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Environmental Awareness

By Yara Dahdal

Every now and then, I receive an email from Sani Meo, the mighty publisher, reminding me that I am always welcome to contribute an article to TWiP on environmental issues, including wildlife. This month was no exception, except that the April issue carries a special theme. Celebrating 300 issues of TWiP made me feel very nostalgic. For many years, I would search for TWiP’s monthly issues on restaurant counters, aided by my parents who were also part of the hunting process. Years later, Sani’s path and mine crossed, highlighted by our common interest in raising awareness concerning the environment and natural wealth in Palestine. Therefore, I am dedicating this article to the importance of raising environmental awareness and the role that TWiP plays in this regard.From ancient times and for most of our existence, humans have lived in harmony with Mother Earth. Nature was able to maintain a good balance and reverse or at least minimize the anthropogenic effects on the environment. However, due to the exponential increase in world population, pollution, habitat fragmentation and degradation, deforestation, and the burning of fossil fuel, etc., this delicate balance has been lost. Since the industrial revolution, humans have been pushing the earth beyond its carrying capacity through the use of modern technologies, agricultural advances, revolutionary medications, and effective means of communication. But this unsustainable approach cannot persist! Consequently, it is vital to raise environmental awareness in order to ensure the continuity of the human race alongside the 13 million other species that inhabit this world.

Environmental awareness is a self-explanatory term, which includes creating an understanding of the environment and its components, the harmful impacts inflicted upon it, and the importance of protecting it. Lately, environmental journalism has been described as the best way to educate and raise awareness about the environment and its challenges, urging citizens to conserve, protect, and defend it. Environmental journalism also aims to generate debates on hot environmental topics by bringing together multiple viewpoints, allowing the public to develop opinions and reflect on solid bases. Moreover, environmental journalists are often excellent investigators of topics generally neglected by the traditional media. Most importantly, environmental journalism can act as a link between research, policy makers, and citizens by shedding light on environmental realities and problems.

Although TWiP is not an environmental magazine, its team has made constant efforts to make room for environmental articles within its folds – in fact, whole issues have been dedicated to environmental themes throughout the years. Recently, TWiP’s team decided to feature a column entitled “Wildlife” in every published issue, which comes from a sincere belief in the importance of the Palestinian environment, biodiversity, and its precious components.

Dozens of respected authors, alongside hundreds of extraordinary images of the Palestinian environment, have reached the local and international communities through TWiP. The magazine has addressed many environmental challenges throughout its articles on topics such as climate change, the occupation, invasive species, solid waste, wastewater, and pollution, to mention just a few.

Finally, I want to congratulate TWiP’s team for reaching this remarkable milestone and for providing Palestinian society with the most interesting and high-quality environmental content, wrapped in beautiful designs and accompanied by unforgettable images from Palestine. Thank you for allowing our voices to reach out nationally and globally. Many environmental activists from Palestine, including myself, are very much looking forward to working with you in the future, hand in hand, towards an ever-increasing level of environmental awareness in Palestine.

  • Dr. Yara Dahdal holds a PhD in water desalination and wastewater treatment and postdocs in both water contamination and science diplomacy. Currently the projects manager at Nature Palestine Society, she is an active member of the Scientific Basis Task Force at Cyprus Institute’s East-Mediterranean and Middle East Climate and Atmosphere Research Center. She can be reached at yara@naturepalestine.org.

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