News from Friends of The Earth Middle East

The latest Environmental Peacemaking bulletin and cheap politics on the Dead Sea.

“FoEME is calling for the reform/replacement of the Joint Water Committee with a new body where Palestinians and Israelis are true partners in both water supply and management responsibilities.  FoEME is producing a new report on the issue of Israeli / Palestinian official water cooperation that will review the different reports of the Water Authorities and the World Bank.

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FoEME continued to promote cross border peace building efforts, focusing on the tourism sector, by inviting Israeli and Palestinian tour guides and tour operators, as well as active adults from several participating “Good Water Neighbors” communities to visit the project’s Neighbors Paths in Southern Jordan.

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At the annual EU Green Week conference, on June 23-26, an important session on Climate Change took place in Brussels, with FoEME’s Jordanian Director, Munqeth Mehyar speaking under the title “The Mediterranean Region, a Climate Change Hot Spot”.

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Friends of the Earth Middle East organized 2 events on June 4, one in Ramallah and one in Tel Aviv, for the launching of a new report “Rising Temperatures, Rising Tensions” written by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), an independent Canadian environment and development research institute.

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There’s more to read. The bulletin (should be available on the site in the next few days):

And cheap politics:

Dead Sea Subject to Cheap Politics

June 30, 2009
Tel Aviv

Statements made this past weekend by Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development Mr. Silvan Shalom, that the World Bank has approved a $1.25 Billion pilot plan of the proposed Red-Dead Canal, and the response yesterday of the World Bank citing that no agreement on funding has been reached, highlights that politicians are using the Red Dead Canal project for their own political image and not out of concern for the Dead Sea.

FoEME deplores the cheap politics that the Red-Dead project seems to attract.

Gidon Bromberg, Israeli Director of Friends of the Earth Middle East, says “the actions of these last days emphasize the need for greater integrity to be shown by all sides. Commitments previously made must be kept, such as the commitment of the Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian parties, together with the World Bank, to undertake a study of alternatives to the Red-Dead Canal as a means to saving the Dead Sea.”

Despite this pledge made over a year ago, the parties have failed to launch the Alternative Study, nor have they been able to agree on its Terms of Reference. Additionally, the public was assured that the World Bank would create a high-level panel of experts that would oversee the integrity of all studies being implemented by the World Bank. These obligations have not been met.

FoEME is calling on the World Bank to declare to the parties that either an Independent Alternative Study be launched and a high-level panel created immediately, or that the World Bank withdraws from the project.

For more information, please contact:

Gidon Bromberg – Israeli Director, FoEME; gidon@foeme.org +972-52-4532597
Mira Edelstein – Foreign Media Officer; mira@foeme.org; +972-54-6392937

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