Birzeit University Launches Plan for Botanical Garden

In commemoration of Land Day, Birzeit University in partnership with the Qattan Foundation launched on March 30, 2013 a project to develop a botanical garden . This garden will be used to collect native and imported plants to protect them from extinction.
 The project inauguration ceremony was attended by Palestinian Minister of Agriculture Walid Assaf, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Acting President Adnan Yahya, members of the University Council, the Executive Director of the Qattan Foundation Ziad Khalaf, members of the Botanical Garden Committee and BZU students.
 At the ceremony, Minister Assaf spoke of the important of the botanical garden, which will contribute to Palestinians’ relationship with their land, raising awareness about plants and organisms and how they relate to history and geography.
 Acting President Yahya emphasized BZU’s interest in maintaining the Palestinian legacy and the natural environment. "The Botanical Garden was inspired by the success of the Palestinian Archive idea,” he said, “and both are aspects of BZU contributions despite all the challenges [we face].”
 Khalaf said how pleased the Qattan Foundation is to continue its collaboration with Birzeit University, emphasizing that the botanical garden project at the university complements the foundation’s vision of benefiting from available human, knowledge  and material resources and exploit them to support scientific culture in society and science education.
 Chairperson of the Biology and Biochemistry Department Jamil Harb said that the garden will include several specialized sections, among them a Parks Unit and a Plant Conservation Unit for rare or endangered plants, as well as facilities that link art with botany and biology. "This unique Garden - the first of its kind in Palestine - will reflect the Palestinian personality, and will deeply represent our commitment to this nation and its heritage.”