The workshop steering committee: Dr. Yoav Avni, Geological Survey of Israel, Dr. Noa Avriel-Avni, Dead Sea and Arava Science Center and Prof. Steve Rosen, BGU
The great challenges of living in arid and hyper-arid regions around the world are permanent shortage of water, limited food resources and inherent uncertainty regarding water availability, in terms of its quantity and spatial distribution. These challenges dictate the main weaknesses of desert societies that, according to the existing paradigm, are prone to suffer from a permanent risk of collapse. However, in the Middle East deserts, human societies are known since prehistoric times traversing the entire hyper-dry Holocene. This fact suggests that the simple common paradigm ascribing high vulnerability to desert societies needs to be re-examined.
session is dedicated to papers focused on various aspects of social –
ecological resilience of desert societies from short and long-term records. We
invite contributions from different disciplines: geomorphology, ecology,
archeology, sociology, education and more which (i) introduce new data and
techniques to quantify and compare components of socio-ecological resilience in
various datasets; (ii) identify patterns (in time/ space) of drivers (biotic,
abiotic, social) of stability and resilience; (iii) test key assumptions and
predictions of social-ecological resilience theory.
The goals of the workshop are formulated as following:
Co-Conveners: Miri Lavi-Neeman, Arava Institute and Orit Ben Zvi Assaraf, BGU
talk and discussion
16th 18-19:30 pm Israel time
education, uneven geographies of climate change, unrecognized Bedouin villages,
and education for climate justice.
Lavi-Neeman, Arava Institute for Environmental Studies,
convener: The Golda Meir MASHAV "Carmel" International Training Center
Sarah Wilner, Deputy Director, The Golda Meir MASHAV "Carmel" International Training Center (MCTC)
This panel will discuss the challenges women face in a changing environment and in feeding families and communities in dryland areas. Women play a crucial role in the production and preparation of food, and need to be included in all decision making policies regarding developing the drylands for sustainability and combatting and preventing desertification. Panelists will also discuss the Sustainable Development Goals, gender mainstreaming and how to integrate gender as a cross-cutting issue in all activities.
1. Challenges faced by women and feeding the drylands
2. SDG’s and gender equality
3. Gender mainstreaming in development
4. The link between gender and the environment
5. Women and sustainable environment
About MASHAV and MCTC
One of the main outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference was the agreement by
Member States to launch a process to develop a set of Sustainable Development
Goals (SDGs), which will build upon the Millennium Development Goals and
converge with the post 2015 development agenda. As a member of the “Global
Sustainable Development Criteria” (GSTC) initiative, Israel is committed to the
promotion of sustainable communities worldwide.
MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation,
through its affiliate the Golda Meir Carmel Training Center (MCTC), shares
Israeli knowledge, best practices and experiences regarding sustainable
development and women’s empowerment, gender equality especially concerning
environmental development, community development, and leadership development.
Dr. Suleiman Halasah- Integrated Green Solutions, Jordan and Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
Rina Kedem- Dead Sea and Arava Science Center and Arava Institute for Environmental Studies.
Numerous communities around the world are affected by political conflict between countries, particularly in border regions. Since geopolitical borders are manmade, they often cross natural resources, habitats or unique landscapes. Therefore, border-region communities tend to share the impact of conflict as well as natural resources and environmental challenges, all of which affect their daily lives (Arieli, 2012; 2015; Conca & Dabelko, 2002; Jacoby, 1973; Levy, 2009; Ratner et al., 2013).
Although many violent conflicts have ended in agreements, they continue
to suffer from implementation predicaments and continue to be volatile.
