Professor Donates International Award to Transboundary Besor River Project

Professor Aaron Wolf Donates International Award to Arava Institute’s Transboundary Besor River Project

Oregon, USA, June 2013 – Dr. Aaron Wolf, Oregon State University Professor and winner of this year’s Monito del Giardino award, has generously donated his €15,000 prize money to the Arava Institute’s Transboundary Besor River Project. Awarded by Bardini and Peyron Monumental Parks Foundation of Florence, this prestigious honor is given to persons who have distinguished themselves internationally as advocates of the environment. Dr. Wolf received this award for his work on international water conflict, specifically in regards to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Dr. Clive Lipchin, Director of the Center for Transboundary Water Management at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, offers the deepest gratitude, “I am both delighted and humbled by his generosity. This contribution provides important support for our work with the Besor River.”

The Transboundary Besor River Project, the first of its kind, brings together Palestinian and Israeli researchers to monitor pollution sources, and represents an important development in cross-border cooperation to preserve natural resources. Originating near Hebron in the West Bank and ending in Gaza, the Besor River receives a steady flow of poorly treated effluents and even raw sewage from local communities in both Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The river also flows through the Negev, impacting both Bedouin and Jewish populations in Israel. Despite the increasing pollution, there has been little official coordination around restoring the river’s watershed. “Fortunately,” says Dr. Aaron Wolf, “Professor Clive Lipchin is beginning to facilitate dialogue to take the first steps towards addressing these pressing issues, and leading the way for further collaboration.”

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