Project Wadi Attir – “A Model Sustainable Desert Community”
Project Wadi Attir is a groundbreaking initiative of the Bedouin community in the Negev desert, establishing a model sustainable agricultural operation and regional educational center, demonstrating a holistic, integrated approach to sustainable development in an arid eco-zone. The project was initiated by The Sustainability Laboratory, a US-based non-profit, and the Hura Municipal Council, the governing body of a local Bedouin township. Project Wadi Attir is designed to leverage Bedouin traditional values, aspirations, know-how, and experience with modern-day science and cutting edge technologies, showcasing application of sustainability principles developed by The Lab. The project empowers one of Israel’s most vulnerable and marginalized communities to be leaders in sustainability practices and environmental stewardship.
Realization of Project Wadi Attir has been made possible by support from a government consortium lead by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the JNF (USA), foundations, and individual donors.
Israel is at the crossroads between Africa, Asia and Europe, resulting in especially high animal biodiversity; forming the only land bridge between Eurasia and Africa, the area comprises a high number of species native to all three continents.
Here we address a few of the problems with modern agriculture and describe Project Wadi Attir’s approach to create a highly sustainable, emission free and profitable dryland farming system that addresses all five core domains of modern sustainability science.
Most of the world’s dryland soils are degraded and desertified, lacking vegetation cover, soil nutrients, and adequate biodiversity. We aim to solve that problem utilizing innovative and traditionally inspired methodologies.
Properly planned and maintained, agroforestry plantations can be evolved into true Permaculture systems that require little care and input while providing sustainable supplied of fruit, food, fodder and woody biomass year round.
Desertification is a type of land degradation in which a relatively dry land region becomes increasingly arid, typically losing its bodies of water as well as vegetation and wildlife, and is a significant global ecological and environmental problem.
Somewhat paradoxically, it is excess water that causes most damage to degraded drylands. Conserved dryland areas have healthy covers of trees, shrubs or litter layers reducing water runoff, and a stable soil crust that ultimately reduces soil erosion.
Israel and Palestine form the geographical center linking three continents that have given rise to mankind and human civilization. The area is the only through road from the Nile valley and Central Africa to Asia Minor.
Guided learning segments to introduce the ecosystem science, unique challenges, and program elements utilized in the Ecosystem Restoration Project. Links to technical resources and materials to assist developing future educational initiatives built off of the Project Wadi Attir model.
A wide variety of terms and concepts come together at Project Wadi Attir. These terms and resources can aid an understanding of the wide reaching impacts and considerations of this ecosystem restoration project.
The Ecosystem Restoration Learning Modules are a series of guided questions to help visitors dig deeper into the core Program Areas and engage topics relevant to Project Wadi Attir as well as the whole of the global environment.
Ecosystem Restoration Learning Modules
Click on an icon below to learn more and test your knowledge!
Project Wadi Attir and Ecosystem Restoration Site Tour
Site Location & Geography – Area Satellite Map
The Project Wadi Attir site is located near Hura, Israel in a remote region of the Negev Desert.
The Sites of Interest Map to the right and Station Site Tour link below provide a closer look at the project site, current progress, and future plans for this culturally and ecologically integrated system.