Environmental Education Centerggerousis
The Environmental Education Center is an educational ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL), embodying the ELCJHL’s commitment to promoting holistic awareness of our environment and responsible stewardship of the magnificent creation which surrounds us. We work closely with the schools of the ELCJHL, but our vision for a healthy, green environment for all has motivated the EEC to expand our programs to include a broad variety of participants from multiple different religious, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. This vision complements the ecumenical orientation of the ELCJHL, as we seek to work towards reconciliation, justice and wellbeing for the community as a whole.
The EEC began with a broad educational project launched by the ELCJHL Schools and Bir Zeit University in 1986. Education for Awareness and Involvement (EAI) was a cooperative project to integrate themes of civic responsibility and environmental issues into the existing school curriculum. The program emphasized political and social norms, while encouraging students to become involved in various activities that would improve their communities.
The EAI program’s activities formed the basis for the subsequent project, Children for the Protection of Nature in Palestine (CPNP), in 1992. This organization formalized and strengthened the ELCJHL’s commitment to environmental education. Without office facilities or grounds of its own, the CPNP program worked within the ELCJHL Schools and other local public, private, and UN-administered schools. It introduced young people to their Palestinian natural heritage and biodiversity, and, seeing them as the future stewards and caretakers of the Palestinian environment, taught them about conservation measures and environmentally-conscious lifestyles. In 1998, the CPNP moved into office facilities and grounds on the spacious campus of the Talitha Kumi School in Beit Jala and became a formal educational program of the ELCJHL.
With permanent office space and a large area of natural land at its disposal, the CPNP immediately began to broaden the range of its educational offerings. A Botanical Garden featured local plants from both Biblical and modern times; a Palestinian Natural History Museum, an interactive Environmental Exhibition, and a Ringing and Monitoring Station for studying bird migration trends were soon also established. At the same time the program added teachers, women, and local graduate students and decision-makers to the list of groups served.
In keeping with the program’s growing vision and offerings, the CPNP was renamed the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in 2002. Educating the next generation of Palestinian citizens and leaders is still central to the EEC’s mission: the EEC is a leading provider of environmental and educational facilities as well as information on nature conservation issues for a wide-base of Palestinian students and researchers.
To assist society and its various members to understand the interaction of human beings within their surrounding environment and the type of relationship and role that affects their connection with it.
- To activate the concepts of preserving the environment and its natural elements.
- To increase awareness about economic, scientific and cultural values of natural resources.
- To formulate and develop positive values, guidance and the necessary skills to understand the relationships that connects human beings with their surrounding environment.
EEC is a pioneering initiator in the field of awareness and environmental education and provides environmental education through the utilization of the most appropriate tools pertaining to the protection of the environment and the preservation of nature in Palestine for over 18 years. EEC is also distinguished by its four various departments that are considered the first and one of their kind in Palestine. EEC introduces visitors to many exciting environmental and scientific issues and allows them to witness live events.