Gidon received a masters’ in international environmental law at American University in 1993, focusing on the environmental implications of peace. He feared unsustainable regional development plans were being vetted as part of the then-nascent Oslo peace efforts. Gidon brought together Egyptian, Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian environmentalists to create EcoPeace (also known as Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME)). Munqeth co-founded the organization and now serves as chair and Jordanian director. Nader joined as Palestinian director in 2001 at a critical time for keeping the tripartite nature of the organization alive.
IMPACT AS OF JUNE 2014:
- The West Bank village of Battir was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in part thanks to FoEME’s work.
- FoEME is a key voice in the ongoing debate about whether it is possible to use the Red Sea to replenish the shrinking Dead Sea. They commented extensively in the press on the new water agreement signed on Dec. 9, 2013. FoEME’s take: “Although the politicians are tagging this as the ‘Red Dead Canal’ project, it is far from it. Gidon Bromberg, Israeli Director of FoEME, explains in this op-ed The Red-Dead pipe dream.”
- FoEME has involved over 10,000 Palestinian, Jordanian and Israeli neighboring residents in neighbors path tours to learn about their crossborder water issues, highlighting the interdependent nature of the water resource and the need for cooperation to advance sustainable solutions.
- To rehabilitate the Jordan River and stabilize the Dead Sea, they are:
- Creating the region’s first master plan for the entire lower Jordan River valley and bringing thousands of the region’s youths together to learn.
- Promoting a joint Basin Commission to manage the Jordan for everyone’s benefit.
- Publishing the only science on what the Jordan River needs to be sustainable (see it here) and to stabilize the Dead Sea.
- Creating the trans-boundary Jordan River Peace Park, a key project to return fresh water to the Jordan and demonstrate the value of ecotourism.
- FoEME has 11 active projects. See them all here: http://foeme.org/www/?module=projects-new
- FoEME has leveraged an investment of over $70 million from local governments and donor states in water and sanitation infrastructure solutions in the expanded 25 Good Water Neighboring communities, rewarding them for identifying common visions and solutions.
- The FoEME methodology of linking topdown and bottomup advocacy for concrete problem solving has been recognized and adopted for replication in conflict areas by key donor institutions such as USAID and the European Commission and policy institutions, such as the United Nations Environment Program.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THEIR WORK: