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October 2015

'Green Economy Initiatives' project ends with 2 Final Events and …. 4 Cross Border Itineraries!

At the close of the “Green Economy Initiatives” (GEI) project, EcoPeace held two Final Events in the form of "Eco-Fairs"; one on September 3rdin the Mateh Yehuda Regional Council in Israel, and one on Sept. 8th in the Sharhabil bin Hassneh EcoPark in Jordan. In both events, Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian project participants, together with project 'vendors' who share our regional vision of environmental interdependency and concepts of peaceful cross-border environmental cooperation, showcased their goods and the specific outputs of the project; 4 cross border touristic itineraries.

Also in attendance at both events were representatives from the local municipalities, as well as representatives from tourism departments in the region; Israeli, Palestinian & Jordanian. In the Israeli event, the Israeli Deputy Minister of Regional Cooperation, Mr. Ayoub Kara, attended and praised the project for bringing together people from the region in this innovative cross border tourism initiative. In the Jordanian event, the Governor of Irbid did the same. 

Learn more by visiting EcoPeace‘s blog about the event in Israel, and a blog and more photos of the event in Jordan.

The "Green Economy Initiatives" project is supported by USAID's Conflict Management & Mitigation Program.

EcoPeace featured in Stockholm WaterFront Magazine

EcoPeace’s Directors from Bethlehem, Tel Aviv and Amman were recently featured in the Stockholm WaterFront Magazine discussing the use of water as a catalyst for change, citing our Good Water Neighbors (GWN) project's methodology and success stories.

The magazine article focused on GWN’s community efforts, benefits of cooperation and also the challenges of working together in a region of conflict throughout the last 20 years. The article describes some of EcoPeace’s recent success stories such as advocacy efforts that helped to bring about the doubling of water pumped into Gaza and the release of a first-ever Regional NGO Master Plan to rehabilitate the Jordan River.

'Good Water Neighbors' Cross Border Meetings throughout the Region

On September 5th & 6th , EcoPeace held a "Cross Border Forum" visit for Jordanian and Palestinian stakeholders representing the Zara Maain - Wadi Al Naar watershed. EcoPeace began the visit at Ubeiydia Municipality which was followed by a tour of Wadi Al Naar, Wadi Sarar and the Mar Saba Monastery. Participants discussed common problems of their watershed, solutions for water and environmental challenges, and the potential of signing an agreement between Madaba and Ubeiydia to continue cooperation efforts related to implementing projects within the watershed. Click here to view media coverage of the meeting from Maan News (in Arabic).

On Sept 2nd – 4th, EcoPeace held a "Cross-Border Forum" for the Northern communities of the Lower Jordan River. The delegation included stakeholders from Israel and Jordan, mostly from the tourism industry, as well as the mayors and municipal representatives of the communities. Site visits were conducted to the tourist attractions along the northern part of the Lower Jordan River; the Yardenit Baptism site, the Beit She'an archeological site, the new Springs Park of the Springs Valley Regional Council, the Kfar Rupin Birdwatching center, the Peace Island at Naharayim and the nearby "Three Bridges" tourist site. Presentations, lectures and discussions throughout the 2 days focused on the potential of cross border tourism in the region. At the end of the formal visit, the Jordanian delegation continued on to the "GEI" final event (as mentioned above) where they learned about the examples of cross border tourism development.

A week later, on Sept 8th - 9th, the Cross Border Forum met again, this time in Jordan, visiting touristic sites on the Eastern side of the River; the Ajloun Castle, a guided hike in Wadi Orjan, a visit to a local community B&B, and more. Ideas for cross border tourism and regional cooperation were raised at the final discussion, and will be incorporated in the Forum's upcoming year's work.

The Good Water Neighbors project is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). 

EcoPeace Presented at the 2nd German-Israeli Climate Talks

EcoPeace's Israeli Director presented the organization's Water-Energy Nexus project at the the 2nd German-Israeli Climate Talks at the Porter School of Environmental Studies of Tel Aviv University. The presentation entitled: "A Water Energy Nexus Across the Jordan for Stability and Climate Change Mitigation" focused on the rationale for creating a water-renewable energy community based on interdependence among Israel, Jordan, and Palestine, where much needed water is produced through desalination on the Israeli and Palestinian Mediterranean coasts, and additional electricity needs are met by extensive investment in solar renewable energy in Jordan’s eastern deserts.

The Water & Energy Nexus project is supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

EcoPeace named as Runner-Up in the Thiess International Riverprize

Israeli Director Gidon Bromberg travelled to Brisbane, Australia last month where EcoPeace was named as a runner-up in the prestigious Thiess International Riverprize for efforts related to rehabilitating the Jordan River. The Lake Eyre Basin in Australia won first prize with the Jordan River and Mur River in Austria as the runners-up.

This prize is one of the world's most prestigious environmental awards, given to organizations that have demonstrated their outstanding achievement and commitment to restoring and protecting the world's rivers. We are honored to receive this recognition and will continue to work towards rehabilitating this vital River!

The trip to Australia also included an evening presentation on the state of the River Jordan at the Newton Synagogue in Sydney where Malek Abu Alfailat, EcoPeace Auja EcoCenter Director, joined the evening discussions via Skype as part of the faith based Jordan River program.

Media interest in the Jordan River was high with a TV and Radio interview on Australia’s ABC station. Click here to view the video and here to listen to the radio broadcast.

EcoPeace’s Jordan River Rehabilitation Project is supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the Osprey Foundation.

EcoPeace on International Day of Peace

In celebration of International Day of Peace on September 21st, Sister Cities International hosted an International Day of Peace +SocialGood Google Hangout surrounding this year’s theme, “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All”. Sister city partnerships and citizen diplomacy play a crucial role in peace-building at a grass roots, person-to-person level. EcoPeace was one of 3 panelists on this day.

Click here to watch the video.

This new website was made possible by a grant generously
donated to FoEME from the Apte Family Fund.

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