Peacebuilding requires the construction of bridges between nations. Protecting nature, which provides food and shelter for all of us, is essential for people on the two sides of a conflict zone. We have to take responsibility for nature, and doing so across a conflict divide is the first sign of trust that can promote reconciliation.
Predator and diplomat ! A large consumer of rodents, the barn owl is a perfect biological pest control agent that can replace rodenticides, poison that adversely affects the environment and, in turn, humans. In the Middle East, Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians have fixed nest boxes for owls since 2002. People from these three communities collaborate to favour barn owls instead of spreading tons of poison.
This initiative is an incentive to restore trust between the three communities. Local stakeholders and national and international leaders, such as the University of Lausanne, are involved in this project.
Barn owls know no boundaries !
Barn owls breeding in Israel can indeed hunt in the Palestinian Authority. Owls ringed in Israel and in Jordan can breed together. For a number of years, farmers and school children from Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority share their experience with owls and realize the importance of protecting their natural environment. From a bird of doom, the barn owl has become a symbol of peace !