• * The Study

The Study

The West Bank (WB) is a Palestinian land that has been occupied by Israel since June, 1967. This political situation compiled with other human and natural induced factors, imposed severe pressures on the already limited natural resources available for Palestinians in this area. Non-agricultural land composes about 55% of the West Bank area, agricultural land is 35% and artificial surfaces has about 10% including the Palestinian part of the Dead Sea (3%). The distribution of these land uses classified at the CORINE first level is shown in this map. Despite the fact that Palestinians in the WB do not have sovereignty over their natural resources as a result of Israeli occupation, the initiatives and actions implemented by Palestinians with the aid of international community to optimize the available natural resources has been a prevailing trend. Hilly land reclamation is one of the main responses adopted to optimize the land resources by increasing the agricultural productivity. This response has been taking place since the early nineties of the last century This response has contributed to sustainable development in the oPt as it has a remarkable economic, social and environmental positive impacts. In addition to these impacts this process has been institutionalized with the help of UNDP as an integral part of the local Palestinian NGOs working in the agricultural sector and rural development. Although there is a deep understanding and appreciation of the extent of land degradation in oPt, there are no available records or rates of land degradation, nor there are significant indicators systematically monitored. This study represents a technical milestone for the purpose of rationalizing this response. The final goal of this study is to enhance the mechanism of decision making with relevance to the development of land not utilized for agricultural use in the West Bank through providing the required data and information to the decision makers and technicians, so as to finally reach the most proper reclamation decisions for the most appropriate utilization of this land.