Israeli-Palestinian-International Academic Conference on Water for Life
October 10-14, 2004
We, two hundred participants in the Second Israeli-Palestinian-International Water for Life Conference held in Antalya, Turkey (October 10-14, 2004) complete our sessions with a sense of optimism. After four days of discussions, it is clear that the Palestinian and Israeli participants, along with their international partners remain committed to solving the many challenges associated with water quantity and quality in our region.
Water, so essential for life, is crucial for the region. Human activities caused most of our water problems and people can solve them. But this will require coordination and cooperation. The Israeli-Palestinian agreement with its water provisions, signed ten years ago was interim in nature, and anticipated a final, more comprehensive agreement. Since that time, the hydrological situation, shortages and contamination have grown more severe. Technological, regulatory and political solutions exist and need not wait until a comprehensive peace agreement is reached to be applied.
We therefore call upon leaders in the region, the private sector, and the international community to reengage on the issue and for scientists, professionals and NGOís to resume cooperation, ensuring that water demand and supply management remain an issue that unifies and builds bridges, rather than dividing our peoples.
We recommend that governments of the region and the international community undertake a commitment to support the development and implementation of collaborative work on the following issues (listed without priority):
∑ Center for excellence for research and training
∑ Transboundary and watershed management, pollution prevention
∑ Socio-economic aspects of water supply and demand management
∑ Sustained agriculture production in arid areas such as our region
∑ Water resources augmentation
∑ Climate impacts on the regionís water resources