Toward a Peace Park between Israel and Jordan

Green Cross France is co-financing the feasibility study for the Abdullah Rotenberg Peace Park. This park located on the border between Israel and Jordan has become an ecotourist destination that will attract Israelis and Jordanians to the sanctuary. With both ecological and tourist aspects, this park project, established on a historical site, will be equally important as a hope for peace in the region.

The municipalities of Muaz Bin Jabal in Jordan, the Regional Council of the Jordan Valley and the Regional Council of Beit Shean in Israel together with Friends of the Earth Middle East (FOEME) are launching this eco-tourism project along the common frontier between Israel and Jordan, from the Peace Island to the Three Bridges site of Gesher, dating from Roman, Ottoman and Mandate times. The mayors of the three cities have signed a protocol of agreement to build the park at the historical Rotenberg hydroelectric power station at the juncture of the Lower Jordan and Yarmuk Rivers and the historical crossing point of the Jordan River at the Three Bridges site.
This project has the dual objective of establishing a natural habitat for different native animals and birds and attracting migratory birds by offering them a resting place to break their journey. This park will become a unique ecotourism location for travelers in Israel and Jordan and will be a cultural bridge between the two nations.
The completion of this project would offer numerous advantages to the two countries. The Peace Park would be a new source of revenue for the Jordanians and Israelis, notably from a sizeable increase in tourism to the region. In addition the park will soon become recognized as essential for the conservation of local animals and plant life. As the park is developed and the lakebed is re-flooded, the 500 million migrating birds which fly twice a year over the valley will find a new resting place. The park will also help conserve many of the migrating bird species which are endangered and provide them with a natural refuge. Furthermore, the creation of a cross-border Peace Park would contribute to good relations between Israelis and Jordanians. Not least, the establishment of a park between the Jordan and Yarmuk rivers would be a first step in the rehabilitation of these rivers.
King Abdullah II expressed his enthusiastic support to this project and firmly believes that this park could contribute to good neighborly relations between Israeli and Jordanian residents.
Green Cross is responsible for the coordination and course of the Feasibility Study. If the results are encouraging, the funding for the park as well as the agreement of the political authorities involved will be easier to obtain. Green Cross will play the role of mediator between the different stakeholders.

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