EcoPeace has developed 3 EcoParks; whether to preserve biodiversity, or as a powerful tool for environmental education, they are important community based projects. They are places where local, regional and international youth and tourists can come together to learn about and experience the shared environment.
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Recognizing the need to not only educate and raise awareness but to model what sustainable development could look like, EcoPeace established three Jordan Valley EcoParks with the goal to:
(1) present a model on how to protect the Jordan River Valley and conserve its existing habitats;
(2) provide environmental education, increase knowledge and interest in the environment locally, regionally and internationally;
(3) improve spiritual, mental and physical wellbeing of both local residents and visitors;
(4) promote local sustainable eco-tourism entrepreneurship
Three Eco Parks have been successfully created so far:
- The Sharhabil bin Hassneh EcoPark in Jordan is an initiative whose goal is to establish a model for preserving ecologically important habitats within the Jordan Valley. The Eco Park serves as a support system for bringing communities and beneficiaries of the Jordan Valley together in a manner that respects the natural environment and cultural heritage of the area.
- The Ein Gedi EcoCenter in Israel, which functions as a zoo and an environmental education center, demonstrating sustainable technologies such as solar cookers, grey water systems, mud buildings or compost systems. The park is considered to be an extension of the Neighbors Path that provides an open space for the community.
- The Auja EcoCenter in Palestine is a focal point for environmental awareness on the importance of the Jordan Valley by teaching visitors and students about the geology, fauna, flora, water resources and cultural heritage of Wadi Auja and the Jordan Valley as a whole.
The Ecological Park Concept has been developed on the basis of successful plans developed for previous projects, such as the Good Water Neighbors (GWN) project. The GWN project uses series of walking trails, called Neighbors Paths, to raise public awareness of shared water and environmental concerns, promote cross border cooperation for solving environmental problems, and develop the potential for local eco-tourism. The Eco Parks ensure environmental sustainability through integrating the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programs, reversing the loss of environmental resources and reducing the loss of biodiversity.