World Bank to hold public hearing on Red Dead Canal
2007-08-06
MEDIA RELEASE

WORLD BANK TO HOLD FIRST SET OF PUBLIC HEARINGS ON 'RED DEAD' CANAL PROJECT

Tel-Aviv, 6 August 2007

On Sunday, August 12th, the World Bank will hold its first public hearing on the Terms of Reference of the Feasibility Study for the 'Red Dead Conduit' project.

The hearing will take place at the Neve Ilan Hotel outside Jerusalem from 9:30 a.m.

According to the World Bank only one solution is 'on the table' for saving the Dead Sea, namely the 'Red Dead Canal' project that would bring water from the Red Sea, via the Arava Valley to the Dead Sea. The project concept is highly controversial because of the risk it poses to three unique ecosystems; the Gulf of Aqaba/Eilat, the Arava Valley and the Dead Sea itself.

Friends of the Earth Middle East has been advocating the need to study other alternatives for 'Saving the Dead Sea'; especially the natural alternative of bringing water back to the Jordan River, a request so far refused by the World Bank and our governments.

"Moments before the ToR for the feasibility study will be closed, the public has a last chance to make its voice heard and influence the flawed World Bank study" says Gidon Bromberg, Israeli director of Friends of the Earth Middle East. "Our concern is that despite our efforts the Bank is simply refusing to listen, holding the hearing simply to mark it off their check list."

FoEME will be bringing residents from the affected areas, Dead Sea, Arava and Jordan River Valley to let the World Bank hear that the public demands that the building of a project of this size requires the most comprehensive of studies - INCLUDING the Jordan River alternative.

FoEME is organizing transportation to the hearing for residents which journalists could join:

From the Jerusalem area: for details, please call Gundi Shachal at 052-2887184
From the Tel Aviv area: for details, please call Chava Haber at 054-7932459
(Please identify yourselves as media)