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Interview With Elad Orian: Building Wind and Solar Energy for Palestinians With COMET

Rachel interviews Elad Orian, co-founder of COMET – Community, Energy, and Technology in the Middle East. He’s creating solar power for Palestinian villages. Through sustainable energy development for off-grid villages, the project aims to socially and economically empower Palestinian communities of the South Mount Hebron region, one of the poorest and most marginalized areas within […]

Study on Radioactive Jordanian Groundwater Sparks Controversy

An aquaduct in Petra – A Jordanian water conveyance system that is much less controversial! A major study published last week found levels of radioactive isotopes in Jordan’s Disi aquifer that far exceed international drinking water standards.  The study, which was conducted by a team of Israeli, Palestinian, and Jordanian scientists and led by Duke […]

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Supermodels, Free Parking, Biblical Parchments All Part of Israel's Zany Solutions for Combatting Water Shortage

Israel has officially pulled out all the stops for water conservation: Last month, Israeli officials led by Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon sought to combat the country’s urgent water crisis by changing all the mezuzot in the Water Authority offices (Jews traditionally affix a mezuzah, a piece of parchment inscribed with verses from the Torah, to […]

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High Radioactive Content Found in Jordanian Groundwater

The Middle East is pretty thirsty right now.  Headlines from all over the region chronicle the increasingly serious drought conditions affecting agriculture, industry, and health. Unfortunately, new research from the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science & Technology adds reason for even more concern. In their study, “High Naturally Occurring Radioactivity in Fossil Groundwater from the Middle […]

Saudi Oil Minister Calls Renewable Energy a "Nightmare"

This week, executives of major oil companies met at the Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) annual conference in Houston, Texas and (finally!) expressed a willingness to help combat global climate change.  This is a major step, because these companies denied the existence of global warming and deliberately tried to obstruct political progress on the issue […]

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Recent Gaza Conflict Has Environmental Impacts, Too!

As the dust settles on the recent round of violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, reports indicate that the environmental damage is another unfortunate byproduct of the war. The political situation aside, Gaza’s ecological conditions are already conducive to groundwater pollution.  The sandy desert soil tends to absorb water – or pollutants […]

Arab Climate Alliance Perspective on Poznan Climate Talks

This past Friday we saw the conclusion of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poznan, Poland.  This two-week long conference brought together representatives from 189 countries for talks to lay the groundwork for Copenhagen in 2009, where the convention signatories have agreed to finalize a global treaty for the post-2012 period (2012 is when […]

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FoEME to Hold Conference on Shared Mountain Aquifer

Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) is a longtime advocate of sustainability and environmental peacebuilding in the region.  Fresh off the pages of Time Magazine, where FoEME’s directors were recently named Heroes of the Environment 2008, FoEME is hosting a conference next week as part of the Pro-Aquifer project. Over the past two years, […]

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European Union to Help Protect Palestinian Environment

For Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, lack of infrastructure is a big obstacle for protecting the environment.  Old and malfunctioning infrastructure (or often none at all!) for properly managing things like solid waste and sewage is a major threat to the Palestinian (and Israeli!) environment. Luckily, however, the European Union announced earlier this […]

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Ras Al-Ayn: A Model for Composting in Israel!

Israel’s search for solutions to solid waste management has been no secret. Last year, for instance, the Knesset passed new taxes for dumping in landfills, and a law requiring businesses to recycle tires. Luckily, it’s not only the policymakers who are working on the problem, and it’s not only the Jewish sector either! Ras al-Ayn, […]

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Neighbors' Paths: Eco-Tourism AND Eco-Peace!

Over the past few months, we’ve seen a lot of Prophecies about eco-tourism all over the Middle East. There are dozens of eco-travel options in Jordan, Lebanon, Iran, Syria, Egypt, and Yemen. There is also, however, a very special opportunity for eco-tourism right here within our own borders – and those of our neighbors. Since […]

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Palestinian Agro-Industrial Park: A Sustainable Plan?

Leaders from Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority concluding talks in Tokyo yesterday with the announcement that they plan to start building an agro-industrial park in the Palestinian Territories by next year. The agro-industrial park could provide jobs for up to 6,000 Palestinians in the West Bank. According to Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura, the […]