The Barrier Monitoring Unit (BMU) facilitates trainings in co-operation with our local partners. These formal and informal trainings boost the ability of both governmental and non-governmental bodies to document developments related to the West Bank Barrier and to support their advocacy.
The BMU recently hosted our fifth and sixth thematic cartography training courses, taught at our offices in Arabic and English. As of February 2011, the BMU held six trainings that included 53 people from ten national or international organisations and five local Palestinian governmental bodies in TCT over the last year.
We trained our local partners, the Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem and the Palestinian Authority‘s Environmental Quality Authority, in the use of environmental impact methodology. The training aimed to enhance their capacity for conducting field research on the Barrier‘s effects on land and water resources.
The Unit also held a three-day international training workshop, with the World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) program, introducing WOCAT tools, methods, and concepts of sustainable development to stakeholders from various PA ministries, non-governmental organisations, and academic researchers. The primary goal of the workshop was to assess the potential of applying WOCAT for the implementation, documentation and evaluation of best practices for sustainable land management (SLM) in the occupied Palestinian territory. SLM practices can be introduced in Barrier-affected communities to increase agricultural production and reduce water use. This workshop was the first of its kind in the Middle East.
Conducting informal trainings in Google Earth, the BMU enhances our local partners’ advocacy efforts. Google Earth is a powerful application using geographic information systems and satellite imagery to create three-dimensional landscape models. These models can be combined with field data to give a dynamic representation of scale, facts, and figures -- as they exist on the ground.
Apart from those trainings listed above, the BMU regularly organises training workshops and seminars on gathering data, education and development, map-making, monitoring mechanisms, and methodological approaches.