A cross-boundary educational program training future leaders on environmental issues

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The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, founded in 1996, is a leading environmental studies and research program in the Middle East, preparing future Arab and Jewish leaders to cooperatively solve the region’s environmental challenges. Located in Israel’s Arava desert, and with a student body comprised of Jordanians, Palestinians, Israelis, and students from around the world, the Arava Institute is a unique oasis of environmental education, research, and international cooperation.

Here, the idea that nature knows no political borders is more than a belief. It is a fact, a curriculum, and a way of life.

Academic Program: Students at the Arava Institute explore a range of environmental issues from a cross-boundary, interdisciplinary perspective while learning peace-building and leadership skills. The studies are international in scope : the Arava Institute gives Jewish, Arab and international students a unique opportunity to study and live together for an extended period of time, building networks and understanding that will enable future cooperative work and activism in the Middle East and beyond.

Research: The Arava Institute is home to dynamic research with a number of cross-border projects, and includes four research Centers:

  • Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation;
  • Transboundary Water Management;
  • Sustainable Agriculture;
  • Hyper-Arid Socio-Ecology.

In addition, the Center for Sustainable Development spearheads practical implementation and education connected to research in Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Kenya. Research includes practical applications such as renewable energy initiatives, waste water and biogas techniques, and climate appropriate agriculture, as well as policy papers, international workshops, and conferences focusing on environmental issues pertinent to the Middle East.

Alumni: The Arava Alumni Peace and Environmental Network (AAPEN) was launched by the institute's alumni to facilitate continued contact and connection between alumni. Over 800 alumni in the Middle East and across the world continue to dialogue even in times of conflict, launching conferences and projects to promote cooperative environmental solutions.

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Climate Change
Resource Management
Sustainable Living
Waste Management
Level of education: 
Professional training
Higher education
Financial or material contribution
Partnership research and management
Communication and promotion