EcoPeace harnesses natural resources for peace in the region

The main objective of EcoPeace Middle East is to promote cooperation and to protect the region’s shared environmental heritage.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits an old army outpost overlooking the Jordan Valley last June.  (photo credit: ABIR SULTAN / REUTERS)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits an old army outpost overlooking the Jordan Valley last June.
(photo credit: ABIR SULTAN / REUTERS)
EcoPeace Middle East is uniting unlikely allies to fight against climate change in the Middle East.
With offices in Amman, Ramallah and Tel Aviv, the organization is bringing Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians together to help combat climate change that not only affects the region, but the rest of the world.
Due to the region's desert climate, water equality and security between the Palestinians and Israel is an important subject for its citizens. EcoPeace’s conference that was held in early December proposed a new initiative: harnessing the power of sunlight and the sea to power water desalination and power for the region, as well as encouraging development of green jobs and climate-smart investments around the Jordan Valley area.
The main objective of EcoPeace Middle East is to promote regional cooperation and to protect the region’s shared environmental heritage. As a result, one of its goals is to inspire cooperation and eco-conscience peace-building initiatives.
The EcoPeace report's recommendations are built on concepts and programs that have been in development and implemented by the organization over the last 26 years.
Officials from the region expressed their support for this initiative. Dr. Marwan al-Raggad, from Jordan, who is the executive director of the Inter-Islamic Network on Water Resources Development and Management (INWRDAM), described the concept as “visible action that will provide mutual gains and leave no one behind.”
Israeli and Palestinian officials both voiced support for new cross-border cooperation.
MK Miki Haimovich, chair of the Knesset's Environmental Protection Committee, expressed her hope that “the cross-border environmental issue can be the foundation for shared dialogue and advancement of peace in the region.”
Ranking Palestinian minister and adviser of the Negotiations Affairs Department Dr. Shaddad al-Atilli also lent his support, stating, “I extend my hand, as an official, and I will be your champion of the Palestinian community to start working on having a solution of a shared water environment.”
Former and current US and EU officials also expressed their support for the innovative plan. EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process Susanna Terstal applauded the work of EcoPeace and acknowledged the “Green Blue Deal” as a valuable proposal. Former US ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro and now Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) supported the idea, stating there are “many opportunities to take the ideas of the 'Green Blue Deal' [and] apply them to this principle that the Biden administration comes in with, which is keeping [the two-state solution] alive and viable, [and] shortening the distance between the next negotiations.”