Photo: Gunnar Olvik
Field Visit – Friends of the Earth Middle East
A scarce resource – good news from the Middle East.
On 22nd of September a joint Swedish delegation with participants from Sida HQ, the Swedish Embassy in Amman and Tel Aviv and the Consulate in Jerusalem joined Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) for a field trip to the West Bank to better understand the cooperation over water and the environment that is promoted at the regional level by FoEME (www.foeme.org ).
FoEME, which enjoys Swedish support, is a joint Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian organization which focuses much its work on the Jordan River basin through its “Good Water Neighbors” programme. During the tour the delegation visited among others the Baptism site at the Palestinian side of the Jordan River; visited FoEMEs Eco-centre in Auja as well as the Battir Village, whose terraced agricultural practice - which is still in use today after thousands of years - was recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in danger. The participants in the visit learned about how FoEME is successfully promoting cooperation between communities across the border between Israel, Palestine and Jordan that have shared water resources. Using a variety of means – including education, media campaigns, research – FoEME is able to show that cooperation over shared water resources is a win-win solution.