For years the Sustainability Laboratories (a New York-based organization) and the mayor of Hura in the Negev, Dr. Muhammad El-Nabari, have been planning an eco-farm for the Bedouin community. The farm, Project Wadi Attir, would aim to create a community that combines traditional Bedouin values with modern and sustainable farming techniques and energy solutions. Thanks to the recent commitment of approximately 10 million NIS from the Israeli government, the vision for Project Wadi Attir will soon become a reality and a groundbreaking ceremony will take place this week at the farm’s 45 hectare plot of land.
As described by the Sustainability Laboratories,
“Project Wadi Attir commits to a vision of humanity in which all people live in peace; use the planet’s resources wisely; avoid adverse impacts on other forms of life while actively enriching life’s complex fabric; develop communities which encourage the creative self-realization of individuals as well as society; and celebrate the underlying mystery, unity and sacredness of all existence.”
The community-based project hopes to:
- Maximize the use of renewable resources and clean sources of energy, and strive for zero waste
- Operate a self-sufficient, just and productive economy
- Emphasize the respect and well-being of animals and plants and intentionally enhance biodiversity
- Establish a collaborative, equitable and communal undertaking that empowers both individuals and the community as a whole
“We wanted to develop a model for sustainable agriculture in the desert,” said Dr. Michael Ben-Eli of the Sustainability Laboratories, “manifesting the sustainability principles we developed at the lab. But at the same time, we wanted it to be a model for a process of economic and community development.”
The farm will produce organic meat and dairy products from sheep and goats, as well as grow and preserve indigenous vegetables. The area will also be equipped with composting sites, biogas, recycling centers, and new approaches to renewable energy production.