It is my pleasure to announce a new initiative in the context of Deputy Mayor Naomi Tsur’s Green Pilgrim Jerusalem – An initiative aimed at the Greening of the City’s hospitality and conferencing industries. It is an integral part of Naomi’s vision at Windsor.

The world famous Aluvihare Buddhist temple

The world famous Aluvihare Buddhist temple situated in the Municipal Area of the City of matale 3km north of Matale on the Kandy-Dambulla section of the A9 route in a picturesque valley is the rock monastery Aluvihare. Aluvihare is one of the most important cultural sites in Sri Lanka, for it was here in the 1st century BC that the Buddhist doctrines -comprising the Tripitikaya or “three baskets of the law,” along with the commentaries - were first transcribed after having been handed down orally for several centuries.
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The Sabbatical Year – Reciprocity between Nature and Faith

The ancient mandate of Shmita (Sabbatical) obligates every farmer in the Land of Israel, once every seven years, to leave his fields fallow, relinquish ownership of the fruit, let the soil rest, and enable all people (and work animals) to take part in the land’s blessing. During this year, financial debts are cancelled, and people receive the opportunity to start a new period of six years of financial freedom.

The Green Pilgrim in Jerusalem and the Garden Tomb

The Garden Tomb, arguably the most peaceful, most clean, most serene place in east Jerusalem is a jewel in the crown of the Christian church. It is the foremost Protestant tourist site in Israel, and was recently awarded ‘Best Tour site’ by the Israeli Tour Guide Association. Visited by well over ¼ million people each year from 90+ countries, it is usually affirmed in their feedback as their favorite site in Israel.

Rights of way A streetscape manual for the Old City of Jerusalem

… The pulse of life in the Old City is very active and extremely dense; alleys are effervescent with trade, pedestrians, carts, cars, children and tourists. The challenge is to adjust the Old City to today's professional standards, mainly in terms of accessibility of the open space to every person, while maintaining its character and uniqueness for future generations.

Inclusive Playscapes for Children in Jerusalem - From Global to Local

The selected spatial model tracked how children with and without special needs interacted in the playgrounds studied, and this model is proposed as an implementation planning/design approach to the space. The findings of the study reclaim the playground for all children and wish to encourage playing in this setting by creating a quality universal external space that can be enjoyed by everyone. Otherwise, as expressed by Goldman, "the right to be outdoors" becomes irrelevant for many children and adults.

Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind

Our mission is to improve the quality of life for blind and visually impaired Israelis, including IDF veterans and victims of terror, by providing them with safe mobility, independence and self-confidence through the assistance of guide dog partnerships.

Chaiplanet – Donating Renewable Energy to Charity

Today, a new opportunity has emerged which both promotes renewable energy and helps charity. Chaiplanet (www.chaiplanet.org) is encouraging donations to buy renewable energy systems for charity institutions, so that they and those they help can benefit from the income of the electricity sold over many years. Chaiplanet mechanism helps enlarge funds for charities using solar systems, solar water heaters, wind turbines or energy efficiency systems.

On the Road to Wandering

The four roads leading to and from Jerusalem were examined through the magnified lens of the concepts - Pilgrimage and Wandering. Jerusalem has four routes, to Bethlehem, Jaffa, Jericho and Gaza. Over the years these routes have become a concrete axis as well as imaginary roads to the city. Landscapes along the way became a source of inspiration and a reflection of a lost Biblical view and a means to construct a national narrative for both the Israelis as the Palestinians.

The Jordan River Covenant – Faith in the Ability to Restore a Clean, Healthy and Holy River Jordan

EcoPeace/ Friends of the Earth Middle East is raising awareness about the need – and the real possibility - to rehabilitate the Lower Jordan River. As part of these ongoing efforts, EcoPeace/ FoEME is now helping Christian, Muslim, and Jewish faith communities in the region and around the world to get involved in the Lower Jordan River rehabilitation project.

Birds: Pilgrims without Boundaries

The unique location of the Middle East, in a junction of three continents, Asia, Europe and Africa, makes it a global bottleneck for bird migration. One billion birds migrate over the region annually. On the other hand, the geopolitical status of the region since ancient times suffered conflicts and wars.

The Interconnection of Environment, Faith and Peace

The essence of the Jewish Pilgrimage, three times a year to Jerusalem is to rejoice in all the good which the Almighty has bestowed upon us. This is a kind of rejoicing which is far from the rejoicing of the modern consumer society which is always searching for what is lacking.

Flora of the Holy Land

The Gardens are pursuing a number of avenues "To meaningfully (re-) connect people to the wondrous and varied world of plants, to its meaning for life, and to the importance of protecting it. “ Over the past two years, staff and external experts have been researching the connections between plants and the Old Testament, with a view to bringing people of faith closer to plants, their importance, and the environmental messages of the scriptures. The plan is to expand this program in the future to take in the Christian and Muslim perspectives on plants and environmental ethics.

