Friends of the Earth Middle East: 2013 Conferences
Friends of the Earth Middle East
November 24, 2013
By Mira Edelstein
EcoPeace/Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) would like to bring to your attention two regional conferences that were held recently in the Middle East:
Rehabilitation of the Jordan River: A Commitment to Faith
FoEME held a region wide conference on November 10-12, 2013 on the northern shore of the Dead Sea in Jordan, where senior clerics and representatives from the 3 monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – gathered together to learn about the current state of the Lower Jordan River and to endorse the “Covenant for the Jordan River” calling on regional governments to work together towards its rehabilitation.
By engaging Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities in Jordan, Palestine and Israel as well as internationally, through its widespread faith based advocacy campaign, FoEME aims to leverage support from faith based communities toward the rehabilitation of the Lower Jordan River.
Faith Based ‘Toolkits’ including Briefs for Christian, Muslim, and Jewish communities were presented at the regional conference, giving an introduction to the issue of the demise of the Jordan River as well as suggestions for how communities can act to support the river’s rehabilitation. More in-depth ‘Sourcebooks‘ are also available, offering a rich collection of scripture, sermons, essays and poems, songs and other tools to help leaders of each faith to engage their communities on the need to rehabilitate the River.
Good Water Neighbors Conference 2013
The Urgency of Shared Water Issues – Water Can No Longer Wait
FoEME’s annual “Good Water Neighbors” (GWN) conference, held this year on the occasion of the UN International Year of Water Cooperation, brought together more than 300 Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian political officials, municipal representatives, water experts, local residents and civil society representatives in Herzliya, Israel, on November 13-14, 2013.
Against the background of the renewed Israeli/Palestinian peace talks, the conference was designed to highlight the urgency and opportunities for all sides of addressing the unresolved cross-border water and sanitation issues.
Conference panels gave stage to high officials from Israel, the PA and Jordan as well as representatives of the international community. A live video link up between the GWN conference in Tel Aviv and The Hague Institute for Global Justice conference also being held on the occasion of the UN International Year of Water Cooperation in The Hague, Netherlands closed the 2nd day of the conference.
FoEME staff also gave updates on advances made on last year’s selection of concrete cross border projects called ‘Priority Projects’ and following community level participation released a new publication entitled “Community Based Problem Solving on Water Issues – Cross Border Priority Initiatives of the Good Water Neighbors Project” that details a new set of target water and sanitation priority projects.
Click here for the Agenda of the conference.
Click below for the “Priority Projects” presentations: