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BGU Takes a Big Leap Forward to Combat Climate Change

BGU Takes a Big Leap Forward to Combat Climate Change

March 9, 2021

Desert & Water Research, Press Releases

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev today announced the formation of Israel’s first School of Sustainability and Climate Change, an interdisciplinary research and innovation initiative to tackle the world’s most pressing environmental issues.

“The School of Sustainability and Climate Change is based on five decades of accumulated knowledge, experience and scientific research in the Negev,” President Prof. Chamovitz said. “It is a natural step for the University, acknowledged globally for its environmental, energy and sustainability research, to harness that research in service to humankind’s greatest challenges. We will be investing resources and recruiting partners to create the next generation of climate and environmental solutions.”

“BGU has been a leader in climate change research since its inception, due in part to the remarkable talent among its faculty and students, as well as the University’s location in Israel’s Negev Desert,” says Doug Seserman, chief executive officer of American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. “By realizing David Ben-Gurion’s vision, BGU plays a critical role as a driving force of sustainable growth in the region. Americans for Ben-Gurion University is proud to partner with BGU on The School of Sustainability and Climate Change.”

The new School will incorporate internationally renowned scientists from BGU’s Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, as well as the those in various Departments including Geography and Environmental Development, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Life Sciences, Health Sciences, and Environmental Engineering. They will collaborate with students on a wide range of areas such as renewable natural resources, environmental and sustainability policy, and management. The multidisciplinary approach will also strengthen research being carried out in fields numerous fields including water, food security, clean energy, environmental engineering, public health, and social justice.

Last week’s oil spill disaster has brought the issue of environmental sustainability front and center in recent days among Israelis. BGU assembled a group of students and researchers, led by BGU Prof. Chamovitz, to help clean up tar from the Nitzanim Beach recently after the spill in the Mediterranean off the coast of Israel.

Volunteers from BGU, including President Prof. Daniel Chamovitz, clean up tar from the Nitzanim beach recently after the catastrophic oil spill in the Mediterranean off the coast of Israel.

“Researchers have a critical role to play in tackling climate change,” says School of Sustainability and Climate Change Steering Committee member, Prof. Yaron Ziv. “We will offer attractive dual-department degrees for graduates and undergraduates and we are already working on creating collaborations with industry, the government and international organizations.”

“Climate change is this generation’s great challenge,” Prof. Chamovitz says. “What was once a local problem has transformed into a global crisis. “Large scale desalination and drip irrigation, climate-adapted agriculture and advanced energy technologies emerged out of necessity here in the Negev. Survival in the desert has always been predicated on human ingenuity and given the challenges facing the world, we are committed to sharing our knowledge through the creation of the BGU School of Sustainability and Climate Change.”

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By supporting a world-class academic institution that not only nurtures the Negev, but also shares its expertise locally and globally, Americans for Ben-Gurion University engages a community of Americans who are committed to improving the world. David Ben-Gurion envisioned that Israel’s future would be forged in the Negev. The cutting-edge research carried out at Ben-Gurion University drives that vision by sustaining a desert Silicon Valley, with the “Stanford of the Negev” at its center. The Americans for Ben-Gurion University movement supports a 21st century unifying vision for Israel by rallying around BGU’s remarkable work and role as an apolitical beacon of light in the Negev desert.

About Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev embraces the endless potential we have as individuals and as a commonality to adapt and to thrive in changing environments. Inspired by our location in the desert, we aim to discover, to create, and to develop solutions to dynamic challenges, to pose questions that have yet to be asked, and to push beyond the boundaries of the commonly accepted and possible.

We are proud to be a central force for inclusion, diversity and innovation in Israel, and we strive to extend the Negev’s potential and our entrepreneurial spirit throughout the world. For example, the multi-disciplinary School for Sustainability and Climate Change at BGU leverages over 50 years of expertise on living and thriving in the desert into scalable solutions for people everywhere.

BGU at a glance:  

20,000 students | 800 senior faculty | 3 campuses | 6 faculties: humanities & social sciences, health sciences, engineering sciences, natural sciences, business & management, and desert research.


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