Working with people to achieve effective conservation

While there is unanimous agreement that to achieve successful conservation, key interest groups or “stakeholders”, as they are often labelled, need to be engaged in a meaningful way, there are few examples where governments are truly willing to take the time to effectively engage groups, gain trust and build management plans through true consensus processes.

The Greenways Network Project: Linking Nature, People and Cultural Heritage

The Greenways Network of Vitoria-Gasteiz began to be developed in a comprehensive and pioneering ways in the early 90s. Circular way around the Green Belt can be considered a first structural milestone that has been subsequently developing and evolving inwards, connecting neighborhoods with the medieval core of the city, and outwards, linking this set of ecologically interconnected parks with its hinterland valleys and finally with the Ring the Uplands.

Information in urban space

Samples and discussion People using urban spaces need to learn to navigate them, particularly if they are tourists. There are different types of orientation systems available today and I will delineate them and promote a discussion of the situation in Jerusalem.

The Right to Freedom of Mobility & Accessibility in the Public Domain

Towns and cities worldwide are becoming so much alike that it may soon be hard to know where you are by looking around you. Is it surprising that people make pilgrimages and visit historic areas that have a strong character partly as a means of re-establishing their own identity? Perhaps this is a desire for what the poet, Pope described as the “genius loci” or spirit of the place? This poses the question; what makes a place of real quality that satisfies human needs for rootedness, responds to the local context and environmental setting, and yet has this essential spirit?

One size does not fit all

In promoting equality of opportunity a common misconception is that all that needs to be done to achieve this is to treat everyone the same. Lister (1997) argues that: Equality and difference are not incompatible; they only become so if equality is understood to mean sameness. In fact the very notion of equality implies differences to be discounted or taken into account so that, despite them, people are treated as equals for specific purposes.

Equal rights- the Israeli vision of Accessibility for people with disabilities in a global context

"הוגנות במרחב הציבורי" Last September Israel ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006), a convention that adds another layer to other international conventions recognizing equal rights, and declares specific rights with the purpose of promoting, protecting and ensuring the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities.

Management and presentation of Information for Tourism for All

Tourism for All Concept is that everyone should be able to travel to the country, within the country and to whatever place, attraction or event they should wish to visit. This means that tourist attractions must have accessibility to all people, including people with disabilities and elderly of all faiths.

Towards and Ethical Code for the Public Domain

The public realm or public domain of cities, towns and villages is the social outdoor space in an area that is available for the public to access, see, use and enjoy, normally without cost. The public domain may be the setting for fine architecture or for more modest buildings; it may be the place where people that have a common desire to visit a place of spiritual, cultural, architectural or historic significance or express their common views, gather together.

Women of Different Faiths: Pilgrimage, Empowerment, and Sisterhood

Elana Rosenman will share her reflections from 15 years of building sisterhood with Christian, Druze, Jewish, and Muslim women in the midst of the conflict in our land and in our region. She will discuss her experiences related to women of different faiths empowering themselves and each other through religious study, through religious pilgrimage, and through environmental actions to create a better future for our children and grandchildren.

Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI)

The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) is Israel's leading environmental non-profit organization. For the past 60 years, SPNI has been dedicated to protecting and preserving Israel's natural resources, environment, natural assets and unique landscape. The work carried out by SPNI now will determine what the land of Israel will look like in 50 years.

The River as a Bridge: A Case Study of the Wadi El Nar - Kidron Valley Initiative

The Kidron Valley/Wadi el Nar Initiative is a mega project for rehabilitation of the Kidron Valley, the biblical valley that begins in Jerusalem and reaches the Dead Sea. For decades the valley has been neglected due to political exigencies, but several years ago, Palestinians and Israelis began a process of basin management, which, today, proves that a basin is an excellent platform for human and environmental dignity.

The Provost at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in the Old City of Jerusalem

“Environment” is a neutral description of what Christians believe to be creation – the space of life given by the eternal creator to afford existence to all kind of being. Human being has its particular place in creation bearing responsibility for its safeguard and its development. Let’s explore the spiritual and ethical sources of this view in Lutheran faith and talk about ways of its realization in daily life and especially in Tourism and Pilgrimage.

The Sustainability of Pilgrimage and Heritage

The presentation unfolds, through the terminology of heritage and sustainable development, a cultural construct of pilgrimage, both real and virtual. This might be achieved through citizen participation and economic growth, sustaining the values of the physical environment, emphasizing well-being and the integration of environmental and developmental objectives.

The value of nature for cities and their surrounding areas

The notion that cities and biodiversity are mutually exclusive is quickly dispelled by a stroll through any well-managed urban park. Finding refuge in such a park, nestled amidst a sea of concrete, tarmac, and cars, one may notice that the air is purer and cooler, the growl of traffic is fainter, the birdsong is sweeter, and the citizens are calmer.

