Vote for EcoPeace Middle East
EcoPeace Middle East is an organization that brings together Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian environmentalists in order to promote cooperation and peace in the region.
What do EcoPeace Middle East do?
EcoPeace Middle East is a unique charity that combines tackling environmental issues with working towards sustained peace in the region in what they call, ‘environmental peacemaking’. The organization brings together Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian environmentalists to work on shared environmental projects to advance both sustainable regional development and create the necessary conditions for lasting peace in the area.
The rationale behind the projects is that both the people and wildlife of the region are reliant on shared natural resources and therefore that cooperation in their upkeep is not only beneficial but necessary for everyone. EcoPeace Middle East works on many different projects connected to the geography of the region, socio-economic issues and climate change. Shared responsibility of these projects creates a springboard for communication between communities who are separate from one another as well as addressing essential environmental issues which exacerbate the social tension in the region. For example, the Good Water Neighbours project identifies cross border communities, and utilises their mutual dependence on water sources to develop dialogue and cooperation regarding sustainable water management. These projects don’t only engage the adults of the community but also bring together groups of youth to meet, discuss and work on the sustainability of their area.
Why vote for EcoPeace Middle East?
From my experience living here in Israel for just over a year I can see that projects like this are now more important than ever. After every operation, war or attack people are growing further and further apart and become more fearful of ‘the other’. It is rare for young Israelis and Palestinians to meet and opportunities for them to work together on shared projects are almost non-existent. I believe that such a reality builds separation, fear and misunderstanding, leaving a generation that cannot see hope for the region, as young people today have no experience of living beside their neighbours. Furthermore, what I have witnessed is that a nation which loses hope in its society does not take ownership or care for their land. This is clear in many of the beautiful natural reserves in Israel where people leave huge amounts of litter and sewage builds up in water.
Projects such as the Good Water Neighbours project, and many others give people ownership of their space and their situation. As a result of the destruction caused from this summer’s tragic flare up of violence many areas which EcoPeace Middle East work with have been directly affected, including communities involved in the Good Water Neighbours project. These communities find themselves in great need of sanitary water.
After the events of this summer, the separation and hopelessness in the region feels truer than ever. I therefore nominate EcoPeace Middle East as I believe that their process of ‘environmental peacemaking’ is essential not only to deal with immediate problems of water and environment but also for their long term goal of creating lasting peace in the area.
Nominated by Anna Posner