Issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media - Jordan. Editor-in-chief Fr. Rif'at Bader - موقع أبونا

Published on Tuesday, 11 June 2024
Holy Land: Caritas Jerusalem’s pivotal role in promoting sustainable agricultural practices :

On Wednesday, June 5, 2024, the Arab American University, in collaboration with Caritas Jerusalem, hosted a significant environmental agriculture event, coinciding with World Environment Day. This initiative, held under the patronage of Jenin's Governor, Mr. Kamal Abu al-Rub, marked a vital step towards promoting environmental sustainability and enhancing the socio-economic resilience of rural communities. The event was part of the Coherence program, a collaborative effort between Caritas Jerusalem, Caritas Belgium International, funded by Belgian Development Cooperation and co funded by Caritas France. It also saw the involvement of key local partners, including the Palestinian Environment Quality Authority, Jenin Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and various municipalities across Jenin Governorate.


The primary focus of the event was on reinforcing environmental conservation and sustainable agricultural practices. The Arab American University grounds were transformed into a hub for discussions on climate change adaptation, showcasing Caritas Jerusalem's ongoing efforts in this field. The event underscored the importance of integrating ecological balance with agricultural productivity, advocating for practices that ensure the production of safe and healthy crops. This vision aligns with global sustainability goals, emphasizing the need for innovative solutions to combat environmental degradation.


In his address, Anton Asfar, the Secretary-General of Caritas Jerusalem, emphasized the institution’s unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability. He stated, “The institution places the utmost importance on the environmental aspect and our adaptation to climate changes. We ensure the application of all environmental standards through the implementation of our field activities, and we always strive for continuous communication with international and local platforms and networks in this field to exchange expertise and knowledge.” Mr. Asfar highlighted the critical role of community engagement in fostering sustainable practices, stressing that Caritas Jerusalem's initiatives are designed not only to address immediate environmental challenges but also to build long-term resilience among vulnerable communities.


The event’s agenda was rich with activities aimed at advancing several key objectives:

  1. Promoting Environmental Agriculture: The launch of new initiatives focused on implementing sound agricultural practices that promote the use of organic fertilizers and pest control methods, significantly reducing the reliance on harmful pesticides. This approach is crucial for safeguarding soil health, enhancing biodiversity, and ensuring food security.
  2. Building National Alliances: Asfar underscored the importance of collaboration, advocating for the establishment of a national alliance for environmental agriculture. This coalition aims to foster knowledge exchange and build networks among various stakeholders, including local farmers, agricultural experts, and environmental organizations. Such partnerships are essential for scaling up sustainable agricultural practices across the region.
  3. Marketing Rural Products: A highlight of the event was the opening of a marketing exhibition showcasing rural products from various villages and towns within Jenin Governorate. This initiative not only provided a platform for local producers to connect with traders and consumers but also aimed to enhance the economic viability of rural areas. By promoting these products, the event sought to bolster the local economy and support the resilience of rural communities, ensuring they can withstand the socio-economic challenges they face.


The event’s impact was palpable, with participants engaging in vibrant discussions and demonstrations of sustainable agricultural practices. It provided a crucial platform for raising awareness about the environmental challenges in Jenin and showcased innovative solutions being implemented by Caritas Jerusalem and its partners. Mr. Asfar concluded his speech by extending heartfelt gratitude to the Arab American University for their instrumental role in the event's success, emphasizing the university’s significant contribution to advancing environmental and social causes in the region.


The celebration of World Environment Day at the Arab American University was more than just an event; it was a call to action for sustainable development. It highlighted the critical need for continued collaboration, innovation, and commitment to environmental stewardship, ensuring that future generations can thrive in a healthier, more sustainable world.