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middle east: lower jordan river declared endangered cultural heritage

The Lower Jordan River is a waterway in crisis. Ninety percent of the river’s natural flow has been diverted by Israel, Jordan and Syria for domestic and agricultural use, with sewage flowing in its place. The region’s current policies treat the river as a backyard dumping ground.


Middle east protected riverHowever, the river’s poor condition is now the subject of international attention. The World Monuments Fund Watch List identifies the 100 most endangered cultural heritage sites around the globe, with the aim of galvanising international public attention. On 6 June 2007, the Watch List recognized the critical state of the Lower Jordan River by declaring it an endangered site.

This was an important victory for Friends of the Earth Middle East, who have been campaigning to raise awareness about the river’s degradation. The group has succeeded in putting the poor state of the river on the national, regional and international agendas. It is hoped that the inclusion of the Jordan Valley Cultural Landscape in the Watch List will call attention to the need to rehabilitate this important waterway.



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