AQU is a higher Palestinian education institute with experience in teaching, scientific research and community based interactions.
Al-Quds University - PalestineLead applicant
National Agro Research Center - PalestineInitiative partner
Islamic Culture Foundation - SpainInitiative partner
Al-Quds Botanic University (AQUB) Gardens as center of conservation and genetic resources and for food security. AQUB gardens are established in educational and research atmosphere, linked with Palestinian culture of agriculture and food approaches. Native Palestinian plants: trees, shrubs an herbs were introduced primarily for conservation and scientific research to improve tradtional recipies of food preservation, plant cultivation, quality of nutrients, application of new technologies and transfer of modern industries.
AQUB Gardens performed many innovations including: the Gardens are the first of thier kind at Palestinian University, and even at national level, where academic and scientific researchers thier experience at international standards. Live collection of plants from the wild nature of Palestine was made every year, bringing most venerable species to beds of the gardens. AQUB Gardens premicies like herbarium and seed bank are established to conserve seed stock for storage and botanical specimens as reference samples for classsification, education and research. Some of which belong to agro biodiversity and then to food security.
AQUB Gardens are place of creativity and innovationss in many approaches: 1) Introduction of economic plants like palm dates, citrus trees, cactus and shrub herbs like thyme and rosemary; all are contributing to food security. 2) Many plants are classified as endangered and need protection as important step for conservation of local biodiversity. 3) AQUB Gardens are being developed to transform the from marginalised area to attractive place. 4) Ecotourism is performed for University population, neighbourhood, and to visitors.
All actvities at AQUB Gardens are linked and based on cultural and social impacts of the Palestinian people. We start our botanical works in refernce of priority to plants used in flkloric and traditional food like thyme: is used with olive oil as major product for meal in the breakfast.
AQUB Gardens acieved the following results: 1) Beautiful well designed landscaping gardens are established; namely: Rock and Andalusia Gardens. 2) 100 plant species of Palestinian native flora are introduced to gardens. 3) After almost 5 years of plantation of gardens, plants are growing and changine the image of the University campus, mixed flowers, shapes and decorations of the gardens became important and attractive views/show for the University. 4) Many plants were harvested for reserarch, food (i.e. thyme) olives, to reflect/ practice possible economical impact.
Please find details about the Al-Quds University Botanic Garden (AQUB) at: http://www.bgci.org/garden.php?id=4179&ftrCountry=All&ftrKeyword=Al-Quds+University+Botanic+Garden+%28AQUB%29&ftrBGCImem=&ftrIAReg=
The beneficiaries are: 1) University staff by using gardens and harvest of slected crops i.e. herbs as food supplements. 2) University students; place of enjoyment and celebration. 3) Public visitors: either guests or community members after permits or invitations are offered. AQUB Gardens became place of eating meals and soft drinking (herbal teas). Moreover, private sector got contracts with University to open resturants or cafes in campus where Gardens are distributed. Part of garden extension was made through contract with campus cafe.
The following human resources are involved: 1) Director of AQUB Gardens: expert of biodiversity & biotechnology. 2) Engineering office: experts of landscaping. 3) International advisors from FUNCI – Spain. 4) Academics of biology & chemistry. 5) Gardeners.
The following difficulties and obstacles during development of Gardens: 1) Climate change & dry environemnt: waste water treatment unit was established to secure water for gardens irrigation. 2) Plant selection and collection from nurseries and/or natural habitats. 3) Lack of funding in such the Palestinian case. 4) Vandalism or prssure of over use by students: environmental awarness program is introduced.
The following practices are directly linked to environment: 1) Changing ignored land within main University Campus to more attractive and land mark place. 2) Conservation of natural flora. 3) Waste water treatment unit is established to provide water for irrigation at area that suffer from shortage of water. 4) Increasing green area within campus.
AQUB Gardens sustainable approaches: 1) The Gardens are now 7 years old, with management team 2) Expansion of gardnes inside University campus is considered. 3) AQUB Gardens became ideal model for institute garden, conservation and economic investment for research related to food and herbal production.
The following points are considered for dissimination in the case of AQUB Gardens: 1) Center of innovation and creativity: scientifc research, conservation, education and ecotourism. 2) Other gardens will be established within campus or in cooperation with national institutes.