Dear friends,

We hope our newsletter finds you safe and well wherever you are in the world.

In the lead up to the Conference of the Parties (COP 26), the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, EcoPeace has been working hard to garner support for our proposed Green Blue Deal for the Middle East to address climate change and advance peace in our region. As you can imagine, we were thrilled when New York Times award winning columnist, Thomas Friedman, took the opportunity to praise the report. Friedman was invited to discuss if the Middle East will survive the climate crisis without an overhaul of the geopolitical crisis. As expected, he offered a brilliant analysis of the situation and, in terms of a solution, a strong endorsement of our proposed Green Blue Deal for the Middle East. In his own words:

“…to me the beauty of the Green Blue Deal is it talks about not only giving us a framework, or adaptation as a complex adaptive coalition, but it both brings and requires governance. That will help stabilize every partner in this deal from the Palestinian Government, the Jordanian Government to the Israeli Government.”

You can watch the conversation here.

Please read on for other highlights. And, if you represent an organization that would like to endorse the Green Blue Deal, or for more information, please contact:


The EcoPeace TeamEcoPeace in the Media
 September 24, A Conversation on Geopolitics & Climate Change with EcoPeace and Thomas Friedman, High Atlas Foundation, by Gabrielle Rosario

September 29, Climate change: Water scarcity brings Israel and Jordan closer, Paris Beacon

Bottom Up Education


Exalt Project On September 27, 2021 EcoPeace Middle East kicked off its Exalt Project in partnership with the Hohenheim university and the Institute of Agricultural Sciences in the Tropics (Hans-Rothenberg-Institute) – Germany.The aim of the project is to couple thermal desalination with hydroponic greenhouse cultivation via heat pumps to enable the use of saline water in arid subtropical areas for crop production without polluting the environment with brine. Baseline studies will be conducted along salinity gradients of available irrigation water on both sides of the Jordan River. 
 Green Social Entrepreneurs Program  In Jordan, ambitious young professionals took part in an intensive two-day ideation and design lab workshop for what was the first national green social entrepreneurship event. The trainees started with the first stage at Intensive Design Labs where participants undertook a 2-day national training that combined a practical assessment of challenges in the water and environmental sector, with design thinking approaches, to provide useful knowledge of innovation processes and solution-oriented thinking. And all the feedback was positive and exciting!
 Teachers’ Refresher Course A 15-hour teachers’ refresher course took place in September aimed at helping teachers determine how best to deliver their prescribed lesson plans, particularly in the context of distance learning, and execute environmental projects at their local schools. The workshop consisted of brainstorming sessions, case studies, role playing and practical applications.
 Meeting with the Finnish Ambassador 

On September 7, EcoPeace Jordan Director, Yana Abu Taleb, met with HE Tarja Fernandez, Ambassador of Finland to Lebanon, Jordan and Chargée d´affaires in Syria, to discuss EcoPeace’s Green Blue Deal (GBD) for the Middle East. We were delighted to host the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, HE Pekka Haavisto, at our annual conference late last year and welcomed his support for the GBD. So this was an opportunity to build on that support and review the wider application of the water energy nexus project region-wide. 
 Water Diplomats In September, EcoPeace Jordan Director, Yana Abu Taleb, met with Jordan’s young Water Diplomats to share our efforts to promote regional solutions to climate change and water scarcity. Yana also spoke about the essential role water diplomacy can play in advancing cooperative efforts and conflict prevention.
  Neighbor Path Tours

4 Neighbors Path Tours were conducted throughout September designed to highlight the natural and cultural heritage of each one of our ‘Good Water Neighbor’ communities and to learn about their water resources. Many tours highlight the rich history found in the region but also reveal degradation and pollution, often “not seen” by local residents themselves. On September 25, a tour started from Jerash city, the first stop was to Abu Obeidah Shrine to learn about grey water reuse for irrigation and solar energy then to Tal Al Mantah Wastewater Treatment Plant to teach the participants how wastewater be treated in the Plant and to see the solar energy system installed in the station with the help of BMZ and cooperation with EcoPeace. The next stop was to the second part of the King Abdullah Canal to learn about the quality of water that flows in it, “the reclaimed water” which comes from King Talal Dam for irrigation only. Then to the water dike at the end of the first part of the King Abdullah Canal, which stores the water in order to be pumped to the Zai Station to be purified and sent to Amman for drinking. Then a visit to the beginning of the King Abdullah Canal, the Adasiya Tunnel, and the Adasiya Diversion Dam to learn how Jordan obtained its share of the waters of the Yarmouk River. The last stop in the tour in the Jordan Eco Park to learn how to treat gray water and wastewater, and to learn about biodiversity and the elements of sustainability in the park, and to learn about the purpose of constructing Zeglab Dam and when it was established.

