TAEQ – the Towns Association for Environmental Quality – was founded in 1993 by scientists and educators wishing to raise awareness of environmental issues within Israel’s Arab society. It was the first environmental initiative to emerge in the Arab-Israeli sector. Situated in the Galilee, TAEQ has become a place where Arab and Jewish Israelis come together in joint stewardship of their common environment. The association serves six Arab towns in the Beit Natufa Basin: Sakhnin, Arrabe, Deir-Hanna, Eilabun, Kaukab Abu El-Heija and Bueina Nujidat, encompassing a population of approximately 85,000 residents and a jurisdictional area of 60,000 dunams (15,000 acres). TAEQ welcomes about 60,000 visitors annually, including farmers, student groups, researchers, city planners, and visitors from abroad. They participate in workshops and training courses. Many international visitors are attracted by the Green Building, which showcases traditional Arab architecture and innovative practices of energy efficient construction. TAEQ’s educational, scientific, and advisory activities promote sustainable development, increase public awareness, and stimulate community-based action on environmental issues. The association’s model of proactive peacebuilding is has gained recognition locally, across the Middle East, and beyond. In 1994, TAEQ staff participated in the bilateral negotiations on environmental topics that were part of the peace accord between Israel and Jordan, and in 2007, TAEQ’s Executive Director, Dr. Hussein Tarabeih, contributed to drafting the environmental accord presented in preparation for the Annapolis Peace Conference. To learn more about current projects in the field of environmental diplomacy click here.