Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability

Palestine Museum of Natural History

About Us

Brief Background

Using largely volunteer efforts and local donations, Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH) and its Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability (PIBS) of Bethlehem University have a mission focused on research, education, and conservation of our natural world, culture and heritage and use knowledge to promote responsible empowered human interactions with all components of our environment. Our motto is RESPECT (first for ourselves, then others, then the environment). In the past two years, we managed to 1) published several research papers (on things ranging from environmental health to biodiversity to museology, to reptiles, to butterflies, and more) 2) initiated a botanical garden with an integrated water and land ecosystem, 3) developed permaculture including bee keeping and aquaponics systems (production, research, and knowledge transfer), 4) developed an educational program including hosting science festivals that benefited hundreds of school students, 5) hosted hundreds of local and international visitors who gained knowledge of local challenges and opportunities, 6) built partnerships with local and global governmental and non-governmental entities rsulting in benefit to environment and sustainability, 7) developed databases and other resources including collections, photo library, digital library, local biodiversity database, and a seed bank. We now have an integrated system for research, education, and conservation to address areas in need in Palestine. The museum grounds and its botanical garden (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 (empowerment and nature conservation).


The idea of a museum to document and research animals in Palestine came from the first Palestinian Zoologist, Dr. Sana Atallah. Atallah was born in 1943 and finished his bachelor and master degrees at the American University of Beirut…. Read more …
Download Museum Brochure in English Spanish or German


The Palestine Institute of Biodiversity Research 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.


  1. Explore and research the diversity of the fauna, flora, and human ethnography via collections and research.
  2. Environmental protection and responsible interaction between people and the environment.
  3. Use the knowledge gained and the books and databases and collections to promote science education
  4. Cataloging and building a physical and an electronic data base of all animal and plant species existing as well as to catalog and preserve objects/specimens related to natural history and biodiversity (including human diversity and history).
  5. Develop respect a) for ourselves (self empowerment), b) for our fellow human beings (regardless of background), and c) for all living creatures and our shared earth.