Upcoming IPCRI Events and Conferences
As result of the IPCRI Conference on “Public Awareness and the Environment” in Jerusalem in January, 2000, a core group of Israeli and Palestinian women encompassing all political and religious backgrounds who are concerned about the future health and well-being of their families have joined forces to create a Women and the Environment Coalition which will focus on grassroots activism on environmental issues affecting the region. U.S. and European women’s environmental groups are already actively supporting this initiative.
The environmental crises facing the region have been sorely neglected as a result of governmental preoccupation with political and security issues. The Women and the Environment Coalition envisions a dominant role for women in marshalling public awareness about crucial environmental issues and creating grassroots activism. The Women and the Environment Coalition will create a broad movement to mobilize the skills and energies of women throughout the region to have a positive impact on the maintenance and sustainability of the land, water, and air that they all share.
The creation of this coalition has been spearheaded by IPCRI and has the official backing of both the Israeli and the Palestinian Ministries of the Environment, as well as major women’s organizations on both sides, and individual women working within NGO’s concerned with the environment, peace, and dialogue.
Planned activities and target dates include:
1. Joint Seminar for Women and the Environment – January, 2001
Foreign and local experts will educate and raise awareness regarding critical environmental issues and be a catalyst for the development of future joint projects.
2. Grassroots Workshops in the field – January, 2001
Foreign and local environmental workers will empower local women in refugee camps in Gaza, Israeli development towns, and both Israeli and Arab impoverished villages to affect environmental changes in their own communities.
3. Joint training in areas such as water conservation which would be carried out in local communities -- commencing March, 2001
4. Joint Internet training -- April, 2001 – through the auspices of the American Cultural Center, Jerusalem -- for local environmental workers to learn how to access the World Wide Web for information, research, and networking.
5. Educational programs for children in schools and youth groups – commencing March 2001 to raise awareness of environmental issues and involve students in local projects.
6. Local beautification projects using neighborhood resources – commencing March, 2001.
7. Discussion groups following the seminar in January 2001 -- to identify what environmental problems each woman is facing and how to seek solutions. This information will be used as a basis for future workshops and educational programs.
8. Peace Garden -- a joint project cultivating a garden of local plants and flowers in a mutually accessible area, creating a setting for relaxation, cooperation, and educational programs. – The search for a suitable site has already begun.
WOMEN AND THE ENVIRONMENT:
A CALL TO ACTIONConference for Israeli and Palestinian Women
Women are the bearers of life and the custodians of the future. They are responsible for the health, education, and well being of the family. They are involved daily with environmental issues as the homemaker, guardian of family health, household purchaser, and child educator. Their daily domestic responsibilities involve issues which are directly tied to the environment -- such as water conservation, waste disposal, recycling, care and maintenance of public grounds, informed consumerism. In the public arena, they are influential as doctors, lawyers, politicians, scientists, and teachers who shape attitudes and awareness towards the environment.
Medical research has shown that women and children are more vulnerable to the damaging effects of environmental pollution of all kinds -- whether from pesticides, air pollution, electronic emissions, or radiation.
Because the women of the region are less involved in the political and religious conflicts, they are better able to unite around common concerns for their future and that of their children, and the maintenance and sustainability of the land, water, and air that they share.
GOAL of the Conference:
Raise Israeli and Palestinian women's awareness about critical environmental issues affecting their lives and empower them to have a positive impact on resolving them.
OBJECTIVES of the Conference:
Empower Israeli and Palestinian women to:
· Identify environmental and ecological problems
· Obtain and apply information and tools for grass-roots activism
· Benefit from applicable lessons learned in other countries
· Network with environmental workers in the region
· Create joint Israeli - Palestinian Environmental activities
· Create an Israeli - Palestinian Women's Environmental Coalition functioning as a focal point for further national and international cooperation
1. CONFERENCE PROGRAM will include:
SPEAKERS -- Foreign and local experts sharing their knowledge and experience of organizing successful environmental initiatives
PANEL of local environmental workers discussing work in the region
DISCUSSIONS focusing on how women can contribute to effective environmental protection
WORKSHOPS for practical skills:
* How to be an informed consumer
* Environmental effects on women's and children's health
* Healthy towns and villages
* Grass-roots activism for the community and the environment
* Understanding environmental law and how it can be enforced
* Water purification and conservation
* How to use the Internet as a tool for networking and action
* Developing environmental programs and activities for children
2. FOLLOW-UP WORKSHOPS
The foreign and local experts will do hands-on workshops with grass-roots activists in Israeli and Palestinian towns and villages. These workshops will include local applications of the above topics and are created for those women who live in outlying areas and will be unable to attend the conference.
The Conference will have the active support of the Israeli and Palestinian Ministries of the Environment. IPCRI and NAAMAT, a major Israeli women's organization, are spearheading the conference organization. Staff from a number of organizations will participate in the Conference, among them are:
Israeli: Center for Urban and Regional Studies, the Technion, Haifa; Society for the Protection of Nature (SPNI); Life and Environment; Israel Woman’s Network; Kol Ha’Isha; and ICCI Environmental Coalition.
Palestinian: The Water and Environmental Development Organization (WEDO)
Joint: The Palestinian-Israeli Environmental Secretariat (PIES), and Friends of the Earth Middle East (FOEME).
The target audience will include representatives of all the above organizations as well as environment-related activists and academics, representatives of National and local Authorities, and NGOs working with the environment, women, and conflict resolution and dialogue.
If you have any questions or
comments, we can be reached:
IPCRI Main Email Address
Email for Gershon Baskin
Email for Zakaria al Qaq
IPCRI Peace Education Program
IPCRI Environmental Program
By Snail Mail:
P.O. Box 9321 Jerusalem 91092, Israel