Bethlehem, 13 November 2012:- The Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem (ARIJ), in partnership with the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), is pleased to announce the inception of the project entitled:” Palestinian Forests Sustainability and Rehabilitation”
Al Qarin Protected Areas in the Southern West Bank and Umm at Tut Protected Area in the Northern West Bank within the Mediterranean Eco-system” those are the targeted area as stated by the project outline announcement set on web . The project is sponsored by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) –Small Grant Project (SGP) under the UNDP/PAPP program.
The project aims to set up a guide for sustainable Palestinian forest resources in the northern and southern West Bank and to analyze the status of natural forest resources and landscapes in order to better plan forest resource management, utilization, and protection. This aim will be accomplished by assessing and rehabilitating two protected areas of highly diverse biological components in the West Bank: Al Qarin protected area, known for its mixed woodlands and strawberry trees, and Um Tut protected area which is natural forest dominated by oak trees.
The team will conduct an economic feasibility study to determine the monetary value of benefits and services provided by forests to the surrounding communities, in addition to a qualitative assessment (cultural and heritage) of the use of natural resources in the two forests. The rapid appraisal feedback will be used as a supporting material for the economic feasibility study.
Results will be presented in a workshop conducted for decision-makers and relevant bodies to develop a plan for sound management of Palestinian forests and a mechanism for their rehabilitation and protection (particularly within degraded areas).
A series of awareness campaigns will also be organized, targeting the forests' surrounding communities in order to introduce them to the most important components of each forest and their cultural and economic importance.
During the awareness campaign a booklet prepared by the project team on the protection and
management of forest resources in Palestine will be distributed to beneficiaries. The booklet constitutes an important outcome of the project, since it will be a scientific practical guide to Palestinian forest protection.
Moreover, through the awareness campaign, coordination with schools near forest communities will take place. A trip will be organized for students to visit the targeted forests, and the project team will coordinate with universities (a university in the North and a university in the South) and the College of Agriculture to arrange awareness lectures for university students on the status, challenges and possible actions regarding the targeted forests. Through this campaign, the project will introduce youth in Palestine to methods of developing better management and sustainability of Palestinian forest resources.
The project will also work on the rehabilitation of areas degraded by human activities and natural factors, in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and with the participation of local communities surrounding the forests, including students from targeted schools. This will begin the process of realigning and cleaning the protected areas and finding methods to encourage natural vegetation recovery in the degraded areas. A final workshop will be organized to display the complete results of the project and to come up with recommendations for a sustainable management of forests throughout the West Bank.
ARIJ is an local organization experienced in the Palestinian Territory in the fields of economic, social, management of natural resources, water management, sustainable agriculture and political dynamics of development in the area. ARIJ plays an active role in the local community as an advocate for greater cooperation among local institutions as well as international and non-governmental organizations www.arij.org
Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem / Society | ARIJ |