The Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability (PIBS) at Bethlehem University, was founded by the generosity of Prof. Mazin Qumsieyh and his wife Jessie Chang who also volunteer full-time at the institute.
The vision is to enhance and promote the sustainability of human and natural communities.
The mission is to research, educate about, and conserve our natural world, and Palestinian culture and heritage, and to use knowledge to promote responsible, empowered human interactions with all components of our environment. The institute developed infrastructure and human resources, which now include a Museum of Natural History (PMNH), an ethnography exhibit (cultural heritage), a botanic garden, a community garden, an animal rehabilitation center, a biodiversity center, a herbarium, molecular lab, Taxonomy lab and more.
Operating at local, regional, and global levels to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals, PIBS has achieved notable milestones amidst challenging political circumstances. These include establishing a museum of natural history, an exhibit on ethnography, a botanic garden,, a community garden, an animal rehabilitation center, a herbarium, a children’s playground, and more. We publish applied research papers, empower marginalized communities, and educate thousands annually (including via a mobile museum). We created a new protected area network and developed the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans contributing to bridging knowledge-policy-practice gaps.
Looking ahead, our plans for the coming years are ambitious. These include introducing new bachelor’s, master’s, and even Ph.D. programs in biodiversity and sustainability, also expanding our regional and global influence. We are currently renovating a new building to become truly worthy of being a national museum, including a reception area, a peace garden, at least three exhibit areas, a cafeteria, and a gift shop. Work on the design of the new museum facilities is in progress with completion slated for 1.5 years, creating an exhibition space of >1000 sq meters, see the below video for a 3D sketch of our new museum.
The Cytogenetic Laboratory
The cytogenetics laboratory at Bethlehem University is the first of its kind on the West Bank. Engaged in research and clinical service in areas of cancer, congenital birth defects, infertility and genotoxicity/environmental health.
For our latest annual reports, see https://www.palestinenature.org/annual-reports/
Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh
Mar Andrea Building