GREENinMED Workshop on Innovative Energy Management Solutions for the Tourism Industry in Israel
On May 23rd, the Israeli GREENinMED partners – the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, and Kinneret College – hosted a transnational workshop on Innovative Energy Management Solutions for the Tourism Industry, in the Hevel Eilot regional council. The workshop was held as part of the GREENinMED project, which has the goal of making the Mediterranean tourism industry more sustainable through water and energy efficiency. The workshop was attended by stakeholders and experts in the energy sector and the Israeli hotel industry, as well as some current Arava Institute students and interns conducting relevant research. The workshop was also broadcasted live on Facebook.
The workshop began with some opening words from the GREENinMED partners, and Daphna Perry, representative of the European Union delegation to Israel, who stressed the importance of transboundary projects to create a sustainable future for the Mediterranean region. The program partners presented its achievements and actions in Spain, France, and Israel so far, as well as steps and opportunities yet to come.
This was followed by an overview of tourism in the Hevel Eilot region. This small municipality has a large number of small-scale hotels and bed-and-breakfasts, many of which offer eco-tourism experiences. Its location in the year-round sunny Arava desert also puts it in a unique position to profit from solar energy and innovative water management technologies.
Dr. Rina Kedem, Co-Director of the Arava Institute's Jordan-Israel Center for Community, Environment, and Research, spoke about transboundary tourism in the Arava, Negev, and Sinai desert regions, explaining how as cross-border environmental cooperation becomes more essential in light of global implications of climate change, it is only natural to consider transboundary aspects of tourism as well.
After a short break, green building consultant Hadas Peer shared her expert insights on green building standards and certifications in Israel and the world, how to acquire them. This was followed by a presentation of available green energy solutions offered by Terra Venture Partners.
Finally, Elad Topel, Business Development Manager at Arava EC&T, and Coordinator of the Eilat Smart City project, spoke about technologies and solutions for energy and water management as they are being applied in the city of Eilat, located at the Red Sea.
The workshop was concluded with an open discussion, allowing the participants to questions about various topics discussed during the workshop.