The Lab is being developed as a network linking advanced research centers mapped onto specific eco-zones around the world. The centers will subscribe to a common set of principles, values and operating practices. Each center will aim to pioneer strategies, technologies and best practices that will be applicable in similar eco-zones around the world. Individual centers representing specific eco-zones will also work collaboratively with one another, mobilizing global talent to address the most critical sustainability issues facing the planet.
The first eco-zone-related node in The Lab’s network of activities, The Dryland Sustainability Initiative, has been recently established in collaboration with the Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research of The Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, at their Sede Boker campus in the Negev desert. The purpose is “to advance research, experimentation and field testing of means, methods, practices and technologies for achieving sustainability in dryland regions.” The Dryland Sustainability Initiative uses the site at Project Wadi Attir as a base for fieldwork.
A similar joint initiative has been established with EARTH University in Costa Rica for Sustainability in the Humid and Dry Tropics.
In the last few years, Dr. Ben-Eli has been scouting locations for the next centers. He has taken reconnaissance trips to both Bhutan and the Galapagos (for Alpine and Island Sustainability Centers, respectively), establishing significant relationships with officials and other local change-agents, and brainstorming possible avenues of engagement.