Predicaments include lack of direct implementation of items of the agreement,
lack of follow up and enforcement, as well as violation of agreement items
(Bekoe, 2016; Braniff, 2012; Bruch et al., 2009). Post-conflict regions are
prone to reoccurrence of conflict on one hand, while on the other, official
peace agreements can facilitate joint solutions to shared problems and needs
(Rustad & Binningsbo, 2012). The environment can be a catalyst of
cooperation and conflict, with the potential to improve or induce existing
conflict and post-conflict conditions, particularly in border communities
(Bruch, et al., 2009; Madani et al., 2014; Rustad & Binningsbo,
Environmental cooperation between countries became essential and
dominant in global environmental governance strategies since the second half of
the 20th century. The effectiveness and implementation of international
environmental regimes has been vastly researched (Jackson & Buhr, 2015;
Mushkat, 2013; Young, 2001; 2011). Yet there is very little or no specific
reference to the environmental regime between countries in post- conflict
The southern border communities in Israel and Jordan are both under
constant threats of desertification and global climate change. Environmental
and scientific cooperation efforts have been practiced since the signing of the
Peace Treaty between Israel and Jordan in 1994. International agencies,
universities and local NGO’s have been involved in such cooperation which
produced by now rich experiences and conceptual frameworks
Some of the questions which will be discussed in the suggested panel
• Is the scientific cooperation a goal or a method in achieving
other tiers of cooperation and what theories approach these different
• What are the challenges researchers experience in promoting such
research and its specific potential contribution in the field of
• What are the methodological challenges to asses the contribution
of collaborative research and how can they be mitigated?
• What are the recommendations experienced researchers can provide
for promoting more collaborative research?
This session is dedicated to papers focused on various aspects of
scientific collaboration in post-conflict situations, namely Israel- and
Jordan. Topics can include: the contribution of such collaboration to natural
systems as well as community resilience and cooperation, the methodological
challenges in assessing the success of such collaboration, and specific
research on the topic of climate change, desertification and their cross-border
nature and mitigation strategies. Contributions are invited from natural and
social science disciplines as well as an invitation to test key assumptions and
predictions of environmental peacebuilding theories.
The session will introduce and discuss theory and case studies of
environmental cooperation through desert research. Case studies form around the
world and specifically from Israel and Jordan will be presented as well as the
challenges and opportunities of such collaboration. Whether the collaboration
is motivated by science or a wish for good relations it can serve the wellbeing
of the environment and the cooperation itself. Nevertheless, its contribution to
community wellbeing and desert literacy must be assessed.
The session will include local speakers from Israel and Jordan and an
international expert from the field of environmental peacebuilding.
Co-Conveners: Nadav Davidovitch, BGU, and Maya Negev, University of Haifa
Desertification is a multifaceted environmental and health challenge in drylands. It is expected to significantly worsen, leading to a further increase in surface temperature, solar radiation, soil moisture and dust storms. The combined impact of climate change and desertification is expected to have deep influences on public health, from food insecurity, water pollution to the spread of infectious diseases and increase in mental health problems especially among vulnerable populations. This panel will discuss the various health effects, taking case studies from various countries and regions.
Co-Conveners: Nadav Davidovitch, BGU, and Maya Negev, University of Haifa
A transcontinental tour including Australia, Kenya, Israel and the United States, bringing live examples of the relationship between environment, health, desertification and climate change. The tour will include short clips portraying social, health and economic angles, and will be discussed in the context of the covid crisis and a sustainable exit strategy.
Presenters to be:
Sam Dorevitch, University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health
Prof. George Ogendi, Department of Environmental Science, Egerton University, Kenya , OR Dryland Research Training and Ecotourism Centre, Chemeron, Kenya
Colin MacDougall, Flinders University, Adelaide & University of Melbourne, Australia
Fareed Mahameed, Clive Lipchin , The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Israel - "Decentralized wastewater treatment and reuse for marginalized communities in arid regions: a case study from the Bedouiin community in Israel"
Dr. Na'amah Razon, University of California, San Francisco, USA
Convener: Prof. Dan Blumberg- Vice President for Regional and Industrial Development- Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
This session will focus on an effort being conducted in the Negev region and specifically in the city of Beer-Sheva to build an Innovation District. The District will be shaped upon research strengths in the region that can be leveraged to ignite economic and social growth. One of the three main vectors we are promoting focuses on Desert life technologies, henceforth “Desert Tech”.