The Track II Environmental Forum was initiated in 2016 to enable key civil society organizations and individuals who represent both state and non-state actors to discuss, negotiate, and develop practical cross-border strategies to facilitate formal and informal environmental agreements between Israel, Palestine and Jordan. The concept underlying the Track II Forum is a departure from traditional peace-building efforts in the region, which have aimed to establish over-arching peace agreements. We believe that by promoting initiatives taken at the professional level, we can catalyze positive change on the ground and in the political arena.
The Track II Forum currently operates through the following working groups.
Climate Change Adaptation
This working group is developing a Regional Climate Change Adaptation Center. A Climate Change Center will enable the region to work together to make their responses to climate change more effective, build long term understanding between Israel, Jordan, and Palestine, and assist the regional scientific community. In addition, a Climate Change Center will improve the collection and access to climate change related data, and provide personnel training, coordination between organizations, and public awareness about the impacts of climate change.
Off-Grid Food-Water-Energy Solutions
This working group is developing a remote sensor pilot project. The remote sensors help farmers monitor water for irrigation. Through a mobile app, local farmers can remotely monitor water parameters for irrigation to improve the efficiency of irrigation systems and the use of treated effluent in irrigation. A centralized database will be developed to gather the data from users’ smart phones, and this database will ultimately be used to assist governmental water planning and policy.
Transboundary Renewable Energy
This working group is implementing a charcoal project and solar installations in Area C of the West Bank. Through the charcoal project, the working group plans to develop “green kilns” for the West Bank to reduce the amount of air pollution produced by the charcoal industry. The working group believes that these “green kilns” are a mutually agreed, community-focused technology solution that is both environmentally safe and good for the charcoal business.
Wastewater Treatment and Reuse
This working group focuses on the wastewater treatment process in the West Bank. Currently wastewater collection, generation, and treatment data that are contested between Israeli and Palestinian officials, are being assessed. The working group hopes to resolve these wastewater data disparities by establishing a bilateral protocol for collecting and analyzing water and wastewater data.