Promotion Eco Tourism in Palestine
Since the beginning of life/Time Palestine has been God's unique gift to the World. A sacred home to the World's great Faiths, Palestine is also a natural habitat for many of the global most magnificent, rare and endangered birds, mammals and plants species.
Replete with ancient religious and archeology sites, the high desert environments are harsh, but lovely settings, for both human and animal families. The fertile Jordan Valley, the cradle of agriculture in the Middle East, is home to a unique wildlife and ecosystem which is currently under severe threat. With its environmental and historical heritage characteristics, the potential is surely present for a solid tourism base for both local and international travelers.
The varied geography and climates are represented by the Mediterranean Sea, the long shore line of Gaza, the Jerusalem Mountains and the Rift Valley. Within a small area the biodiversity is truly astounding: 3000 plant species and more than 540 birds dwell or migrate through this compact ecological area.
Many avian species travel/migrant/cross all the way from Europe to Africa through small land bridges in the south and center of Palestine.
In addition, more than 70 species of mammals and thousands of other insects, reptiles and amphibians are represented in this compact but diverse stretch of land.
Apart from natural phenomena, the most sacred sites of many faiths, such as the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Al Aqsa Mosque and the Nativity Church are found in Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Many visitors are surprised to find that Jericho, the oldest City in the world and Nablus with its famous Mt. of Jerseem inhabited by the Samarians, are still live important sites.
Let us not forget the long, slender land of Gaza and its famous Wadi bounded by the Mediterranean Sea. On a clear day, from the wondrous Jerusalem Mountains, tourists and residents alike enjoy the site of the mountains of Jordan across a valley view which differs only slightly from Biblical times.
Today's Tourism is closely related to both environment and nature. Visitors want to see and understand not just the tourist sites but they want to learn about the ecosystem, habitat and Vegetation which supports the natural and heritage places. And members of the local society take pride in showing their heritage and are willing to help keep places clean and green when they have the chance to encourage visitors. Tourism in turn helps provide and improved standard of life for those who protect important sites.
Included in our concept of ecotourism are all the steps needed to support our activities such as producing and marketing tourism programs that cover the cultural, natural and environmental resources of the country. Consequently, tourists can come and enjoy themselves in these places where they can visit the naturel sites and doing a birds watching while mingling with the native people. They join in ancient festivals, national and religious ones during the year around that have existed thousands of year’s age, even before Jesus Christ.
Bird Ringing (banding) is one of the scientific activities that enables the tourists to learn more about birds species including the Endemic to the region, Native, Breeding, and Migratory they can be taught to perform a useful task and at the same time to consider extending their visit in the county and spend more money.
It has been agreed that the ecotourism is vital sector and has to be dealt with on the national scale. Some national and global organizations have focused their activities on this topic. Some sited in Palestine have been selected to be models for these new concepts that combine the cultural heritage and nature.
Palestine Wildlife Society was established in 1999 dealing with Species, Nature and People (conservation and environmental education) as well through the Eco Tourism; Eco Tourism was called "Field Trips" to the Nature and Archeology Sites.
few years ago we introduced the Tourism Concepts in cooperation the Ministry of Tourism and other institutes in Bethlehem and Jericho districts and was funded by Global environmental Facility "GEF-SGP" in Ramallah, and our target was the School Teachers and the local Tourist Quid's from three years of experience for the Tourism & Guides Colleges in Bethlehem through the environmental education workshops and conferences for the schools and university teachers as well the public.
Recently, we did many walking trails in Ramallah and Bethlehem in cooperation with some of the network such as the Abraham Path Insative and Walking Palestine
Eco tourism Objectives:
Eco tourism Activities:
Eco tourism Target Areas:
The main target groups of this project are