Though much of peacebuilding work is focused on human relationships, ALLMEP member EcoPeace’s mission is to promote cooperation efforts between Palestinians, Israelis, and Jordanians in order to protect their shared environment.The organization bridges barriers and overcomes ideological differences by focusing on the endangered ecological environment of the region.
EcoPeace conducts crucial projects and serves as a prominent voice on issues like the water crisis in Gaza, political battles over water shortfalls in the region, and the shrinking of the Dead Sea. In the Gaza Strip, 97% of freshwater is not suitable for humans to consume and raw sewage pours into the Mediterranean Sea, the Dead Sea is shrinking at an alarmingly fast rate, and the region is experiencing a widespread water shortfall, which has been exacerbated by the ongoing political battles between Israelis and Palestinians.
Throughout these crises, EcoPeace has been a strong and consistent voice, calling for regional cooperation and a commitment to working together to face the environmental issues that will eventually impact everyone in the region regardless of identity.
EcoPeace’s work and their calls to action have received wide praise across the globe, from their projects recently highlighted in outlets like PBS to the release of their important new paper expounding serious environmental challenges in the region. EcoPeace’s co-founders recently received the prestigious Stanford Award for Global Sustainability, and their work is increasingly understood as an essential and prudent component of the peace process in the region.
In a statement to PBS on political battles over the region’s water shortages, the Executive Director of EcoPeace said:
The threat of climate change is so great in this region that, if we don’t work with our neighbors, then we’re also at peril.
The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies is a global pioneer in environmental peacebuilding and education, bringing together Jewish and Arab students to study and conduct joint research on the environment and natural issues in the region since 1996. The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development promotes an interreligious vision for environmental sustainability by encouraging the cooperation of leaders and communities in the region and across the globe.
Together, these organizations endeavor to bring people together not only in order to build mutual respect and understanding but to also tackle some of the greatest issues facing the region’s shared environment.
Read more about EcoPeace’s work here:
- EcoPeace – “Climate Change, Water Security, and National Security for Jordan, Palestine, and Israel”
- PBS – “Arid Middle East faces political battles over water shortfalls”
- PBS – “Water crisis may make Gaza Strip uninhabitable by 2020″
- SkyNews – “Dead Sea: Biblical wonder is facing ‘environmental disaster in slow motion'”
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