Dear friend,

We hope this newsletter finds you safe and well over the summer. 

This past month saw a wealth of activities take place in education, advocacy and extensive media coverage of our work. Please do take the time to read through our updates and get inspired by the depth and breadth of what our teams are doing on the ground to advance environmental peacebuilding.
Tragically, last month witnessed another violent escalation between Israel and Gaza with terrible loss of innocent lives, especially children. At the same time, some good news was reported out of Gaza – the easing of the sanitation crisis. With the completion of three modern sewage treatment plants in Gaza, this summer saw the public able to return to the beaches without fear of disease. Full credit goes to the Palestinian Water Authority and the international community for moving forward close to US$ 250 million in sanitation infrastructure. EcoPeace played an important role in convincing decision makers to prioritize water and sanitation solutions and to better understand the impacts of the crisis on cross border water and health security issues. EcoPeace is proud to have helped advance water and health security needs for the millions of people in Gaza and southern Israel.
EcoPeace in the Media and AcademiaAugust 5, 2022, Mitvim Institute Podcast, Interview with Gidon Bromberg on Middle East Climate Crisis and EcoPeace’s Green Blue Deal (Hebrew)

August 10, 2022, Haaretz, With no solutions to stop its decline, The Dead Sea is left without a hydrological Future, (Hebrew) by Tzfrir Rinat

August 14, 2022, NPR, Interview with Gidon Bromberg, A look at two sides of life in the Gaza Strip right now
by Daniel Estrin

August 18, 2022, Washington Post, Interview with all 3 EcoPeace Directors,  Jordan River – rich in holiness – poor in water
by Mariam Fam

August 19, 2022, Arte TV, Gaza – Finally a clean Sea. (German/French)

August 23, 2022, Turkish TRT World TV, Interview with Gidon Bromberg for World Water Week

August 24, 2022, Op Ed by EcoPeace Directors, Middle East Sun Power can Save Europe
Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA)
Bottom Up Education

Jordan River Virtual World – IHE Delft Workshop 
On the 5th of August EcoPeace had a virtual workshop with the IHE Institute of Water Education. A group of 15 students from the IHE institute, Doctorate and Master students engaged with the Jordan River virtual world that we developed. They ‘toured’ the “3 Border” region along the Jordan River where Jordan, the West Bank and Israel meet. Mahmoud, the Palestinian education officer presented the realities of water supply and management in the Palestinian village of Ein El Beida, Nawwar, the Program officer in Jordan, presented the water realities in the local Jordanian community, and Daniel, education officer in Israel, presented the realities in the Israeli kibbutz of Tirat Tzvi. We finalized the workshop by discussing potential solutions to the water issues in the Jordan Valley and how through regional cooperation, all stakeholders could benefit from a win-win-win situation. Student Tours

  On Aug-14. EcoPeace Palestine office, conducted a tour for 50 students from Al-Fawwar refugee camp in Hebron to visit Battir village, west of Bethlehem. Participants learned about the historical and environmental situation for Battir village as a World Heritage Site and EcoPeace’s efforts towards its preservation.  They learned about the importance of its biodiversity and how political divides are negatively impacting the site. Student Tours

 Aug-17. EcoPeace Palestine office, conducted a tour for 20 students from Al Fawwar refugee camp in Hebron, to visit Solomon’s Pool’s in Artas village and Ein Al-Hawiah in Hussan Village, south and west of Bethlehem. Students learned about the historical importance of the pools and the current environmental situation of the pools and the spring of Ein Al-Hawiah near Hussan.  They also learned about the negative effects of urban sprawl on the environment. Water & Climate in the Middle East – Teachers Seminar

 On Aug-21. EcoPeace Tel-Aviv office, conducted a 4 day seminar for 30 Israeli biology teachers, who will teach through 2022-2023 a first of a kind national pilot for high-school students – “Water & Climate in the Middle East”. The seminar included site visits down the Jordan Valley. Through the week we discussed water resource challenges in the region, causes and possible solutions, diverse teaching methods, combining technology and teaching outside of class.Youth Water Trustees – Meet up On August 17 Israeli Youth Trustees had a meet-up in the Tel Aviv office in order to begin the process of design and strategy of the youth year long projects. We had a design-thinking module that inspired the youth through brainstorming and the use of post-its to develop their ideas for their projects. We were able to come up with three potential projects; one using the podcast platform, another one was a short film campaign and the last one was an upcycling project. We also discussed the events that we had in summer for team bonding. Through out the year we will continue to have similar meet-ups in order to progress with the projects.
Teachers – In-house Training

 On August 18 EcoPeace held a training for the Israeli teachers that were not able to attend our events in the summer. We had an intensive training in our office that included the modules of Environmental Regional Cooperation, Negotiation and Transboundary Water Issues. Lastly, we held simulations in order to practice the content learned in the modules. The training focused only on the educational content and to complement the training, the teachers will attend tours of the designated sites around the region throughout the year. With this in-house training, we reached our goal to train 40 teachers who will then teach the water diplomacy curriculum to their classroom, around 1000 students. 
 Teachers Training – Collecting Feedback and Lessons Learned  On August 9th, participating Jordanian teachers were invited to the closing webinar of the teacher training program. The webinar discussed feedback, lessons learned, and teachers were encouraged to reflect on their experience of implementing the activities with their students. Each participating teacher was requested to submit an achievement file that includes the activities that were implemented during the training period, in addition to the challenges they faced.

 Youth Project in Al-Mafraq Industrial School for Boys

 On August 25th, students from Al-Mafraq industrial boys’ school in Jordan completed the building of a greywater system on their school campus. The students helped design and then build the system themselves including welding and mounting all the needed installments themselves as part of their industrial education stream. EcoPeace and the school is extremely proud of the students and their ability to take action to improve their environment.

EcoPeace is proud to partner with The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington in our Good Water Neighbors: Water Diplomacy in Israel projects.
Top Down Advocacy

On August 3rd, EcoPeace’s Ramallah office, conducted a tour to the Jordan Valley for a group of 11 staff members of the Office of Palestinian Affairs of the US Embassy. On August 4, a second tour to the Jordan Valley was organized for a J Street delegation to the region for staffers of members of the US Congress, and on August 18, EcoPeace Palestine Co-Director, Nada Majdalani, met with a delegation of key congressional staff organized by the Israel Policy Forum and led by Dr. Michael Koplow (IPF Chief Policy Officer) and Aaron Weinberg (Director of Government Relations). Nada discussed the Palestinian priorities of environmental peacebuilding and highlighted the critical work EcoPeace is undertaking in the region.

On August 19, EcoPeace Palestine Director, Nada Majdalani, participated in a discussion with Congressman Ted Deutch and his staff. The conversation focused on the USAID MEPPA award to EcoPeace, highlighting progress to date, and the many challenges and opportunities in people-to-people peacebuilding projects.
 Towards the end of August, a high-level delegation from the Finnish Foreign Ministry, headed by Ms. Riikka Eela, Director of the Middle East Unit, met with both Palestine and Israel Directors of EcoPeace to discuss how Finland could continue to help champion the Green Blue Deal for the Middle East.
The above activities are part of the Good Water Neighbors (GWN) project, which is generously supported by Sweden through the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida).