Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian alumni of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies will convene for a three day seminar in the north of Israel, starting Thursday.

Around 100 students are expected to attend the conference, to be held in the northern Israeli community of Givat Haviva, near Hadera, having graduated a two-semester course together in the past. The programs are aimed to not only educate the students in environmental studies, but to live and share experiences with each other.

The Institute takes its name from the Arava desert, which spans the southern Israeli -Jordanian border and covers the 180km of territory between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea on the Gulf of Eilat.

The arid region receives around 30mm of rain annually, yet provides 60 percent of Israel’s fresh fruit and vegetable exports.

Behind the unexpected results is Israeli technology, including drip irrigation, developing hardier seed varieties and reducing the energy required to operate hot greenhouses. The farming communities in the area have been heavily involved with the R&D which has made the country a world leader in the agricultural technology sector.

Israel has a habit of teaming up with neighbors for educational purposes, particularly in Jordan, and more and more projects with Palestinian students are arranged on a recurring basis.

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