EcoPeace held its annual Good Water Neighbors Regional Teachers' Seminar at our Sharhabil bin Hassneh (SHE) EcoPark in Jordan. During these three days of discussion and interaction, study groups analyzed cross border water issues related to the Dead Sea, Jordan River and Gaza. The group also enjoyed numerous excursions in and around the SHE EcoPark. We thank all the teachers and educators for participating!
GWN Youth Alumni Graduation
On July 19th, ten Israeli Youth Water Trustee alumni joined together to celebrate graduating from the Good Water Neighbors (GWN) program and to reflect on their past few years' of involvement. To celebrate, the alumni participated in a team building activity at the climbing wall in HaYarkon Park, where Israeli Education Coordinator Amy Lipman-Avizohar instructed them to think about all the obstacles they have overcome and achievements they have made as they climbed the tower together. After the fun activities in the park, the group joined Director Gidon Bromberg for a graduation ceremony, where each alumnus discussed what they gained through participating in the GWN program and received a certificate of appreciation. Congratulations to all!
EcoPeace Staff Tour West Nablus Wastewater Treatment Plant
Senior EcoPeace staff from both our Bethlehem and Tel Aviv offices toured the West Nablus Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) which began operation in 2013. The tour and site operations were fully professional; staff also viewed the next stage of expansion which includes plans for waste water reuse and sewage collection from the neighboring towns. The advancement will help solve environment and water issues in the area.
Staff Tour Kishon River Clean-Up Site
Office Staff from our Tel Aviv office joined our Community Coordinator in the Kishon Basin for a tour of the Kishon River clean-up site in early July. On their visit, they were struck by the incredible amount of pollution on the river floor from decades of oil waste. EcoPeace is excited to see this water source finally being cleaned up and restored to an acceptable ecological status.
Staff Presentations Everywhere this month!
EcoPeace staff were at a number of conferences this past month!
Jordanian staff member Eshak Alguza’a presented at the second Water, Growth and Stability Conference in Hammemet, Tunisia where participants established a cloud-based Water, Growth and Stability network and public awareness campaign to keep water experts and practitioners in the Middle East and North Africa connected. The EcoPeace delegation also aided in the development of a water action plan for four Jordanian municipalities present at the conference and strengthened ties with colleagues at the Prince Bassma Bint El Hussien community center in South Shouneh.
Israeli staff member Shelley Lev-Sherman gave a presentation about EcoPeace's model farm project at Tel Aviv University’s third annual Israel, Sustainable Agriculture and the Developing World Workshop. This workshop brought together experts in the field of sustainable agriculture to discuss current technologies and potential areas for future activity. Shelley introduced EcoPeace’s model farm concept, which encourages cross-border cooperation by serving as a center for research and knowledge exchange related to crop selection and agricultural processing methods such as irrigation, fertilization and plant protection.
Palestinian staff member Malek Abualfailat participated in the Mediterranean Youth Climate Forum (MYCF) and MEDCOP22 in Tangiers, Morocco where he represented EcoPeace by conveying the organization's messages and becoming a partner of a new network called the Mediterranean Youth Climate Network (MYCN). EcoPeace is excited to be a partner in this new network that will be based in Morocco and promote climate change adaptation.
EcoPeace’s Good Water Neighbors project is supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).