Prof. Alon Tal of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award for Environmental Protection from Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection. The award, which is being granted to 12 recipients, recognizes the honorees for their work on behalf of safeguarding Israel’s environment and is being granted as part of the country’s 60th anniversary celebrations.
University President Prof. Rivka Carmi praised the recognition, noting that Prof. Alon Tal is “both an exemplary academic and an environmental leader, who transformed Israel’s environmental movement and its approach to ecological challenges.”
The Achievement Award ceremony will take place on September 16th in Caesarea, Israel, in the presence of President Shimon Peres and Minister of Environmental Protection Gideon Ezra.
A member of the Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology of BGU’s Jacob Blaustein Institutes of Desert Research in Sede Boqer, Tal is the founder of the Israel Union for Environmental Defense (Adam, Teva v’Din) and of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. His primary research focus is in water management and policy, with an emphasis on joint Israeli-Palestinian environmental projects. This spring he coauthored and signed a model for an agreement on environmental cooperation with Dr. Mohammad Said Al-Hmaida from Bir Zeit University.
The agreement covers all aspects of the shared environmental issues, including environmental impact statements, hazardous materials, air quality, nature preservation and solid waste and has been submitted to Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Palestinian negotiating team on the environment. He is currently finishing a new book titled, Water Wisdom – Cooperative and Sustainable Water Management in the Middle East, coauthored with Dr. Alfred Abed-Rabbo from Bethlehem University, which looks at final status possibilities for resolving the water conflicts with the Palestinians.
He is among the BGU faculty members that represent Israel’s Foreign Ministry at the UN Convention to Combat Desertification and an organizer of the biannual international conference, Deserts, Drylands and Desertification, which takes place at the Blaustein Institutes. He also chairs the Jewish National Fund’s international committee that oversees forestry, reservoirs and river restoration. Born and raised in the United States, Tal holds a law degree from Hebrew University and a doctorate from the Harvard School of Public Health. He received the Charles Bronfman Prize in 2006.
Joins a group of “green” Israeli luminaries
The winners were chosen by a selection committee headed by former Supreme Court Justice Jacob Türkel. Other prizewinners include former MK Yosef Tamir, 93, who founded Life and Environment and the Israel Union of Environmental NGOs; Prof. Hillel Shuval; Prof. Emanuel Mazor; Ori Dvir; Prof. Amotz Zahavi; Yoav Sagi; Azaria Alon; Prof. Uri Marinov; Dr. Yossi Leshem; Orit Reich and Bilha Givon.
Green Prophet has covered joint environmental efforts between Palestinians and Israelis at length.
::Lifesource: Working for Water Justice in Israel and Palestine
::Water Planning, Problems and Propositions with the Palestinians
::Israelis and Palestinians: Teaming Up for the Environment