Dear Friends,
We are delighted to publicaly announce that the Board of Directors of EcoPeace Middle East accepted the recommendation of a select committee to appoint Ms Nada Majdalani as the new Palestinian co-director of the organization.
Nada joins us with many years of experience as an environmental expert and a long-standing commitment to the vision of EcoPeace.
When next in the region please come by and visit Nada and our new Palestinian office now being opened in Ramallah.
– EcoPeace Middle East
New Water Agreement Between Israel and the PA

We at EcoPeace are glad to share with you the news of a very positive development regarding water issues in the region. After years’ of negotiations, on July 13th, under the auspices of U.S. Middle East Envoy Jason Greenblatt, a deal was finally reached between Israel’s Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, and Minister Mazen Ghoneim, Head of the Palestinian Water Authority. According to the agreement, Israel will sell 33 million cubic meters (mcm) of water to the PA, 10mcm of which will go to Gaza and 23mcm to the West Bank.

EcoPeace contributed to the developments that led to this deal and we congratulate all the parties involved in this important achievement. The additional water for Gaza is of particular importance at this time. It is important to remember however that while it will alleviate the dire water crisis that is affecting the lives of millions of Palestinians, this is still a technical deal and not the political agreement that we at EcoPeace have been advocating for many years. For further details see the media articles – and the U.S. House of Representative press release below:
Jerusalem Post: PA, Gaza to get more H2O under Red Dead Water Sharing Agreement
Times of Israel: Israel, Palestinians reach landmark water deal for West Bank, Gaza
AP: Trump envoy helps broker Israeli-Palestinian water deal
The Los Angeles Times: Israelis and Palestinians agree to water deal to help communities suffering chronic shortages
EcoPeace Speaking Up in the Israeli Knesset

Gidon Bromberg, EcoPeace’s Israeli Director, voiced our concerns at an emergency session of the Knesset’s Interior Affairs and Environment Committee convening to discuss the Gaza sanitation crises. Sewage flowing from the Gaza Strip into the Mediterranean led to the Israeli Health Ministry closing down two beaches, and a ground water pumping station due to sewage accumulating in Wadi Hanun, near the Israeli border (photo above). With no better example than this to demonstrate the interdependency of our shared environment, EcoPeace is calling on all sides to reconsider the cut in electricity to Gaza in order to avoid a humanitarian, ecological and security disaster. Read more in these articles by the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz.

Later in the month, at the Knesset’s Dead Sea Caucus, Mr. Bromberg presented EcoPeace’s position on how best to stabilize the receding level of the Dead Sea. We were encouraged by words from the Jordanian Ambassador who was in attendance as well, who specifically mentioned the good work being carried out by EcoPeace on regional water issues.
EcoPeace “Water Cannot Wait” Project Highlighted in New Academic Research Report

A new research report, A future for Israeli-Palestinian peacebuilding, authored by Dr. Ned Lazarus, a visiting Professor at George Washington University and before that the Middle East Program Director for Seeds of Peace, shows that; grassroots Israeli-Palestinian peacebuilding projects work!; are a vital missing ingredient in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process; and should receive much more support from the international community.
EcoPeace’s ‘Water Cannot Wait’ project was a case study for the report, with one of the key findings stating that “Peace building projects change policy”. The report is also prefaced by Jonathan Powell, the chief British negotiator during the Northern Ireland Peace Process.
Regional Alumni Seminar

The heat of July in the Jordan Valley didn’t discourage EcoPeace young leaders from Palestine, Jordan and Israel to meet together and learn about the complexities of water issues in the Middle East and explore the solutions that EcoPeace suggests. The young leaders are Water Trustee Alumni who grew up, some from the age of 13, in the Good Water Neighbor project in their local community.

Equipped with background on their local water problems and vision for a sustainable future, the youth discussed their model of environmental leadership. They analyzed how water has affected regional trends, such as women’s place in society, climate change and conflict. They went on to assess how EcoPeace’s projects, such as the Jordan River Master Plan and the Water Energy Nexus initiative, can address regional challenges and aspire to a better future. The Alumni also developed activity stations and a special treasure hunt to explore the environmental aspects of the SHE EcoPark. At the graduation ceremony Mr. Munqeth Meyhar, Jordanian EcoPeace Director, congratulated the young leaders and said they give him hope for a better future in the Middle East. Read more in this blog written by one of the Alumni.

EcoPeace’s Good Water Neighbors project is supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and USAID West Bank/Gaza CMM.
Good Water Neighbors II in Bosnia-Herzegovina

A 2nd phase of the Good Water Neighbors project has begun in Bosnia-Herzegovina, led by the NGO Center for Ecology and Energy (CEE) in Tuzla, (supported by the Bosch Foundation). Following a successful one year pilot project focused on youth and GIS mapping in the Spreca River Basin, they are now expanding to the adult sector. This next phase will see the development of a “Neighbors Path”, a “Big Jump” event, and other activities that follow our model of environmental peacebuilding. We wish them continued success and will stay in close contact to assist if needed.

EcoPeace at the Israeli Ecology & Science Conference

Another opportunity to present our newly published research paper “Decoupling National Water Needs for National Water Supplies: Insights and Potential for Countries in the Jordan Basin” was at the Annual Ecology and Science Conference in Herzilya this month. EcoPeace staff Water Officer Nadav Tal, explained how the report demonstrates a promising avenue for improved regional water security within the current limits of water availability, drawing on regional best practices and showing significant knowledge and institutional challenges to achieve this.
The conference included ecology and science experts from all over Israel, academics, and professionals from the private sector.

This research was funded by the British Council and took place in partnership with Oxford University in the UK and the WANA Institute in Jordan.
EcoPeace Website Goes Trilingual

Our website has gone trilingual! Look for the language buttons on the top of the homepage, near our red Donate button.

We also updated our “share” buttons, now found on the right side of each page, and have updated all our emails to end in, similar to our website domain (although emails will still be forwarded!)

EcoPeace’s 5-Year Strategy

We are happy to share our brochure summarizing our 2017-2021 Strategic 5 Year Plan that outlines our mission, vision, the strategic objectives of both our bottom-up and town-down programming. Helpful as well is as a concise, visual one-page “pyramid” version of this strategy. They are both posted on our new webpage “Our Strategy”.

Please share the documents to those that might be interested in learning about our work and mission.