Nablus, June 11, 2014 – Within the project activities of Promoting Socio-economic Sustainable development through innovative technological actions for Mediterranean tourism heritage and landscapes protection clusters (HELAND), ARIJ held a workshop to monitor the tourism sector and measure its performance in Al Badhan village, using the European Tourism Indicator System; that intend to help the different stakeholders measure and improve Al Badhan sustainable development.

The workshop was attended by representatives of the local community institutions in Al Badhan village, in addition to representatives of the governmental institutions, such as: Ministry of Agriculture, Palestinian Water Authority, Environment Quality Authority, Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Local Government and Nablus Governorate, In addition to representatives of private organizations and research association, including ROZANA and the Biodiversity and Environment Research Center (BERC). Eng. Nader Hrimat Deputy Director General of ARIJ started the workshop welcoming the participants. Then he gave brief presentation about the project, its objective and main partners. Also, he highlighted the importance of HELAND project towards the sustainable development of the tourism sector in Al Badhan village. Afterwards, Eng. Saher Khoury Research Associate at ARIJ gave a presentation about the project activities that have beed done so far in the project, including field visits, information and data collection. Then Eng, Saher presented the European Tourism Indicator System, its use and role in the promoting of sustainable development of tourism in Al Badhan, the main indicators of the system. The participantes were distributed on working groups, where each group filled out special forms related to the EU indicators, and to what extent these indicators can be applied in Wadi Al Badhan village.

The workshop included a discussion, where the participants gave their point of view about the challenges facing sustainability of tourism sector in Al Badhan village, and suggestions on how to raise the resident and tourist’s awareness about this area. It’s worth mentioning, that HELAND is a research project funded through the Cross-Border Cooperation within the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), Mediterranean Sea Basin Joint Operational Programme. It is a joint project between ten organizations and research centers from six countries: Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Spain, Cyprus and Malta. The Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ) is the Palestinian partner of the project.