Raising awareness to protect GWN cultural landscape
Friends of the Earth Middle East continues in its efforts to protect the cultural and heritage landscape of the Judean / Jerusalem Hills where residents of the Good Water Neighbor communities of the West Bethlehem villages and Mateh Yehuda Regional Council are working together to stop the Separation Barrier from being built.

On Friday, August 31st, FoEME partnered with Ir Amim and led a residents tour to the villages of Walajeh and Battir. While the visit to Walajeh showed the impacts of the Barrier already built, their is new hope for stopping the Separation Barrier from being built in Battir, due to recent statements from the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority who are calling for alternative security measurements to be put in place instead of building a physical barrier.

Good Water Neighbors experience being shared in Kosovo
A delegation of FoEME Good Water Neighbors coordinators from Jordan, Israel and Palestine went on a 5 day mission to Kosovo, hosted by the local NGO – Forum for Civic Initiatives (FIQ). The delegation met with local communities from different ethnic backgrounds (Albanian / Serb / Bosniak) who have encountered disputes over water and other environmental issues.

Kosovo officials and residents met the FoEME delegation to learn about the GWN model, identifying best practices drawn from the GWN experience that can be applied to Kosovo. FoEME is looking forward to hosting a reciprocal visit in the Middle East, where local events will be held to share the experience from the GWN program that can be adapted to Kosovo and other conflict areas.

FoEME film in traveling media exhibit
FoEME’s “Good Water Neighbors” film is part of the traveling media exhibition “Water, Water Everywhere, Paean to a Vanishing Resource” that will be shown around the world in the coming years.

The first show is being held in the Los Gatos Museum in California as part of the “Shaped by Water: Past, Present and Future” exhibition from August 1 through December 31.

A special screening of “Water, Water Everywhere” will take place on September 27 at the Museum. Click here for more details of the screening.

SHE EcoPark
A new mural has been painted at the Sharhabil bin Hassneh EcoPark (SHE) depicting native wildlife that has been spotted at the Park. It was produced for visitors of the Ecopark to increase awareness as well as to document the biodiversity that is returning to the area, thanks to FoEME’s protection efforts in the park.

The Good Water Neighbors project is supported by USAID, SIDA and the EU Partnership for Peace program. The Kosovo exchange visit is supported by the Bosch Foundation.

The Protecting Ground Water (PGW) custom GIS module is in its final stage of preparation. During August, municipality representatives met with the module software designers and expressed their needs and expectations from the new system. The module will enable interactive and transparent data collection and mapping of environmental hazards. More information on the custom GIS module will be available in the upcoming months.

PGW project participants from the various Israeli municipalities had an eventful visit to Baka el Garbia during Ramadan: experiencing the special hectic atmosphere in the village’s main street just before breaking the fast and the countering total silence after everybody sits down for the meal. Many thanks to Mohammad Biadsi (FoEME’s field staff in Baka), to Morsi Abu Moch (the Mayor of Baka) and to Amir Muassi for their wonderful hospitality. (Photo by Yakov Levi)

The “Protecting Ground Water” project is supported by the European Union’s ENPI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme

JR Master Plan Public Notice – Public Announcement
FoEME together with consortium partners, the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and Global Nature Fund (GNF) are pleased to announce the award for the development and publication of a NGO master plan for the Lower Jordan River Valley to Royal HaskoningDHV. Royal HaskoningDHV will lead a consortium of leading experts from wide ranging fields from Royal HaskoningDHV, CEC Jordan / Palestine, CORE PHG Palestine and DHVMED Israel.

As part of the master planning process Royal HaskoningDHV will be undertaking a public participation process in which comments will be invited from government representatives, local residents and other stakeholders. The NGO master plan itself will be published in English, Arabic and Hebrew in early 2014.

Read the announcement on our website.

The Jordan River Master Plan project is supported by the European Union’s Sustainable Water Integrated Management (SWIM) Programme.

FoEME would like to express its deep sadness for the untimely death of Ahmed Hijazi and his son Adam, who were killed in a car accident while on vacation in Africa. Ahmed was a true peacemaker and we will miss him greatly. Our condolences go out to his family and to the entire Neve Shalom / Wahat el Salam community.