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First Annual Symposium on Biodiversity Explores Plant Life

April 10, 2014
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Public Relations Office - Birzeit University

The Palestinian-German Academic Association held at Birzeit University on April 3, 2014 the first annual symposium on biodiversity in Palestine.

In his opening address, Vice-President for Academic Affairs Henry Giacaman emphasized the importance of events that contribute to the expansion of knowledge and promote environmental awareness.

German Representative Office in Ramallah First Secretary Claudia Bach told the well-attended gathering that "Germany will continue to carry on its various activities in the Palestinian education sector.” She urged everyone to take advantage of joint cooperation opportunities in the academic field, especially given the numerous international challenges facing higher education.

Prof. Helga Baumgarten at the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Information Center in East Jerusalem gave a briefing on her organization. “DAAD is a German institution that deals with academic exchange between German universities and international universities. BZU is one of the recipients of DAAD scholarships and several students and faculty members have received those annual scholarships to complete their graduate studies and conduct joint research with German students.”

Al-Quds University Alumni Coordinator Omar Hamarsheh also spoke on Palestine’s biodiversity and environmental diversity. Climate diversity in Palestine, including the desert, sea, mountains and valleys, results in numerous suitable environments for the growth of many species of plants, he said.

Finally, professor of biology and biochemistry and general coordinator of the Palestinian- German Academic Association at Birzeit University Jamil Harb described the botanical garden recently created by the university.

"The botanical garden is unique, the first of its kind in Palestine, and one that expresses the Palestinian personality,” he said. “It will deepen the knowledge of the younger generation on biodiversity in our country and the Mediterranean region, and will be accessible to Palestinian citizens, including school and higher education students.”

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