2016 Christmas Message
Holiday message from PMNH-BU
Endangered Bethlehem Star Flower at PMNH
The Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH) and Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability at Bethlehem University wish you a great holiday season and wishing you and yours a wonderful new year. May 2017 be a year of progress towards peace and sustainability for our planet. Thanks to your partnership and donations, we had a tremendous success in 2016 fulfilling its mission to research, educate about, and conserve our natural world, culture and heritage and use knowledge to promote responsible human interactions with our environment. We are now going to a higher level and ask you for your donations and support in kind and volunteerism so please watch the short film of our activities here https://youtu.be/BPhFLOsEIM0 and share it then visit this link to donate: https://www.palestinenature.
With your support, we did a lot already:
a) Published two dozen papers in areas ranging from taxonomic studies to biodiversity to environmental pollution to museology (see https://www.palestinenature.
b) Held workshops and other educational events that benefitted over 3,000 individuals.
c) Developed webpage (palestinenature.org) and social media accounts and reached out via the internet to tens of thousands of people
d) Established mobile conservation projects in remote and underprivileged communities.
e) Improved science education at both school and university level benefitting hundreds of students via hands-on workshops and creation of environmental clubs.
f) Developed an environmental impact assessment (EIA) unit and contributed to a management plan for the first OPT protected area.
g) Provided consultancy services to the nascent Palestinian governmental agencies (e.g. Ministry of Health, Environmental Quality Authority, Ministry of Tourism, and Ministry of Agriculture).
h) Transformed a neglected 12 dunum area (part of the Bethlehem University Mar Andrea Campus) into a nascent botanical garden and permaculture facility (including bee-keeping, aquaponics, and aquaculture). This site was used to develop ideas which are now being transferred to farmers and other members of the community (e.g. green walls and composting).
With your support, we can do much more. Our five year plan (2017-2021), considering includes:
1) Build a Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability to offer trainings, diplomas, and even higher degrees.
2) Raise enough financial resources to ensure sustainability including a green building of 2000 square meter.
3) Research: a) To complete and publish 30 major research projects in diverse areas (from agriculture to fauna to flora to environmental impact to genetics), b) To have functional research units such as cytogenetics, entomology, and herpetology.
4) Human Resources (HR) and administration: a) develop staff and have by end of five years three full time researchers, Administrative director, Project manager, education specialist, 2 garden workers, IT person, publicity/media person, and secretary/guide , b) to have at least 200 committed volunteers willing to help the museum (local and international), c) seamless internal operation and an oversight board of people who actually help the museum have administrative sustainability, d) By end of five year have revenues exceed or at least cover all expenses (financial sustainability)
5) Garden: To developed in the garden composting center, medicinal and herbal plants, terracing in the eastern and northern areas, fix the septic system, issue, and build a new cistern.
6) Education: a) To developed a 7 indoor exhibits and 7 outdoor exhibits (all interactive) b) To do minimum 6 workshops each year in diverse areas, for the five years a total > 30 workshops, c) host minimum 10,000 students over the five year period
7) Conservation: a) Study 3 protected areas with same level of intensity as done for Wadi Quff (6 publications), b) Develop a team of citizens (focusing on youth) for environmental conservation.
8) Publicity and Media Work: a) Every week we need to have at least one media appearance (newspapers, TV, radio etc.), b) have a functioning “friends of..” groups in many countries and cities that help fundraise and bring other support like networking etc., c) museum website and social media activities seamlessly integrated with the university’s other publicity, d) expand roster of museum brochures and videos focused on students.
Some achievement details for last year are shown here:
link to volunteer https://www.palestinenature.
With best wishes to you and yours
Mazin, Jessie, Elias, Mohammad N, Mohammad A, Zuhair, Khawla, Reena, Mubarak, and all other volunteers