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Ecopeace

Skoll Entrepreneur(s): Munqeth Mehyar, Nader al Khateeb and Gidon Bromberg
Award Year: 2009
Focus Area(s) Addressed: Water and Sanitation

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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 Middle East. 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 OCT. 2014:

  • The West Bank village of Battir was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in part thanks to EcoPeace Middle East’s work.
  • In Oct. 2014, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman devoted part of a column to EcoPeace Middle East, focusing on their Jordan River work and their most recent efforts to shed light on the Gaza water crisis.
  • EcoPeace Middle East 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.  EcoPeace Middle East’s take: “Although the politicians are tagging this as the ‘Red Dead Canal’ project, it is far from it. Gidon Bromberg, Israeli Director of EcoPeace Middle East, explains in this op-ed The Red-Dead pipe dream.”
  • EcoPeace Middle East 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.

Also:

  • EcoPeace Middle East has 11 active projects. See them all here: http://foeme.org/www/?module=projects-new
  • EcoPeace Middle East 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 EcoPeace Middle East 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:

 

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