|Advocacy and Environmental Justice|
At the EEC's pristine hilltop location in Beit Jala’s rolling green countryside, it is easy to assume that one is in a country free from environmental problems. This statement is far from the truth, however; a widespread lack of environmental awareness among the Palestinian population has led to environmental degradation--pollution, loss of biodiversity, and loss of habitat for indigenous animals--and has created conditions that seriously jeopardize the future of Palestine's natural environment.
Continued Israeli military occupation of Palestinian lands has further exacerbated certain environmental problems. Israeli control over Palestinian ground water resources, severe restriction of Palestinian freedom of movement, the continued confiscation of Palestinian land, and the destruction of countless groves of centuries-old olive trees pose additional grave threats to the region’s ecology.
The growing threats related to global climate change, pollution, desertification, and water shortage call for immediate attention and action. Safeguarding the environment and the future of our communities starts now, with concerted efforts to bring about equal access and just resource management. At the EEC we are committed to the belief that all groups of people have the right to safe drinking water, sanitation, and the right to express their culture and appreciate their environment.
The EEC is working to address these issues of environmental justice through program offerings for the Center’s many participants, including students, teachers, women, local graduate students and decision-makers. With these programs, we hope to reinvigorate public attitudes towards the environment, and provide capacity building and awareness training that will empower community members to proactively work towards eco-friendly lifestyle solutions.
Check out our different focus-areas to learn more about what we’re up to, and how you can get involved.