A delegation from the Israeli Ben Gurion University of the Negev will visit Ecuador to advance cooperation in the environment

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There will be 18 scientists who will travel within the framework of an agreement with the Universidad San Francisco de Quito

A delegation from the Israeli Ben Gurion University of the Negev will visit Ecuador to advance in environmental cooperation

Ben Gurion University tower in the Negev desert, southern Israel, for sustainable energy production (photo: BGU)

A high-level academic delegation from the Ben Gurion University of the Negev, in Israel, headed by its president, Prof. Daniel Chamovitz, will arrive in Ecuador next Saturday, February 4, for a visit in which he will seek to promote and concretize the academic cooperation with the San Francisco de Quito University (USFQ).

The visit responds to the signing in May 2022 of a Memorandum of understanding and cooperation between said University (known as BGU, for its acronym in English) and USFQ, within the framework of the historic visit that President Lasso made to Israel, the first of an Ecuadorian head of State to this country.

“We hope to partner with academic entities in Ecuador as we have already done with the San Francisco de Quito University, to continue deepening our relations in South America”, highlights Prof. Chamovitz, who recalls that “the experience of Ben-Gurion University is valuable to the world”.

“More than 50 years of environmental research have uniquely positioned us to provide solutions to the most pressing questions,” he stresses about the pioneering character of his university in climate and environmental matters.

With its central campus in the city of Beer Sheva, in the Negev desert (southern Israel), the BGU has nearly 20,000 students and 800 professors and researchers in its six faculties and twelve schools. It has two other campuses -one in the city of Eilat, on the shores of the Red Sea, and another in Sde Boker, in the heart of the desert-, as well as six affiliated medical centers.

The BGU was founded in 1969 as part of the Israeli strategy to conquer the desert, and since then it has become the fastest growing research center in Israel and the one with the most experience in the entire range of environmental sciences.

“We are a university in the middle of the desert that was ahead of its time. Long before the climate crises, before the world began to talk about climate change, Ben Gurion University was already accumulating valuable experience”, emphasizes Prof. Sigal Abramovich, director of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at BGU.

In 2021 the Israeli University created the Goldman Sonnenfeldt School of Sustainability and Climate Change, directed by Prof. Yaron Ziv, to adopt a multidisciplinary approach that combines research efforts in different fields and offers answers to the primary and secondary effects of these changes. , among them, the scarcity of water and food, the loss of biodiversity, the unequal distribution of natural resources, pollution, or the need to develop sustainable energy sources.

Promoter of the cooperation project with USFQ, the new School is transferring to Ecuador this February experts in biodiversity, marine biology, chemistry, biotechnology, microbiology, engineering, neurology, life sciences, oceanography, biomedicine, geoinformatics and computer science , among others.

“We want the 2022 Memorandum of Understanding with USFQ, a very relevant and important university in this field, to gain strength and become concrete programs, budgets, student and researcher exchanges. That our scientists can do research in Ecuador and that those from USFQ -and even from other Ecuadorian centers and from all over Latin America- do it in Israel”, Professor Abramovich qualifies.

Monday 6 the delegation will begin its work schedule with a visit to the USFQ headquarters in Cumbaya, on the outskirts of the Ecuadorian capital. Then he will travel to the Galapagos Archipelago, some 1,000 kilometers west of the mainland coast, to get to know the reality of these unique islands for its biodiversity and visit the USFQ Galapagos Scientific Center in San Cristobal. They will also travel to Santa Cruz Island to see the Charles Darwin Foundation, among other points on the itinerary of this visit, which will conclude on Saturday the 11th.

A part of the UBG delegation will remain in the country an additional week to visit the Tiputini Biodiversity Station (TBS), in the Amazon, another area of ​​interest for Israeli researchers.

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