Founded in 1990, the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem (ARIJ) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting sustainable development in the occupied Palestinian territories and the self-reliance of the Palestinian people through greater controlover their natural resources.
The Institute works specifically to augment the local stock of scientific and technical knowledge and to introduce and devise more efficient methods of resource utilisation and conservation, improved practices, and appropriate technology.
ARIJ plays an active role in the local community as an advocate for greater co-operation among local institutions, international and non-governmental organisations. In its capacity as a national research institute, it frequently provides current data and research necessary to the formulation of position papers and policy strategies on such issues as land and water resources. Moreover, through its work with donor institutions and regional and international experts, ARIJ promotes an environment conducive to the introduction of new initiatives and ideas and thus serves as a facilitator in the co-ordination of multilateral activities.
Although initially conceived to confront issues facing the agricultural community, ARIJ has since broadened its agenda to include a wide spectrum of environmental concerns. Early research priorities focused on cultivation in marginal lands, livestock production, agro-industries and marketing, and water management and utilisation. As water issues gained precedence, the Water Research Unit and the Rainfed Farming Unit were created to better identify research goals and implement project objectives.
In 1994 the Environmental Research Unit was established to conduct an overview of environmental conditions in the West Bank and Gaza and subsequently to assist in the formulation of strategy options, policy guidelines, and national standards and legislation. A precursor to these objectives is the development of a comprehensive Environmental Information System which will serve the region as a foundation for in depth research.
In 1994 also, the GIS and Landuse Unit was created with the aim of using up-to-date data and mapping technology for analysis planning and modelling of sustainable development in Palestine.
In the shadow of the ongoing massive wave of development and investment activities in Palestine, it is feared that the basic terms of sustainable development and conservation of the environment and its resources will be disregarded. To address this concern, ARIJ created the Environmental Resource Planning and Assessment (ERPA) Unit on 1 January 1996.
Additionally, ARIJ has instituted a Resource Centre which makes scientific data, literature, and periodicals on a wide range of subjects available to the local community. The Institute also maintains a data analysis centre, laboratory, weather station, and a hydroponics unit. A garden allows the Institute to cultivate and compare new varieties before introducing them to the local community.
ARIJ receives technical and financial support from a variety of international governmental and non-governmental organisations who grant funding on a project basis.
Moreover, ARIJ has signed an affiliation agreement with
Al-Quds university in 1996. The President of ALQUDS university, Dr. Sari Nusseibeh and the President of the board of trustees of the Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem (ARIJ), Mr. Daoud Istanbuli signed an agreement that creates a role model for institutional cooperation aimed at promoting the research capabilities in Palestine to meet the growing needs of the Palestinian society for research and technology as essential ingredients in comprehensive development. For more information Click here.
Http://www.arij.org ARIJ's website is the window of ARIJ to the outside world, from which the whole world can have valuable facts and information concerning Palestinian environmental issues. Moreover, a main section of ARIJ's website is the 'Eye-On-Palestine' which monitors and assesses the magnitude of environmental degradation caused by politically induced changes to Palestine's land and natural resources. It presents a summary of individual and collective political activities such as expansion andfattening of Israeli colonies, land expropriation and closures, uprooting of trees, Israeli stone quarrying, house demolitions, sewage disposal from Israeli colonies, and several other relevant activities. Moreover, a Monthly Report on the Israeli Colonization Activities in the West Bank is also published in the 'Eye-On-Palestine' section. These reports present the daily Israeli Activities towards the destruction of the Palestinian land and identification, and the continuous daily built-up of the Israeli colonies on Palestinian Land