"Good Water Neighbors" share their “water messages” on both local and global stages
Many Good Water Neighbor youth events coincided with World Water Day this year. Youth Water Trustees met and toured their joint water basins of the Alexander/Zomar stream, Abu Nar/Hadera stream, Lower Jordan River, the Soreq stream and the Yarkon stream. They learnt about hydrology, the ecological history of the streams and enjoyed the blossoming nature of the spring season. You can see what the Water Trustees have to say about water on the international "Water messengers" site. To see some of our Palestinian, Jordanian, and Israeli and water messages, follow the links!
Over 1000 residents living along the banks of the Jordan River attended the “Streaming the Jordan” event on March 21st – an event hosted by EcoPeace Middle East, the Kinneret Drainage Authority, and the Jordan Valley Regional Council. The event brought together residents to educate them about the changes to the river, to bring people back to the river to enjoy its natural surroundings, and to empower the community to be part of the rehabilitation and the future maintenance of the river. The event included a 4.5 km walk along the banks of the river as well as music, food, and natural art activities for children.
Also this month, two of our alumni water trustees held a "cross border water" activity for youth and represented EcoPeace in the Emek Hefer Regional Council's Annual March. In the activity prepared by the alumni, youth were instructed to carry a glass of water along a “stream route with no borders.” On the way they encountered many obstacles: oil, hazardous chemicals (red syrup), and salt, that were put in the glasses of water. A "farmer” even asked for youth to pour their now-polluted water on his plants. The activity illustrated that joint efforts are needed to keep our shared water clean.
In line with the Good Water Neighbors project's new "basin approach", EcoPeace together with the HaBesor / Shikma Drainage Authority held a round table discussion aimed at creating a full picture regarding all sources of pollution of the Hebron / Besor Basin, and to better understand the responsibility of each stakeholder in the basin. Participants included: HaBesor Drainage Authority, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Environmental Protection, representatives of the local Farmer's Association of Bney Shimon RC and representatives of the sewage treatment department in the Water Authority.
Battir's WATCH DAY event!
Battir's inclusion on the World Monument Fund's (WMF) Watch List last year helped to bring attention to the unique landscape of the village. This action, along with many other efforts, made possible the listing of Battir as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This month, EcoPeace partnered with the Battir village in a special Watch Day event in the context of the WMF Watch List; it was a great day packed full of educational and fun activities that showcased the beautiful landscape of the area.
This event was partially sponsored by the World Monuments Fund Watch Day.
"Good Water Neighbors" in Bosnia off to a good start!
News from our friends in Bosnia, from the Center for Ecology and Energy, tell us that youth are already learning how to monitor the water quality in the Spreca River, and are looking forward to sharing and comparing their results with their neighboring community soon. Click here for more photos.
This comes after a rocky beginning though, where one school suddenly backed out of its participation in the program, fearing their reputation from making contact with the 'other' ethnic community, while another school that was then approached, jumped at the opportunity to join, citing it as the best way to build bridges across their ethnic divide. This is an all-too familiar scenario for EcoPeace, and we say BRAVO to the CEE team for navigating through this hurdle and explaining the benefits of working together.
Intractable Peacebuilding: EcoPeace’s environmental peacemaking model
EcoPeace Middle East is proud to be one of the organizations profiled in this new research study "Intractable Peacebuilding: Innovation and Perseverance in the Israeli-Palestinian Context" undertaken by Ned Lazarus from the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, at George Mason University.
The paper profiles initiatives that have established models and strategies for peacebuilding in a hostile context, which can serve as points of reference and inspiration to people engaged in similar struggles around the world. Read more in this blog, and in the paper itself.
The "Good Water Neighbors" project is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).