Environmental Stewardship in the Holy Land

Bishop Sani Ibrahim Azar planting trees with the Governor of Jenin as part of his “Tree for Life” Environmental Initiative in partnership with the EEC

The ELCJHL strongly believes in our Christian calling to be stewards of the Earth. God’s creation is precious and in desperate need of our protection. Our Environmental Education Center (EEC), works with both ELCJHL schools and other local schools to create extensive environmental programming to educate the next generation about climate change, Palestinian environmental justice, and environmental activism.

Each ELCJHL school has an Environmental Club, consisting of around 20 6th-9th graders that were elected by peers for their environmental responsibility. Each fall, the EEC hosts a Leadership Training for elected students to prepare them for the upcoming year as an Environmental Club member. Throughout the year, each Environmental Club meets weekly to design environmental initiatives for their school. In the past, students have organized planting campaigns, clean-up campaigns, and student-led environmental awareness workshops for their peers.

Even if students are not in their school’s environmental club, the EEC offers workshops to all students in the ELCJHL schools throughout the year covering environmental topics such as Palestinian biodiversity, climate change mitigation, nutrition, Palestinian agriculture, and solar power, among others. Additionally, the EEC facilitates guided hikes, planting campaigns, clean-up campaigns, and harvest campaigns with students throughout the year to complement in-class workshop learning with tangible experiences.

As Palestinians, land is a subject that holds a lot of significance. Our Christian faith informs us of our responsibility to be stewards of this Earth, for it is God’s creation. Our identities as the ELCJHL church inform our high value in environmental activism and justice. 

Students helping to plant an olive tree.