Training of trainers and ecosystem development for a green and inclusive economy in Palestine (SWITCH-MED)

After Algeria (May 17-21), Tunisia (May 25-29), and Morocco (June 8-12), the “training of trainers” phase of the SWITCH-MED project (United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP/MAP – SCP/RAC) has come to Palestine (September 29 – October 3), contributing to the development of a vibrant network of trainers in green entrepreneurship and strong ecosystem of local stakeholders and resources aimed at developing and scaling up the impact of a green, inclusive and just economy in the country,  link it to the whole Mediterranean network promoted by SWITCH-MED. The local partners leading the work on the ground, contextualizing it within the framework of the national strategy for a Green Economy, and selecting the trainers are the Center for Continuing Education in Birzeit University, and the Palestinian Environmental Quality Authority –EQA-.

Family picture from the Eco-entrepreneurship Training of Trainers in Palestine (September 29 – October 3, 2015), with Jesus Iglesias from Greenbiz and Markel Cormenzana from Inèdit Inovació as trainers, Artur Nadcrinicinii as SWITCH-MED coordinator in the region, and Baher Dikeidek and George Yerousis as local organizers from Birzeit University, among the participants.

It was an immense pleasure to share an enriching week of practice with experienced colleagues coming from a variety of backgrounds and sectors, private and public alike. Through a hands-on, group-based approach applied to local business cases, we empowered the trainers on UNEP’s Eco-entrepreneurship Methodology, prepared the work ahead regarding its adaptation to the Palestinian context, and began organizing the training of eco-entrepreneurs set to begin immediately. All while exchanging experiences and best practices, assessing the country’s ecosystem and its potential green niches, connecting networks, and building partnerships for the future.

Truly empowering was Birzeit University and the EQA’s shared vision for a Palestine filled with socio-economic opportunities for everyone, especially young people, with sustainability, equity and cooperation as core, broad values. To achieve it, emphasis was put on reinforcing a vibrant ecosystem of actors, capable of delivering the necessary resources (funding, access to water, energy and materials) and services (training, coaching, and follow-up) to aspiring eco-entrepreneurs, particularly through the University’s hub. Next up, building on SWITCH-MED’s momentum, a comprehensive roadmap will be outlined by all stakeholders, with the potent group of eco-entrepreneurship trainers leading the way in capacitating public institutions, large companies and civil society organizations towards the common goals set. 

Last but not least, we would like to deeply thank all participants, who not only shared with us all their valuable experiences, but also made us feel completely at home through their warmth and humane touch. Special mention to Baher Dikeidek and George Yerousis from the Center for Continuing Education in Birzeit University, for their phenomenal job as coordinators and guides all throughout the week.

Shukran everybody and let’s do this, Palestine 🙂

Photos courtesy of Birzeit University.