The Arava Institute is excited to announce the founding of a new research center in cooperation with the Dead-Sea and Arava Science Center and i.GREENs. The Jordan-Israel Center for Community, Environment & Research (JICCER – Arabic for bridge) will support the well-being of the natural and human systems of the Arava valley through cross-border community initiatives and research. The center aims to “reopen the bridges” between the southern Jordanian and Israeli communities through research, capacity building and policy engagement for regional environmental and sustainable development.
JICCER’s activities include cross-border projects in the fields of ecotourism, environmental education, women’s cooperatives and empowerment, agriculture and land-use management, and community-based environmental systems and technologies. The center is also taking on an active role in the Institute’s ongoing cooperation with the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s MASHAV international training programs, and the Track II Environmental Forum.
JICCER is co-directed by Arava Institute alumni Rina Kedem and Suleiman Halasah, who are excited to continue working towards a sustainable future in the region, and add their expertise to the Institute’s research activities.
Watch the Arava Institute website for more information about JICCER soon.
Suleiman Halasah is an electrical engineer who has served as a control engineer for the Jordan Valley Authority in the Jordanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation. In this position, he was responsible for the SCADA System in the Southern Ghors Irrigation Project. Suleiman continued his professional work in the field of renewable energy, water, and the environment. Suleiman became a co-founder of Global Sun Partners, a renewable energy company that works on building solar energy PV power plants in several countries in the world.
Rina Kedem is an environmental peacebuilder, and entrepreneur who develops and directs cooperation projects with Palestinians, Israelis, and Jordanians for the past 16 years. Her work is guided by a wholesome perspective that includes social-economic and environmental well-being of communities, as well as hands-on, long term peacebuilding opportunities that impact policy.