NYC-DR Breakfast: Israel: Environment, Sustainability, and Peace

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Date(s) - 05/05/2016
8:00 am - 10:00 am

John Jay College

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Israel: Environment, Sustainability, and Peace –

A Land of Milk and Honey?





Since its establishment, Israel, the land of milk and honey, has gone through extensive landscape changes. Those were driven by rapid development, mass immigration and high rate of population growth. Conflicts and wars added yet another layer to those environmental challenges in the form of borders, fences, minefields, scattered military camps and more. On the other hand, environmental challenges might serve as opportunities for cross-border interactions and collaborations. This talk will focus on the potential of the environment to serve as a catalyst for peace and on the potential of peace to promote environmentalism. Through vivid examples, it will discuss the political power that was assigned to the environment in cross-border initiatives during the peace process between Israel and its neighbors and will debate what the future holds in this regard.


Shahar Sadeh is a scholar- practitioner in the fields of Environmental Diplomacy and Environmental Peacemaking. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at NYU and an adjunct professor at Columbia University where she teaches environmental politics in Israel. Shahar is the Director of the Faculty Engagement Initiative at the JCRC of NY and is working with faculty members all across NYC. Shahar’s research work is focused on environmental peacemaking in the Middle East. She has investigated past and present efforts to develop and implement environmental enterprises along Israeli-Arab borders.  Shahar received her degrees from Tel Aviv University.


Shahar’s interest in the Environmental Peacemaking field is not mere academic;  she has been part of the environmental movement and the peace camp in Israel for many years. In 2007, she co-founded and coordinated the “Van Leer Jerusalem Forum on Environment and Regional Sustainability”, which focused on creating and enhancing cooperation between Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian environmental experts (scientists, non-governmental and governmental actors), building capacity and deepening the knowledge on shared environmental problems and opportunities. Shahar has worked with many NGOs in Israel and played a part in various environmental initiatives both in local and in regional scale.