 Neighbor Path Tours

On September 14, the EcoPeace Ramallah office conducted a Neighbor Path Tour for a group of 63 youth participants from Yatta – Hebron schools to the Jordan Valley and Jericho. The group explored environmental issues, and learned about the water and natural resources in this area.
Green Social Entrepreneurs ProgramFrom September 16-18, EcoPeace and SWEP conducted the first national workshop for the Green Social Entrepreneurship training programme in Ramallah. Local Palestinian young entreprenuers joined the workshop which included sessions on national and regional water realities, environmental challenges and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Green Social Entrepreneurs Program  

The first parallel national events of our new Green Social Entrepreneurs program took place in September in Israel, Jordan and Palestine. The events brought together keen entrepreneurs, who wish to learn how to build eco-ventures across the region and develop relationships between the entrepreneurs. In Israel participants enjoyed a myriad of activities, including a wonderful presentation by guest speaker Elad Shaviv, Co-founder and CEO of the Israeli Smart Energy Association (ISEA). Next month will be the first regional event.

Top Down – Advocacy

Climate Change: Entry point for regional peace in the wider Middle EastOn 2 September 2021, in conjunction with the Planetary Security Initiative of the Clingendael Institute, EcoPeace held a digital dialogue titled ”Climate change: Entry point for regional peace in the wider Middle East?” Four speakers from the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, including our own Jordan Director, Yana Abu Taleb, reflected on the potential merits of environmental peacebuilding in one of the world’s most politically sensitive regions where conflicts over identity and history are exacerbated by the impacts of climate change. You can watch the event here.
 EcoPeace at Climate Week NYC 

As part of the Climate Week NYC 2021 program, EcoPeace co-directors Gidon Bromberg (Israel), Nada Majdalani (Palestine) and Yana Abu Taleb (Jordan), hosted a session on our Green Blue Deal for the Middle East – which provides a road map for regional and international policy makers to meet the looming challenges of climate change and advance the two state solution. You can watch the event here.
 WWF/Youth4Climate EventOn September 19, EcoPeace staff joined a virtual session, organized by the World Wildlife Fund (Italy) and Youth4Climate (the international youth summit on climate before the pre-COP26 in Milan) about the need to mobilize young people to take action to tackle the climate crisis. Our Palestinian Projects Manager presented EcoPeace’s environmental peacebuilding methodology and our Green Bule Deal for the Middle East. Two alumni from our youth program, and young professionals from Jordan and Israel, shared their experience with EcoPeace Middle East. You can watch the event here.
2nd National Water-Energy Nexus Conference in JordanUnder the patronage of the Prime Minister of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, H.E. Dr. Bisher Al-Khasawneh, on September 15-16, EcoPeace Jordan Director, Yana Abu Taleb, attended the 2nd National Water-Energy Nexus Conference at the Hilton Dead Sea Resort in Jordan. The conference, organized by the University of Jordan in cooperation with the Water Authority of Jordan (WAJ) – Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MWI) and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), brings together European experts and national representatives from academia, industry, civil society, public authorities, research centers to explore and discuss opportunities related to the possibility of a water energy nexus in Jordan. This conference responded to the emerging needs, opportunities and challenges in water and energy. The purpose of the conference is to stimulate dialogue between energy and water sectors in Jordan and transfer best practices and expertise from Europe to Jordan. Yana shared EcoPeace’s experience promoting the water energy nexus concept on the regional level aimed at complimenting a national solution. And advancing such regional cooperation whether on limited cross border solar-based desalination, or broader water-energy needs in general, requires a multi-disciplinary multi-country effort of further studies to identify strategies to help overcome political obstacles and generate political will, based on studies related to environmental, economic and technical feasibility.

Public Events
 EcoPeace Presents at UNECE Water Convention Meeting of the Parties Side EventOn September 27, EcoPeace Israel Director, Gidon Bromberg, presented our vision of a Water Energy Nexus for Jordan, Israel and Palestine at an event titled “Water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus: Operationalizing solutions, strengthening transboundary cooperation”.
 EcoPeace Presents at WEFE Conference

On September 28, EcoPeace Israel Director, Gidon Bromberg, presented our vision of a Water Energy Nexus for the Middle East at the Water Energy, Food, Environment (WEFE) Nexus in the Mediterranean online Conference co-organized by the Cyprus Institute, designed to analyse the role of science as a driver of innovation for the sustainable development of the Mediterranean region, and its interfacing with the policy and decision-making processes. The conference also recommended practical measures on how to integrate new paths in research and planning across the WEFE Nexus, through a collaborative response throughout the Mediterranean region. The above activities are part of the Good Water Neighbors (GWN) project, which is generously supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida)

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