Using largely volunteer efforts and local donations, the mission of the Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability (PIBS) and its offspring, the Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH) at Bethlehem University is focused on research, education, and the conservation of our natural world, culture and heritage. We use our knowledge to promote responsible and empowered human interactions with all the components of our environment. Our motto is RESPECT – first for ourselves, then for others, then for the environment. In the past two years, we have managed to:
- Publish several research papers (on topics ranging from environmental health to biodiversity to museology, to reptiles, to butterflies, and more)
- Initiate a botanic garden with an integrated water and land ecosystem,
- Develop permaculture including bee keeping and aquaponics systems (production, research, and knowledge transfer),
- Develop an educational program which has included hosting science festivals that have benefited hundreds of school students,
- Host hundreds of local and international visitors who have gained knowledge of the local challenges and opportunities,
- Build partnerships with local and global governmental and non-governmental agencies resulting in benefit to the environment and to sustainability,
- Develop databases and other resources including collections, a photo library, a digital library, a local biodiversity database, and a seed bank. We now have an integrated system for research, education, and conservation,addressing areas of need in Palestine. The museum grounds and its botanic garden (with its integrated ecosystem) is also an oasis for wildlife in Bethlehem and an oasis for young people seeking alternatives and a new way of looking at themselves and their environment, offering both empowerment and nature conservation.
The Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability (PIBS) and the Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH) will work to research, educate about, and conserve our natural world, culture and heritage and use knowledge to promote responsible human interactions with our environment.
Our vision is to empower responsible human interactions with all components of our environment to promote a sustainable ecosystem.
Our Goals Are
Explore and research the diversity of the fauna, flora, and human ethnography via collections and research
Environmental protection and responsible interaction between people and the environment
Use the knowledge gained and the books and databases and collections to promote science education
Cataloging and building a physical and an electronic database of all animal and plant species existing
Develop respect for ourselves, for our fellow human beings regardless of background, and for all living creatures and our shared earth