The Director’s and staff of EcoPeace Middle East recognize this month’s newsletter is being issued at a time of continuing violence and hostility in our region. We remain determined as ever to advancing cooperative relations between Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians that help resolve on the ground issues that impact people’s daily lives for the better, and by doing so, help create the trust and political will needed to achieve regional peace, justice and sustainability.

Good Water Neighbors Cross Border Meetings throughout the Region
On Sunday October 18th, EcoPeace / FoEME in cooperation with the Water Resources Action Project (WRAP), inaugurated a constructed cistern system at the Al-Sedeeq Primary School located in the Village of Husan in the West Bank, an area with an average annual rainfall of only 500ml.Attendee’s included Nisreen Amr, the Director of Education and Bassam Jaber, the Deputy Director of Education both from the Bethlehem Governorate.

On October 20th, EcoPeace GWN activists visited the largest Waste Water Treatment Plant in Jordan, the As Samra WWTP, which currently serves 2.3 million inhabitants. As Samra provides high quality treated water which Jordanian farmers use as an alternative option for crop and plant irrigation. It is especially significant to note this advancement as Jordan currently faces high water demand due to the refugee crisis in the region.

EcoPeace at the International Water Association Conference
EcoPeace gave several presentations at the International Water Association conference held at the Dead Sea, Jordan from October 18 – 22, 2015. Our Jordanian Deputy Director, Yana Abu Taleb, presented about lessons learned from our Good Water Neighbours project while Jordanian Director, Munqeth Mehyar, presented at a side event organized by SIDA titled “Learning from regional water cooperation in the MENA region”. He presented EcoPeace’s Water Energy Nexus project as a catalyst for regional peace.

Finally, Israeli Director Gidon Bromberg’s presentation focused on constituency building around water in the midst of conflict, and how digital technology and development can further empower that interaction. The experience of EcoPeace in the GWN project was highlighted.

High Level SIDA Delegation Visit
Also this month, EcoPeace was delighted to accompany a high level delegation from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) to several of our GWN project sites. The delegation was led by Ms. Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, Director-General of SIDA.

The delegation visited Wadi Fukin and Battir in Palestine to see the cross border community success of protecting the areas terraced cultural landscape and met with community entrepreneurs led by the mayor of Battir as part of Battir’s 2020 project. After crossing Allenby Bridge the delegation toured the southern mouth of the Jordan River before its exit to the Dead Sea. Together with Jordanian government officials the delegation saw first-hand the demise of the Jordan River and heard about both community lead and national and regional advocacy efforts that have led to real improvements on the ground.

At the Haaretz Peace conference, November 12th, to be held at the David Intercontinental Hotel in Tel Aviv, EcoPeace will be holding a special morning side event on the urgent need to solve the water and energy crises facing 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza and the humanitarian and security implications of failing to do so.
A special group discount price is offered to registrants through EcoPeace. Please sign up here to register and we shall follow up with you to confirm.

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

The Water & Energy Nexus is part of the Water Cannot Wait campaign of EcoPeace Middle East. This project is supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

Presentation of the Regional NGO Master Plan for the Lower Jordan River
Following a successful presentation at a high-level international conference in Jordan, EcoPeace’s Jordanian Deputy Director, Yana Abu Taleb, was invited by the European Commission to present EcoPeace’s Regional NGO Master Plan in the European Commission in Brussels, explaining continuing efforts towards its implementation.

The main EU event was an experts meeting on international water issues which brought together representatives from the environment/water and foreign affairs departments mainly from EU member states. The fact that a side event was allocated to present the Regional NGO Master Plan shows that high level of interest and awareness of the environmental challenges facing the Jordan River is constantly increasing.

EcoPeace and GNF, Continued Partners
Check out EcoPeace in this month’s Global Nature Fund’s online newsletter describing our cooperative efforts towards rehabilitation of the Jordan River, including work related to the Regional NGO Master Plan.

Regional Investment Strategy for Jordan River Valley Master Plan
This report provides the first building block of developing national and regional investment strategies with concrete steps to advance the implementation of the NGO Master Plan including recommendations, identification of no-regret actions and interventions for staged implementation.

The investment strategy reviews potential sources of public, private, and international financing for a short list of 26 identified priority interventions in Jordan, Palestine and Israel to act as a catalyst for regional cooperation and development of the Jordan Valley. Investment profiles are developed for eight priority pilot interventions in the field of water, environment and pollution control.

EcoPeace’s Regional NGO Master Plan (SWIM-JR) is supported by the European Union’s Sustainable Water Integrated Management (SWIM) Program.