After the amazing, winning result of 169 bird species recorded during last year’s race, the Palestinian Sunbirders are back to defend the title “Champions of the Flyway” that they won, then generously shared with the highest scoring visiting team – The Cornell Lab eBirders – in 2014.
Why a Joint Israeli/Palestinian team? To us, the idea of Israelis and Palestinians working together is the most natural and obvious engagement one can think of. Our two neighbouring countries share the same ecological problems and many of the solutions can only be achieved at a regional cooperation level. So we try to put our differences and political disagreements aside and solve our daily problems together. Our joint work has already achieved some great results and friendships. It was only natural to play this important game and help conservation worldwide together and show the world that, in spite of political conflict, we can do great things together – biological pest control, wildlife monitoring, cross border nature parks – and even win the 2014 Champions of the Flyway.
In 1998, a group of ten men realized they wanted to raise environmental awareness in their region. They decided to form their own environmental organization, the first of its kind in the area. Their dream came to fruition in 1999 with the official establishment of their organization The Palestine Wildlife Society (PWLS). Since the beginning, PWLS has strongly focused on developing clear and strategic objectives regarding environmental educational concepts and conservation of nature and biodiversity. This Society has proved to be both dedicated and effective in its objective of raising environmental and wildlife awareness and has become an active and professional NGO and non-profit organization working in research and education in nature conservation among the Palestinian society and the region.
PWLS believes that education is the main pillar in the conservation movement and it’s philosophy is to think locally and act globally. Therefore it has worked intensively in the field of awareness and education with different sections. A result of its success has been the inclusion of environmental studies in the national education curriculum. PWLS is also part of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan for Palestine on which it works in conjunction with the Ministry of Environmental Affairs.
Please support the Palestinian Sunbirder team by making a generous donation, via their fundraising page, to this year’s Champions of the Flyway cause – to help prevent the illegal killing of migratory birds in Cyprus.
Meet the Team
Imad Al-Atrash is the founder and Executive Director of the Palestinian Wildlife Society.
For the last 2 decades, Imad has been the key factor of heritage and wildlife protection efforts in Palestine, and took part in numerous international projects and organization to promote his country and its nature. Imad’s main fields of interest are environmental education, biology research, Palestinian natural heritage and birding.
Ibrahim N. Salman
Ibrahim N. Salman – Migratory Soaring Birds Officer & Head of Wildlife Research Unit, Palestinian Wildlife Society. I am an enthusiastic Biologist from Bethlehem, Palestine, and I think Birding is an essential tool to promote the importance of Wildlife. I had a wide experience in this field from lots of courses, workshops and research.
Ibrahim N. Salman
Sa’ed A-Shomali is a birder and a bird ringer from Bethlehem area working with the Palestine Wildlife Society. Sa’ed is involved in wildlife conservation and environmental education is his region.
Noam Weiss is the director of the International Birding and Research Center, Eilat. He has a lot of experience in environmental education, regional cooperation projects and guiding. He is a birder since he was 10.