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Professor Alon Tal Receives Lifetime Achievement Award for Role in Creating Israel’s Environmental Movement

Professor Alon Tal Receives Lifetime Achievement Award for Role in Creating Israel’s Environmental Movement

September 23, 2008

Alternative Energy, Press Releases

BEER-SHEVA — September 18, 2008 — Prof. Alon Tal of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Environmental Protection from Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection. The award, which was granted to 12 recipients, recognized the honorees for their work on behalf of safeguarding Israel’s environment and was granted as part of the country’s 60th anniversary celebrations.

University President Prof. Rivka Carmi praised the recognition, noting that Prof. Alon Tal is “both an exemplary academic and an environmental leader, who transformed Israel’s environmental movement and its approach to ecological challenges.” 

A member of the Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology of BGU’s Jacob Blaustein Institutes of Desert Research in Sede Boqer, Tal is the founder of the Israel Union for Environmental Defense (Adam, Teva v’Din) and of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies.

His primary research focus is in water management and policy, with an emphasis on joint Israeli-Palestinian environmental projects. This spring he co-authored and signed a model for an agreement on environmental cooperation with Dr. Mohammad Said Al-Hmaida from Bir Zeit University.

Tal is currently finishing a new book titled, Water Wisdom – Cooperative and Sustainable Water Management in the Middle East, co-authored with Dr. Alfred Abed-Rabbo from Bethlehem University, which looks at final status possibilities for resolving the water conflicts with the Palestinians.

He is among the BGU faculty members that represent Israel’s Foreign Ministry at the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and an organizer of the biannual international conference, “Deserts, Drylands and Desertification,” which takes place at the Blaustein Institutes.

He also chairs the Jewish National Fund’s international committee that oversees forestry, reservoirs and river restoration. Born and raised in the United States, Tal holds a law degree from Hebrew University and a doctorate from the Harvard School of Public Health. He received the Charles Bronfman Prize in 2006.

The Achievement Award ceremony took place on September 16 in Caesarea, Israel, in the presence of President Shimon Peres and Minister of Environmental Protection Gideon Ezra. The winners were chosen by a selection committee headed by former Supreme Court Justice Jacob Türkel.

Click here to learn more about the second conference on “Deserts, Drylands and Desertification,” taking place December 14-17, 2008.


About American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion’s vision: creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University’s expertise locally and around the globe. Activities include showcasing BGU’s academic excellence and cutting-edge research through educational programs, events and informative communications. AABGU’s main purpose is to support Ben-Gurion’s vision and the university that bears his name by creating a community of Americans committed to improving the world tomorrow from the heart of the Israeli desert today.

Media Contact:
Andrew Lavin
A. Lavin Communications