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Could this new Sundance film be the next 'Blackfish'?

Posted on February 27th, 2017
by Benyamin Cohen for FromtheGrapevine 

'Trophy' will air on CNN to spotlight hunting and wildlife conservation in Africa.

From "An Inconvenient Truth" to "Blackfish," the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah has a reputation for introducing the public to important documentaries about our natural world. This year is no different.

The world premiere of "Trophy," took place on Friday, during the opening weekend of the festival. The documentary explores the intertwined issues of trophy hunting and conservation. The movie follows a handful of people – from breeders to anti-poaching activists.

The new film was co-directed by American filmmaker Christina Clusiau and Israeli documentarian Shaul Schwarz. "I think sometimes we believe that there's this utopian world in magical Africa that the animals just roam free and they live alone on these vast plains, but that's not the reality," said Clusiau. "This symbolism of what a trophy really is to different people I think is important. … One man's treasure is another man's trophy."



Israeli NGO doesn't monkey around when saving rainforest

Posted on February 20th, 2017
Jacob Dembitzer for YNETnews.com

For the first time, an environmental non-profit has raised enough money to buy part of a biodiversity hotspot in Amazon rainforest; purchase might be able to save critically endangered woolly monkey from extinction.

Israeli non-profit This Is My Earth (TiME) has managed to buy almost 200 acres of Peruvian rainforest using a crowdfunding campaign in what is being seen as a first in environmental conservation.

TiME was able to raise over $30,000 using a crowd funding platform to purchase land in the El Toro District rainforest region of Peru.
The El Toro region is under constant threat of being sold by the Peruvian government for the establishment of new farms, making its protection all the more urgent.

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Israel’s forest ranger to the world turns 115

Posted on February 13th, 2017
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c

KKL-JNF doesn’t only plant trees; it also teaches other countries proven Israeli methods to deal with problems such as drought and climate change.

The words “Jewish National Fund” conjure images of blue-and-white charity boxes and the sight of celebrities,  diplomats and visitors from across the world planting trees in Israel.

Indeed, Keren Kayemet Le’Israel-Jewish National Fund  (KKL-JNF) has planted some 240 million trees in Israel since its founding in 1901. And it has undertaken massive projects in sustainability, conservation, education, tourism, agriculture, roads and reservoirs.

Yet few are aware of the organization’s growing impact on the environmental health of countries outside of Israel.

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The hoopoe bird is fighting off some incredibly nosy neighbors

Posted on February 6th, 2017
by Benyamin Cohen for FromtheGrapevine

Invasive parakeets – yes, invasive parakeets! – are causing trouble at hoopoe nests

The hoopoe bird doesn't have it easy. It's got to contend with a comical look and a funny-sounding name. But now it has another foe to fend off: invasive parakeets.

Chosen as the national bird of Israel in 2008 (besting the bulbul, warbler and finch for the honor), the beloved bird with the spectacular crown feathers is fighting for its survival. Ring-necked parakeets are jostling for space in Israel's trees, literally knocking hoopoes out of their nests.

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The New Year of the Trees: Ecological EdTech for Tu Bishvat

Posted on January 30th, 2017
By Yonah Kirschner, The Digital Learning Network

The holiday of Tu Bishvat begins this year on Friday evening, February 10th. As the Jewish holiday most closely connected to the environment and the natural world, Tu Bishvat provides a great opportunity for teachers to include earth and environmental science in their curriculum. This year, we were inspired by Jewish texts about the natural world. For each text, we’ve taken out a particular topic you can focus on in your classroom and provided educational technology resources that can help your students reach their learning goals. Our hope is that after using these tools and developing a stronger understanding of Earth, your students will have a more meaningful Tu Bishvat.

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