The project is being executed in the period from 1 September 2012 until 15 June 2015.
EcoPeace Middle East undertook the development of a Transboundary NGO Basin Plan for the Lower Jordan River Basin, which is shared by the Jordanians, Israeli and Palestinians. The project was financed by the EU SWIM Program. Jeroen Kool and Patrick Huntjens performed key roles as project manager and governance expert in execution of this important project.
The Lower Jordan Valley is well known for its unique historic, religious, cultural, economic and environmental values, not at least due to its typical rift valley topography and the unique mineral composition of the Dead Sea waters. The Lower Jordan River originates at the Sea of Galilee and meanders along 200 km down to the Dead Sea through the Jordan Valley. Over 300,000 people live on both sides of the Lower Jordan River.
Almost the entire water inflow into the Lower Jordan River has been diverted; the river currently holds about 2 % of the river’s historic natural flow. Furthermore the river is heavily polluted by the inflow of untreated wastewater and salt water. This has severe impacts on the river system itself, as well as to the area’s unique ecosystem and to the approximate 500 million migratory birds that used to migrate through the Jordan basin twice a year. The main challenge for the Lower Jordan Valley is to develop national NGO master plans for Palestine and Jordan, and to develop one single cohesive trans-boundary Master Plan for the Lower Jordan Valley.
We created these NGO master plans for the Lower Jordan River by developing and harmonizing national master plans into a single cohesive trans-boundary master plan that could be advanced in full or in part by the decision makers – both unilaterally at the national level and/or at the regional level. The Master Plan shall be steered by principles of sustainable development including environmental flows provided through its natural resources; a healthy eco-system; equitable sharing of water resources; free public accessibility for all nationalities within an appropriate security framework; and a healthy economic development perspective.