Palestine Museum of Natural History

Achievements 2015/2016

Research: Over 20 research publication in the first two years of operations and most of them in 2016. You can see the titles and download directly many of them, see: research

untitled-1 MEDIA work and communications

Produced two high quality videos relating to our work: one directed towards volunteers (Arabic and English https://youtu.be/APxvAZh8qrQ) and one more general to get support (English https://youtu.be/BPhFLOsEIM0, Arabic https://youtu.be/uMQ9Rs85CjQ , French https://youtu.be/vgezJBikuDI )

We produced a brochure for the museum and a booklet on birds of Palestine.

We contributed several articles to a special issue of This Week in Palestine magazine with the theme “Animals in Palestine” receiving high publicity.

Dr. Qumsiyeh published over a dozen articles on issues relating to Palestine and the Environment. Examples:

Qumsiyeh, Mazin 2015. People’s Resistance in Palestine. Review of “Popular Protest in Palestine: The uncertain future of unarmed resistance” by Marwan Darweish and Andrew Rigby, Pluto Press, London. Journal of Holy Land and Palestine Studies. 14.2 (2015): 227–234.

Qumsiyeh, Mazin. Forward to the German edition of Simha Flapan’s “Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities”. Zambon Verlag, Frankfurt/Main, 2015

Qumsiyeh, MB. 2016. Arab-American Activism for Palestine. Chapter in Proceedings of Conference on the Palestinian Diaspora held August 2015 in Bethlehem. Published by Diyar Consortium and Dar AnNadwa. in Press 2016.

Conferences and workshops organized

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-Workshop on Soap making and Recycling glass 10 September 2016
-Workshop on GIS systems 14 July 2016
-Workshop on Water and natural resource management 2 April 2016
-Peacebuilding in the Holy Land: Strategizing Our Popular Resistance, Bethlehem, Palestine 4-7 November 2015
-Workshop on Making Scorpions Using Recycled Wires 14 July 2015
-Workshop on Water Innovation and Project Development 15 June 2015
-Workshop on Peace Gardens and Trauma Relief 24 May 2015
-Workshop on Need for Museum in Palestine 23 April 2015
-Workshop on Beekeeping April 2015
-Workshop on Mushrooms 24 March 2015
-Workshop on Geology and Paleontology 31 March 2015
-Environmental Quality Authority and school students’ environment day at the museum. 30 March 2015
-Workshop on Cancer 3 March 2015
-Workshop on Research Methodology and Ethics 27 January 2015
-Workshop on Taxidermy December 2014

Grants/contracts

September 2016-April 2017. Empowering Youth in Environmental Stewardship. American Consulate General in Jerusalem.

September 2016-February 2017. Models of sustainability at Bethlehem University. Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI).

June-August 2016. Environmental Conservation and protected areas in Palestine: Challenges and Opportunities. The Hanns Seidel Foundation (Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung), Report available xii+159 pp.

June 2016 Culture of Resistance grant for workshops on Sumud and sustainable living.

December 2015 French Consulate General in Jerusalem (Consulat General de France à Jerusalem).

2015-2016 TELECANTHUS and Masar Ibrahim for developing panels for the ecotourism path that stretches from northern areas of the West Bank to the south.

2015-2016 ERASMUS mobility grant Sienna University in Italy with us at Bethlehem University for exchange of Scholars.

2015 Palestinian American Research Council (PARC) funding for exchange between Museum fur Naturkunde, Berlin and the Palestine Museum of Natural History.

2015 Telemachus Foundation To Empower The Poor And End War (pilot project for biodiversity/permaculture in Jordan Valley)

2015/2016 Many individual donations.

2015/2016 Many donations in-kind including portable water filtration system from Japan, aquaponics set-up from GIZ, books, binoculars, specimens, etc.

Most significant successes

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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) Started permaculture including beekeeping and aquaponics systems (production, research, and knowledge transfer)

4) Started 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 resulting 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,

8) Developed an Environmental Impact Assessment Unit.

9) Became a magnet for students from several universities in Palestine

Most significant challenges

Getting overwhelmed (too many projects, few resources and individuals)

Organizational: Implementation difficulties and projects and activities taking more time than anticipated, not matching our resources with our needs and growth, too fast growth or two slow growth not matching Human Resources and “reality” of our own human limitations

Matching growth in need and demand reliable sources of funding AND to growth of human resources.

Maintaining and enhancing university administration support

2016-2017 goals

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  1. Environmental Education: We have two funded projects for school outreach plus a small funded project for workshops, develop educational modules etc.
  2. Environmental Conservation: Expand our consultancies on environmental and biodiversity issues,
  3. Double our research output
  4. Build Capacity: Doubling our volunteer and employee base and better training of all staff and volunteers
  5. Develop exhibit areas and have opening by early spring 2017
  6. Find funding and plan green museum building