Several eco-facilities were inaguarated this month in the context of FoEME’s Good Water Neighbors project; in the Emek Hefer Regional Council, the Eshkol Regional Council and in Baka Gharbia.

These eco-facilities – such as ecogardens, rainwater harvesting systems and constructed wetlands – serve to raise awareness of the importance of water conservation and reuse, and are being built by all participating GWN communities, Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian.

FoEME held 2 Youth Campaign Workshops the last weekend of February, where youth “Water Trustees” from the Western Basin of the Mountain Aquifer communities of Emek Hefer, Baka el Gharbia (Israel) and Tulkarem and Baka el Sharkiya (Palestine) met together to connect, interact and learn about each other’s environmental and water challenges.

A similar camp took place in Beit Alpha with the Jordan Valley communities of Beit She’an and the Jordan Valley Regional Council (Israel), together with youth from Auja and Jericho (Palestine), and 3 communities in Jordan who crossed the border to partake in the activities.

In both workshops, they toured the local area, presented the presentations they prepared, discussed environmental problems in common, learned about campaigning and decided on awareness raising activities in their communities. They created posters and a “jingle” for a joint campaign that will be the focus of their activities for the coming months.

On February 15th, a cross-border activists meeting took place in the Sapir Collage, in the Israeli city of Sderot. On that date, as part of the Gaza-Sderot conference that was held in the college, FoEME gave a presentation entitled “The Politics of Transboundary Water Management” with a focus on the Hebron-Besor Stream.

Following the presentation, adult activists from Yatta in the West Bank and the Eshkol Regional Council communities in Israel, both of whom reside along the Hebron-Besor stream, met to discuss next steps in their shared campaign to advance a solution to the Hebron’s area sewage and efforts to help reduce the severe pollution of the stream.

The Good Water Neighbors project is supported by USAID, SIDA and the Belgium Foreign Ministry’s Peace Building Desk.

80 residents from Israel, Jordan, and Palestine active in the “Transboundary Advocacy for Parliamentarians” (TAP) project gathered at the Dead Sea for a 3-day workshop from February 4th-6th. Participants learned about the water economies of the three countries, heard presentations on the political systems of Jordan, Israel, and Palestine so that they could understand the process of law-making in each country and the most effective way to educate decision makers. The residents also had the chance to meet with a Jordanian Member of Parliament present at the event.

Smaller groups of residents were then formed, according to their shared water resource, where they discussed the water difficulties they face in each of their communities and devised regional messages to approach decision makers in their respective countries. Read more about the 3 day workshop on our blog page…

The “Transboundary Advocacy to Parliamentarians” project is supported by the European Union’s Partnerships for Peace program.

This year’s MedSOS Network meeting in Greece included young people from six countries – Jordan, Israel, France, Italy, Greece and Turkey – with 5 youth from FoEME’s Jordanian GWN communities. The MedSOS program promotes interaction between different Euro-Mediterranean cultures, and teaches youth about pressing environmental issues, especially on the protection of biodiversity.

The group met many local experts who presented environmental issues in Greece, as well as biodiversity and multiculturalism issues in the Mediterranean area at large. Intercultural evenings showcased different traditions, and excursions and workshops made the meeting an interactive, productive event. Read more on our blog page… (photo by Nikiforos Plytas)

FoEME’s first video, describing the organization, our Good Water Neighbors Project – and in specific, youth “Water Trustees” work in the Community GIS project – is now up on our website, and can be found under our project entitled Video Library.

Filmed on location in Jordan, Israel and Palestine, this 14 minute video gives a good background to the type of work we do.

The Community GIS project is supported by the European Union’s Partnerships for Peace program.

FoEME was a participating organization in this year’s J Street conference, with Gidon Bromberg, FoEME Israeli Director, as a panelist in the session entitled “Building Peace from the Ground Up”.

J Street’s mission is two-fold: first, to advocate for urgent American diplomatic leadership to achieve a two-state solution and a broader regional, comprehensive peace; and second, to ensure a broad debate on Israel and the Middle East in national politics and the American Jewish community.