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Boulder Grassroots Group Launches Environmental Mission to Israel

Group will meet with Israelis, Palestinians and Bedouin.

Eric Lombardi, Former Director of Eco-Cycle

Sustainable Israeli-Palestinian Projects (SIPP) is sending Eric Lombardi, former director of Eco-Cycle and nationally recognized pioneer in the recycling industry, to Israel to meet with Israelis and Palestinians about sustainable environmental projects during the week of October 9, 2015.  Several members of the Boulder community will accompany him in the Negev and in the West Bank.  Eric, Peter Ornstein (environmental attorney and president of SIPP), and Melinda Kassen (Boulder based environmental attorney) will also be presenting and participating on panels at the Israel Society of Ecology and Environmental Sciences annual conference in Jerusalem.  “This is an extraordinary opportunity to share our experience working in Colorado with both Israelis and Palestinians,” Ornstein said.

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Mar Saba Monastery

The trip will include a tour of Wadi Attir, a sustainable Bedouin agricultural project in the Negev, and other environmental projects in and around Beer Sheva that involve Bedouin communities; visiting a Palestinian landfill near Bethlehem; touring a new recycling center in Tel Aviv; visiting a waste transfer station in the West Bank; meetings with Israeli and Palestinian community leaders, and residents of the Mar Saba Monastery; and meeting with the Mayor of Ubediya, a Palestinian community in the Kidron/Nar Basin.

Ubediya is the central focus of many of the meetings the Boulder group will have as that community of approximately 12,000 residents is interested in developing a sustainable waste management infrastructure.  Also, SIPP recently partnered with a Palestinian NGO, an Israeli engineer, and several University of Colorado faculty to file an “expression of interest” in a USAID grant announcement concerning water security.  The expression of interest proposed developing and field testing scalable sewage treatment technology in Ubediya utilizing constructed wetlands.

SIPP is planning a community meeting early next year to present findings from the October trip, and to present ideas for future engagement by the Boulder community with Israelis and Palestinians on mutually beneficial environmental projects.

For more information, please contact SIPP at info@SIPProjects.org, or follow SIPP’s activities on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sipprojects.

About Peter Ornstein

Peter Ornstein is an environmental attorney and mediator living in Boulder, Colorado. Peter founded Sustainable Israeli-Palestinian Projects (SIPProjects.org), a nonprofit organization that engages Israeli and Palestinian communities to work to further common environmental and other interests, and to build meaningful connections between people in the United States and Israeli and Palestinian communities involved in these efforts. Peter is also on the board of the Boulder-Ramat HaNegev Sister City Initiative.

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