Mar 10 2010
The Carmel Mountain range is a unique and highly diversified area in terms of its natural topography, rock distribution and flora and fauna. The University of Haifa, in cooperation with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, has now established the Center for the Study of the Carmel as an umbrella organization for studies relating to the Carmel in a range of disciplines: flora, fauna, geology, archaeology, environment, tourism and more.
UNESCO declared part of the Mount Carmel a “Biosphere Reserve” in 1996, granting it international cachet and ecological significance. A biosphere reserve is a site that holds statutory status as a region that comprises natural and human landscapes in which the ecosystem is conserved alongside educated consideration of human living and culture in the region. Communities living within the biosphere reserve are also committed to limitations and norms that preserve their natural surroundings.
Since its founding, the University of Haifa has been dedicated to exploring and maintaining the beautiful and unique surroundings of the Carmel Mountain, recognizing the urgent need to act in order to protect the Carmel environment and its rich biodiversity. With numerous University researchers studying a wide range of topics related to the Mount Carmel range, there was a need for an academic body to oversee and integrate these scientific endeavors. The Mount Carmel Research Center now concentrates all relevant research under one institute. The Center offers a vehicle for knowledge-sharing, research and monitoring, education and training, and participatory decision-making.
The Center’s interdisciplinary research concept encompasses scientists from the faculties of Science and Science Education, Humanities, Social Sciences, Law, Social Welfare and Health Sciences and Education. The convergence of these disciplines allows the Center to address complicated questions arising out of the increasingly sophisticated scientific capabilities of the 21st century.
The Research Center contains state-of-the-art research facilities and laboratories. As the Center’s specialist research groups pursue their diverse interests, they will cooperate in making optimal use of the Mount Carmel Biosphere Reserve for economic development while guaranteeing its sustainability for coming generations. A key objective at the Center is to establish an environmental education program, including nature protection and sustainable development, for elementary and high school students.