|Dead Sea , Jordan, Jordan|
(projects i'm involved in)
Al Mazra'a, JO
Al Numeira Environmental Association (NEA)
The first Eco Center in the Dead Sea area, Mazraa in the Jordan Valley, will be a meeting point for locals and internationals for environmental conservation and education. Capacity building and sustainable development shall be encouraged in the Dead Sea area.
On August 2012, the NEA became an official NGO.
1. Nature conservation
2. Environmental education
3. Intercultural exchange & cross-border meetings
4. Sustainable tourism
Objective 1: Nature conservation
The NEA is located in a critical area where climate change and environmental pollution are quickly eroding Jordan's landscape, a clear example of humans interfering with the natural cycle, unbalance between the nature, agriculture and industry. Natural areas like the Dead Sea are endangered – each year its water level retracts by more than 1 meter. So a nature reserve has to be created to protect this unique region in the Jordan Valley and raise awareness about environmental threats. There will also be a link to other already existing projects, for example those for the rehabilitation of the Jordan River.
Objective 2: Environmental education
The Al Numeira Environmental Association (NEA) will be a creative community space that seeks to educate locals and internationals about sustainable living practice, raise awareness about overuse and pollution, teaching easy ways we can all limit our waste. NEA will be designed to be a living, working example of practices we should all be using in our homes.
Workshops and meetings shall reach youth and adults, projects are planned to be also realised in public places like mosques and schools.
Objective 3: Intercultural exchange & cross-border meetings
NEA will be a multicultural meeting point. International volunteers are been given a chance to live in Arabic family to learn about traditions and every day life. Meanwhile, they can teach the family English. Local volunteers can arrange educational tours for travellers and show them their music, life style and dreams.
Cross-border meetings could be also possible in a later stage. Water scarcity is a common problem between the Jordan River neighbors. So there have to be common talks between those neighbors. As soon as the local community understands the water problem, they will have the chance to meet with the neighbor countries to find solutions how to use water more wisely – and let everybody use this resource in a fair and sustainable way.
Objective 4: Sustainable tourism
The Dead Sea area is a main stop for tourists – but there are not many cheap and no eco-friendly accommodation options. NEA will be the unique alternative. It will show the local side to travellers: they can sleep in a traditional mud brick house and Bedouin tents, come in contact with local families, take educational tours, make hiking trips, enjoy evenings with Arabic music and dance and much more – everything with eco-friendly rules. Educational films, presentations, and hands-on recycling workshops will also take place here. Travellers shall benefit from locals, locals from travellers.
NEA can be sustainable because it can gain the money it needs for environmental projects.
1. Greywater systems:
Water is a key focus at the center. It has a water treatment system that produces 10 litres of drinking water per day and is also a source of greywater for the garden. Greywater from the kitchen is another source to feed the garden.
2. Natural buildings:
There is and old traditional mud brick house in the garden. It is being repaired to illustrate the process and benefits of natural building. It will be used as volunteer housing. There is a plan to set up a natural goat hair tent for the meeting center and library.
3. Permaculture garden:
We will be using the principles of permaculture, meaning the design of the garden is modeled after the relationships found in natural ecologies. With the water from our greywater system and natural fertilizer from organic compost, we will be able to grow most of our own food (fruits, vegetables, spices and eggs) without using chemical fertilizers or pesticides. This is especially important in this region, where local farmers are draining the wadi aquifers that replenish the Dead Sea, their chemicals washing into the sea after irrigation.
4. Intercultural exchange:
Two volunteers are currently living in an Arabic family, teaching English and helping in the development of the NEA project.
Just to let you all know that our new name is Al Numeira Environmental Association!
NGO status achieved