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: The Biodiversity & Environmental Research Center 'BERC' was officially established in
       2001, as a Non-Governmental Organization. Its main headquarters is at Til Village – Nablus.

Mission: BERC mission is to enable better management of the earth’s environment by
       increasing knowledge and understanding of biodiversity, environment, and related
Work Scope: Our activities are centered on applied research and education in biodiversity,   
       environmental sciences, applied biology and related applications of biotechnology.        


To produce basic and applied information on biodiversity, horticulture, environment, and
                 related biotechnology, and to manage and communicate this information to stakeholders.

 To share our knowledge effectively on as wide a front as possible.
To establish the center as an authoritative institution in the interpretation and teaching of
                systematic botany and fungi, horticulture, conservation, biodiversity assessment and
                 management, herbarium and botanic gardens management, and medicinal plants.

To assist actively in capacity building of biodiversity, agriculture, environmental sciences,
                 and related biotechnology.
To network effectively with leading universities, research centers, colleges, schools and
                 other similar institutions to develop research and education in above-mentioned fields.

  Strategy and Technical Background:
    BERC’s strategy is to promote development that is sustainable, integrated, responsive to
           community needs, and supports a more equitable economic and social role for women. In
 addition, BERC seeks to utilize the existing skills and resources of the Palestinian
           community in order to respond to local community needs, which include institutional
           development, environmental health, and agriculture.

           Scientific research has been centered on conservation biology, indigenous crop landraces,   
           agricultural biotechnology including integrated crop management, fungal and microbial
          biotechnology, environmental biotechnology, and medicinal plants as a source of

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Activities at BERC have included the establishment of botanical gardens containing over 75 native plant species together with a unique collection of fig varieties, medicinal plants, crop landraces conservation and multiplication sites, a community-based seed bank, gray water reuse unit, family micro gardens, and water harvesting and conservation.  BERC’s programs also include plant propagation and domestication projects.

Conservation efforts at BERC include educational projects, aimed at local communities, ex situ and on-farm conservation of crop landraces and medicinal plants, and sustainable environmental programs including the reuse of local gray water and rehabilitation of aquatic habitats.


  Target Groups: All societal groups.

               BERC is an entirely self-funded entity, with funding for all salaries, and budgets for specific
               research projects derived solely from grants raised by its board of directors and general
               assembly members. Current year budget comprises grants approved by the relevant donors
               for the ongoing projects. 

  Founders and General Assembly Members: 


Qualifications &  Experience


Professor Mohammed Saleem Ali Shtayeh (Founder)

Ph.D, Appl. Biol. & Ecology, 1982; pl biodiversity conservation, microbial biodiversity, and environ. and agric biotechnology; recipient of the Abdul Hameed Shoman Prize for Arab Scientists in Biol Sciences for the year 1986 (A Pan-Arab Prize); the Hisham Hijjawi Award for Applied Sciences (HHAAS) in the Field of Industry and Environment for the year 1999; the HHAAS in the Field of Agric & Water, 1999, 2000; and the Scientific Foundation of Hisham Adeeb Hijjawi Plaque for the Year 2000.


Dr. Issam Ahmad El-Khatib (Founder)

 Assistant Prof., Ph.D, Environ Eng, 1993; water resources, environ health, waste management.

Ms. Rana Majed Faris Jamous (Founder)

 MSc., Biol Sciences, 1998; environ sci and biotechnology, conservation biology, microbial biodiversity; recipient of the HHAAS in the Field of Industry and Environment for the Year 1999.

Eng. Samer Rouhy Kalbouneh (Founder)

BSc Chemic Eng., MSc. Environ Eng, 1997; water resources, waste water treatment and reuse, recycling, projects management.

Mr. Suheil I. Abu Ghdeib (Founder)

MSc., Biological Sciences, 1998; medic mycology, pl biodiversity; recipient of the HHAAS in the Field of Industry and Environment for the Year 1999.



Mr. Samer S. Sawalha (Founder)

MSc., Environ Sci, 2000, MSc., Publ Health, 2001; medical entomol, leishmania, publ awareness.

Eng. Kameelia Moh’d Shtayeh (Founder)

BSc Civil Eng. 1997, MSc. Environ Sci, 1999; waste water treatment, occupational health, impact of electromagnetic fields on human health.


Mr. Nassir Jarrar (Founder)

MSc. Biological Sci., 1991; pl biodiversity and molecular biology.

Mr. AbdEl-Rahman Salameh (Founder)

MSc. Environ Sci, 2000; environ health, and medic mycology.


Prof. Kamilai Abdel-Salam

Ph.D, Economic Entomology, 1983; environ and agric biotechnology, appl entomol, integrated pest management (IPM), insects as biocontrol agents, entomopathgenic nematodes, botanical pesticides, radiosensitivity of stored product insects at different stages of development.


Ms. Sahar Hantouli

MSc., Biol Sci, 2002; mycotoxins, food contamination, and environ education.


Ms. Hend Al-Alami

MSc., Biol Sci, 2003; medic mycology, epidemiology of tinea pedis in school children, and public Health.

Eng. Moh’d Bahij Tuffaha

BSc. Architecture, 1999; landscaping, ecological architecture.

Ms. Tamara Yaser Aslan

MSc. Biol Sci, expected date 2003; medical mycology, cytotoxicity of biomaterials, immunology, epidemiology of Candida spp., and medicinal plants.

Ms. Nisreen Asslan

MSc., Biol Sci, 2002; mycotoxins, and food contamination.


Ms. Anhar Assali

MSc., Biol Sci, 2002; medicinal plants as a source of therapeutics, and  public health.


Ms. Sarab Al-Hudhod,


MSc., Biol Sci, 2002; publ health, and environ education.


Mr. Tayseer Kh. Khaleel,

MSc., Biol Sci, 2000; medical mycology, public health, and water pollution.


Mr. Majdi Lubbadeh

BSc., Agric. Sci., 1995, MSc student; plant biodiversity, and protected cultivation of ornamental plants.


Attorney Mazen Z. Omran

BA., Law, 1999, MSc student; environmental law.



                   BERC's Organizational Chart

* Environmental Research Unit (ERU), Biodiversity and Biotechnology Research Unit  (BBRU), Biodiversity and Environmental Information Resources Unit (BEIRU).

** The Board of Trustees comprises 3 members of Til Village Council, 3 members from BERC, 2 members from the community, and 2 reserved for women.



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