The Environmental Education Center is an educational ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL), embodying the ELCJHL's commitment to promote a holistic awareness of our environment and responsible stewardship of the magnificent creation which surrounds us. We work closely with the schools of the ELCJHL but our vision for a healthy and green environment for all has motivated the EEC to expand our programs to include a variety of participants from multiple different religious, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds. This vision complements the ecumenical orientation of the ELCJHL, as we seek to work towards reconciliation, justice, and wellbeing for the community as a whole.
The Environmental Education Center (EEC) stands on top of a high mountain in the outskirts of Beit Jala, Palestine, just south of Jerusalem and north of Bethlehem. It oversees parts of the Jerusalem wilderness and overlaps with some of the land of the Governorate of Bethlehem to create a beautiful setting.
EEC runs on a fertile area surrounded by towering indigenous Palestinian trees. Terebinth, carob, maple, hawthorn, wild pear and dozens of other species grow together with other wild plants that have a fragrant smell and sprout throughout the four seasons to form a picturesque environment. Bramble grows along with wild lupine and mint leaves grow side by side with thyme and germander, styrax and suaeda to weave a breathtaking display and create a natural “pharmacy”.
The EEC provides international visitors with practical advocacy lessons as it towers over beautiful areas of biodiversity such as Al-Makhrour, southwest of Beit Jala, and is an eyewitness to the serious damage to various environmental elements caused by the occupation. Israeli settlements, bypass roads, and the Apartheid Wall all negatively impact the environment. The EEC often receives positive feedback on our global advocacy campaigns against the Israeli occupation. The lobby formed by visitors from all over the world includes broad participation by influential environment activists and supporters at the EEC annual conference on environmental awareness and education. This forum has hundreds of officials and advocates who meet to discuss the repercussions of the occupation violations against the Palestinian environment and the measures necessary to stop them.