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Arava Institute for Environmental Studies Spotlighted at UN

Workshop Sponsored by Hadassah Looks at Jordan River Water Usage and Rights
Genever McBain

(New York, NY -- August 16, 2007) -- A model of environmental cooperation in the Middle East will be front and center at the upcoming 60th Annual DPI/NGO Conference at the United Nations, Wednesday, September 5-Friday, September, 7. The conference, titled “Climate Change: How it Impacts Us All,” will not only review the scientific evidence of the earth’s changing weather patterns, but will propose a plan of action to counter the catastrophic impact of these changes.

Water issues in the Middle East will be examined in a special workshop featuring representatives of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, based on Kibbutz Ketura in Southern Israel. “Water Security and Climate Change,” is sponsored by Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, and co-sponsored by the World Council of Conservative/Masorti Synagogues and the International Council of Jewish Women.

Water rights to the Jordan River, bounded by five countries, are already fractious. With the advent of climate change, experts expect the relationship among the boundary countries to become even more difficult, and in the absence of a jointly accepted, integrated water resources management plan, water security is likely to worsen.

This workshop, led by David Lehrer, Director, Arava Insitute, will discuss the elements necessary for the implementation of a joint water commission that can be put in place to meet the challenges posed by climate change and political tensions in the region. Speakers include Dr. Clive Lipchin, Director of Research at the Institute and three Arava students: an Israeli, Roey Angel; a Palestinian, Dana Rassas; and a Jordanian, Suleiman Halasah.

The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies is a regional center for environmental leadership. By encouraging environmental cooperation between peoples, the Arava Institute is working towards peace and sustainable development on a regional and global scale. The Institute is situated on Kibbutz Ketura in Israel's Southern Arava Valley – a desert in the Syrio-African rift near the Jordanian and Egyptian borders and the Gulf of Aqaba/Eilat. The Institute is home to academic programs, research and public involvement.

Kibbutz Ketura was founded by a small group of young North Americans, graduates of the Young Judaea Year Course, at the close of the Yom Kippur War in November 1973. Young Judaea is solely sponsored by Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, and is its Zionist youth movement.

More than 2,000 representatives of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from over 80 countries are expected to attend roundtables, panels and workshops during the three-day event, organized by the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) in collaboration with the NGO/DPI Executive Committee. For more information: (212) 303-8169 or izaia@hadassah.org.

Date: 8/16/2007 12:00:00 AM

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