(Mouse over or tap on sections to view more details about each project component)


A Tour at the Project Site

This tour brings you to a recently established 40 hectare model sustainable farming project near the Hura Bedouin community. The project, a joint initiative of the New York based Sustainability Laboratories and the Hura Municipal Council, showcases implementation of holistic sustainability principles developed by The Lab.

Following four years of planning and capacity building, the last two years have seen intensive action on the ground, with watershed management, biosphere conservation and tree planting efforts transforming a piece of degraded wasteland into a lush, biodiverse and green oasis, that in the near future will also provide a sound economic base, job opportunities and income from organic livestock management, medical plants and health related products, eco-tourism, and further business opportunities in agriculture, and environmental education.

 

Panoramic site overview at view-point near the future visitor’s center

Left stream correction

Fig. 1: Left stream correction, agroforestry and soil and water conservation

Central stream correction

Fig. 2: Central stream correction, agroforestry, windbreak and soil and water harvesting


Importance of trees and watershed management

High value resins

Fig. 3: High value resins, high value oil, agroforestry, nitrogen fixation and soil improvement by native and nectar trees, in limans 1-3

Native dryland agroforestry

Fig. 4: Native dryland agroforestry, nitrogen fixation and soil improvement, native biodiversity and nectar trees in Limans 13 – 15

Runoff-control and water harvesting

Fig. 5: Runoff-control and water harvesting by low invasive soil conservation measures


Waterfallpool biodiversity reserve (no entrance, no disturbance allowed)

dry waterfall

Fig. 6: A dry waterfall provides an unique ecosystem with abundant protected plants and a significant reptile population

 late blooming protected species

Fig. 7: Those two late blooming protected species provide blooming into the dry summer months


Olive grove, antique byzantine farm, recovering rocky shrubland – biodiversity hotspot and panoramic view

Ruins of byzantine farm

Fig. 8: Ruins of byzantine farm near olive orchard

Recovering rocky shrubland

Fig. 9: Recovering rocky shrubland and biodiversity reserve

Recovering animal biodiversity

Fig. 10: Recovering animal biodiversity in restored vegetation


View-point agroforestry

Native agroforestry trees

Fig. 11: Native agroforestry trees in water harvesting terraces


Stone-age site, loess and riverine biodiversity reserve

A short but ancient side valley is full of archaeological finds; now in part terraced for water harvesting and erosion control.

Pottery remains and Stone Age tools

Fig. 12: Pottery remains and Stone Age tools are abundant along the slopes of the valley

conserved loess plain

Fig. 13: The conserved loess plain and valley are maintained as biodiversity rich reserves


Dam and antique agriculture terraces, riverine biodiversity

ancient rock dam

Fig. 14: An ancient rock dam apparently built to stabilize agricultural terraces along the river. The rock barrage damming the river may have served to create a temporary reservoir during winter. The Wadi is a major through-route for grazing livestock, and vegetation is greatly depleted

owlimage28

Fig. 15: The variable topography and riverside vegetation nevertheless provide a diverse and dynamic sight throughout the year

 

Antique farm house

 byzantine farmhouse

Fig. 16: A byzantine farmhouse likely exploited the nearby dam and agroforestry terraces

diverse loess plain

Fig. 17: The protection of the antique site also includes protection of some diverse loess plain vegetation

 

Riverine biodiversity reserve and soil conservation

A small Wadi

Fig. 18: A small Wadi crossing the site (central stream) has been causing massive erosion during the last five years. The most eroded areas were filled and terraced, the central parts are conserved as biodiversity reserves and demonstration site.

control areamanue patch

Fig. 19: A manure covered patch (left) shows the maximal productivity, producing about 10 times more biomass than the control area shown to the right.


A Second Byzantine Farm

ancient byzantine farm

Fig. 20: An ancient byzantine farm near a small Wadi, an antique site conserved also for its interesting biodiversity

wind break limans

Fig. 21: This site is surrounded by wind break limans with fodder trees, native nitrogen fixing trees and honey trees and shrubs to rapidly grow and provide wind break and soil protection functions


Medical plants

 

Fig. 22: Various medical plant species are already successfully cultivated at Wadi Attir project