Category Archives: Friends of the Earth

Guardian: Churches take to the streets to press for coalition action on climate change

Christians march in Manchester on the eve of the Conservative conference to ask the coalition to live up to its promise to be the ‘greenest government ever.’ Arwa Aburawa was there.

A thousand supporters have been on the streets in Manchester for a march organised by Christian Aid, Tearfund and CAFOD. Their aim: to persuade the coalition government to work harder to deliver climate justice.

For many years, churches in the UK have campaigned to end global poverty. Now, Christian organisations are taking on climate change, on the grounds that much like the third world debt, global warming is a poverty-related issue. Continue reading

Al Jazeera: Can water end the Arab-Israeli conflict?

Could solving the water crisis in Israel and Palestine also help resolve the entrenched occupation and conflict? By Arwa Aburawa
Israeli officials destroy a water storage facility used by Palestinian farmers outside the West Bank village of Yatta, near the Israeli settlement of Sosia, in early June [EPA]

Around three weeks ago on a late Tuesday morning, Israeli soldiers armed with a truck and a digger entered the Palestinian village of Amniyr and destroyed nine water tanks. One week later, Israeli forces demolished water wells and water pumps in the villages of Al-Nasaryah, Al-Akrabanyah and Beit Hassan in the Jordan Valley. In Bethlehem, a severe water shortage have led to riots in refugee camps and forced hoteliers to pay over the odds for water just to stop tourists from leaving.

Palestinians insist that the Israeli occupation means that they are consistently denied their water rights which is why they have to live on 50 litres of water a day while Israeli settlers enjoy the luxury of 280 litres. Clearly, water is at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, but commentators are now insisting that shared water problems could help motivate joint action and better co-operation between both sides, which could in turn help end the conflict.

“It’s a shame that water is being used as a form of collective punishment when it could be used to build trust and to help each side recognise that the other is a human being with water rights,” says Nader Al-Khateeb, the Palestinian director of the environmental NGO Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME). Continue reading

Mule: Who Killed Manchester’s Chance For A Steady-State Economy?

Me and Marc Hudson wrote the following article for Manchester’s MULE on the lack of progress that Manchester City Council is making on its report looking into the possibilities of a steady state economy (limited growth with ecological consideration).   

Late last year, a senior official of Manchester City Council promised a report on the implications of a steady-state economy for Greater Manchester. Six months on, that report is in a steady-state itself; a state of non-existence. And despite hailing it as an important step towards the kind of new thinking Manchester needs for the 21st century, Manchester’s climate change activists appear to have fundamentally fumbled the ball.

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West Bank water access mired in politics

Arwa Aburawa, The Electronic Intifada, 26 May 2009

Workers from the Israeli water authority backed by armed soldiers take water samples in the occupied West Bank town of Qalqiliya. (Khaleel Reash/MaanImages)


Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) is calling for the replacement of committees, which control the West Bank’s water, for having “failed both sides” with “catastrophic” consequences.

“It is time to replace the failed mechanism of the Joint Water Committees established under Oslo [the peace accords of the mid-1990s], with an institution where Palestinians and Israelis are true partners in both water supply and management responsibilities,” said Nader Khateeb, the Palestinian Director of FoEME. This denouncement follows a recently published World Bank report which also found that the Joint Water Committees (JWC) “fall short of the needs of the Palestinian people.”

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