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May 1, 2015 2:09 pm

100 Israeli, Palestinian, and Jordanian Students Meet in ‘War for the Environment’

avatar by David Meyers

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Israeli farmland. Photo: Dave Bender.

Israeli farmland, a tank and watchtower alongside Gaza Photo: Dave Bender

Israeli, Palestinian, and Jordanian alumni of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies have convened for a three day seminar in the north of Israel, starting Thursday.

Around 100 students are expected to attend the conference, all who are alumni of Arava. Programs at the seminar will be aimed at not only educating the students in environmental studies, but in living and sharing their experiences with each other.

The Institute takes its name from the Arava desert, which spans the southern Israeli-Jordanian border and covers the 180km of territory between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea on the Gulf of Eilat.

The arid region receives around 30mm of rain annually, yet provides 60 percent of Israel’s fresh fruit and vegetable exports.

Israeli technology has made this possible, including drip irrigation, developing hardier seed varieties, and reducing the energy required to operate hot greenhouses. The farming communities in the area have been heavily involved with the R&D, which has made Israel a world leader in the agricultural technology sector.

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