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Tons of trash left at picnic sites by Israelis after Passover

Israel’s recent Passover holiday period, which also included opening season visits to beaches and various picnic sites, is still being dealt with by national park and forestry employees long after holiday goers returned home. Whether it be national forests, rivers and beaches, or city public parks, the amount of trash and food waste left behind is staggering, […]

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Golan wolves make local farmers howl with rage

Wolves are largely a protected species in Israel and are not creatures that one would expect to find in this part of the world. However, a sub-species of the northern grey wolf, originating in India is actually thriving on the Golan Heights, causing local farmers and cattle herders to literally be at war with these furry cousins […]

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Increased Rain Gives the Golan Heights Sea of Galilee new life

Israel’s Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret) was still at critical water levels as recently as January, when a previous article depicted the then dire condition of the biblical lake. So critical in fact was the crisis that the lake’s water level had decreased so low that it nearly reached the dreaded “black line” of 214.7 meters below sea level  […]

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Time to eat trees? Change the planet with Agroforestry

The global community faces unprecedented challenges due to climate change and unsustainable farming and land use practices. Land degradation, social disruption, inequality, depletion of natural capital . . . these are just some of the issues that need to be addressed, now. Agroforestry, the practice of trees on farms, offers one of the most effective […]

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Sedom Mountain hides the longest salt cave in the world

Following the biblical recounting of Lot’s Wife who was turned into a pillar of salt, Israel’s Dead Sea region is now famous for another salt phenomenon: Malham Cave, the world’s longest salt cave. Get spelunking!  For thirteen years, this title was held by Iran’s Cave of the Three Nudes (3N) on Qeshm Island.  Now, an international expedition led by the Hebrew University of […]

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Butterflies “invade” Israel in a rare migratory swarm

Unusual winter rains in Israel give fuel to plants which feed millions of new “painted lady” butterflies They keep coming, thousands of them, in what appears to be a south-north migration flight. Coming coincidentally on the first day of Spring, this “invasion” of ‘Painted Ladies’ butterflies caught our eyes in southern Netanya, Israel as a […]

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United Nations director proposes hydroponics to solve date palm oil problem

The mention of palm oil is enough to make a serious environmentalist wince in shame of what this oil harvesting has been doing to local ecosystems. In a bid to make the industry more sustainable the United Nations Food and Agriculture (FAO) director José Graziano da Silva is calling on innovators, including hydroponics specialists, to […]

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In a New Census, Trees Rule the Planet

What are the most abundant animals on Earth? How do plants stack up against fungi, animals or bacteria? How does the mass of life in the oceans compare to that on land? A new type of global census based on the total biomass of different life forms on Earth suggests that much of what we think we […]

Guess what? Plants blink, maybe even wink

Arabidopsis thaliana. Like eye’s adjustment to sudden changes in light, plants have sensitive mechanisms to protect their leaves from rapid changes in radiation Plants have control mechanisms that resemble those in human senses. According to a new Weizmann Institute of Science study, plants adjust photosynthesis to rapid light changes using a sophisticated sensing system, much in […]

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Iran’s capital city being swallowed by sinkholes

Thanks to drought and over-pumping underground water reserves in the western region of Tehran, Iran’s capital city, fissures also known as sinkholes are opening up, causing Iran’s major city and capital city to sink. The sinkholes threaten people’s homes and the local infrastructure. While some Middle Eastern countries like Israel are seeing record rain, Tehran […]

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My Dad, the Water Witch

Not all witches get the opportunity of going to Hogwart School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to polish their skills. Take my dad for example – a water witch from Newmarket, Canada. Maybe it is because he never made it past grade 8 or because he was never confident enough in his witching powers. Known as a […]

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Get suing for your environment

A landmark law was just passed in Israel this year. The Israeli Parliament, known as the Knesset just passed a new law on January 1, that allows both public and non-profit organizations to file a civil suit against any person or organization that damages the environment in general. The law was put into effect after […]

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The state of fishing for the Mediterranean and Black Sea

Although the main commercial fish species in the Mediterranean and Black Sea are still over-fished, pressure has reduced over the past years, raising hopes – for the first time – for the recovery of fish stocks, according to new FAO-GFCM report launched today. The percentage of overexploited fish stocks decreased by 10 percent – from 88 percent […]

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NASA and FAO launch Collect Earth Online to track land-use and landscape changes anywhere

Seeing both forests and trees is about to get easier, thanks to a new open-access tool developed by US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), with support from the Google Earth Engine Team and the US Government’s SilvaCarbon Program  – allowing anyone to track land-use and landscape […]

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From the Euphrates to the Tigris, water matters conference in Iraq

Save the Tigris Campaign and partners announce the first alternative civil society forum for water in Mesopotamia: the Mesopotamian Water Forum will be held from 5-7 April 2019 in Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and will involve civil society actors from the states of Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria. It will be an open space to give voice to those who are marginalized […]

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Why you should never flush your contact lenses

New research presented by the American Chemical Society at their August meeting warned of the damage disposable contact lenses cause after they’re flushed down our home plumbing, a daily habit of many of the 45 million Americans who wear them. Those flimsy, flexible lenses easily pass through sewage treatment plant filters.  Sinking to the bottom of rivers and oceans, the impacts […]