Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) activists biking along Jordan River on 10/10/10

OK, to clarify, the inaugural Prize for the Protection of the Environment from the Aristotle Onassis Public Benefit Foundation has been awarded to Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME)…. (I’m sure there are numerous other “environmental protection prizes” out there.)

FoEME has a long history of working to protect the Jordan River and helping communities in Israel, Palestine and Jordan to use it sustainably and efficiently. This is a critical issue in the region and is expected to become more and more critical. With this recent announcement, it is now getting some well-earned recognition and a handsome financial award for that work.

“FoEME has produced impressive results in protecting the water cycle in the region at a time when water scarcity is increasingly intense,” a news release on the announcement said.

FoEME has mobilized and empowered populations on all sides of the precious resource and in the process also aided in peace-making efforts, which the awarding committee found especially worthy of recognition.

“The members of the Prize Committee decided unanimously to award FoEME, with great respect for the actions of this significant and pioneering environmental organization. FoEME uniquely combines environmental protection with the effort for a peaceful coexistence in the area,” Anja Hajduk, Senator of Urban Development and the Environment of the City of Hamburg and Chairperson of the International Prize Committee said.

Similarly, Anthony Papadimitriou, President of the Onassis Foundation, stated: “The Committee’s decision for 2010 has a dual significance for us. We are thrilled with the choice of the particular organization, which besides its outstanding work towards a sustainable environment involves actively people of different nationalities and thus advances peaceful living and harmonious cooperation towards a common goal.”

The award recipient earned quite a substantial monetary prize along with the pure honor of wining this award. €250,000 ($351,675) is the total amount FoEME will receive. The official award ceremony is set for November 17, 2010 in Hamburg City Hall.

For more on the work FoEME is doing and the Prize for the Protection of the Environment award, including the judges, visit: Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) Wins Big Award

This is a Water Wednesday post, bringing more attention to our most previous natural resource.

I love friends — Connect with me on Facebook, StumbleUpon, Twitter, or Care2.

Photo Credit: via flickr (CC license)