The Jordan River Charter – A united call to restore a clean, healthy and Holy River Jordan

Friends of the Earth Middle East and leading representatives of the three Abrahamic traditions are proud to publically release and endorse the Jordan River Charter. The Jordan River Charter is a universal call to action to repair the Lower Jordan River’s damaged ecosystem through cooperation and respect among the region’s diverse nations and religions.

The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens

The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens, located close to the Knesset and the Israel Museum, offer a 35-acre retreat of beauty and tranquility in the heart of Israel's largest metropolis, Jerusalem. Housing the country's biggest plant collection (more than 6,000 species), the Gardens exhibit floral landscapes from all over the world; collect, cultivate and protect plants in danger of extinction; and test drought-resistant plants for the horticultural market. From carpets of wildflowers in spring to the fiery reds and yellows of the Aloes in winter, the Gardens offer year-round inspiration. Some 200,000 people visit annually.

Har Hazeitim

For more than 3,000 years the Mount of Olives has hosted the final resting place of some 150,000 Jews, including three biblical Jewish Prophets, foremost Torah scholars, heads of Chassidic dynasties, the founder of the Hadassah women’s movement, and many of Israel’s national leaders over the ages, including Prime Minister Menachem Begin. The Mount of Olives is revered by Christianity as well. A number of significant Christian holy sites dot the mountain and those are visited every year by multitudes of Christian pilgrims.


Celebrating ‘learning to live together sustainably’ under the aegis of United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005–2014), and understanding the interdependency and fragility of planetary life support systems, and making better global citizenship that promote more humane and peaceful life, and develop mass awakening for universal brotherhood

The Austrian Hospice to the Holy Family in the Old City of Jerusalem

The Austrian Hospice to the Holy Family in the Old City of Jerusalem was founded in 1854 by the Austrian Catholic Church. The guesthouse opened its doors to the public in 1863, which means we are commemorating our 150th anniversary this year! The Hospice has since been hosting pilgrims and tourists coming to Jerusalem from all over the world.

A Holistic Approach to Green Infrastructure

Investment in a strategic approach to living green infrastructure can help to deliver improved public health, enhanced economic regeneration and wider environmental benefits. Street trees, public parks, private gardens and other green and blue features of a city’s landscape all have an important role to play.


The Bahá’í Holy Places in Haifa and Acre are the primary focus of pilgrimage for the Bahá’í Faith, a world-wide religious community of some five million believers. These sites have been inscribed by UNESCO on its World Heritage List and also constitute a major tourist attraction, drawing approximately a million public visitors a year. As such, they represent an interesting example of integration in their social, economic and ecological surroundings.

National Chapters of a Global Network

The Green Pilgrimage Network was launched in Assisi, Italy in October 2011 by the Alliance of Religions and Conservation. ARC was founded in 1995 by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, to help the world’s major faiths develop environmental programmes to protect the living planet. For more information visit: www.arcworld.org.

Nature Lover, City Dweller – Haifa, a Green Pilgrim City

The lecture will discuss the potential for Haifa as a Green Pilgrim City. Haifa's potential springs from an abundance of natural resources which are unique to the city and which were highlighted in a 2012 survey by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI).

Religious cities in India

Religious cities in India are located in many parts of the country. Most cities accommodate many faiths and celebrate festivals of various religions with equal fervour. For example, the city of Kolkata celebrates Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh and Buddhist religious festivals during various parts of the year, although KOLKATA cannot be classified as a religious city . Yet the City attracts millions of devotees for some of the religious festivals, for which temporary temples of exquisite architecture are put up for a few days.

Environmental and Social Harmony in Pilgrim Cities

Green towns and cities are known to foster health and harmony. Trees help to cool and clean the air; parks and gardens provide attractive and accessible spaces for refreshing recreation; research shows that close contact with nature on the doorstep has a calming influence and reduces stress.

The Sacred Ram Setu – Last Remaining Hotspot of Biodiversity

The Gulf of Mannar is the site of the famous Ram Setu, or Adam’s Bridge, which according to Hindu scriptures (the Ramayana) was created by Lord Rama in order to rescue his wife, Sita. The Bridge also features in later Islamic narratives.

Decision Support System for Evaluating Accessibility of Facilities

This article describes an information system for analysis and decision support for the evaluation of facilities' accessibility for the elderly and for people with disabilities. The system is used to provide consistent, updated, reliable and objective information for accessibility audits of home and public facilities

Architecture is Each People's Dialogue with Their Environment

A twenty-minute slideshow of our architectural restoration efforts starting in Beijing and going to Lhasa and how using architecture as a base, the entire concept of a social enterprise emerged. The emphasis is on a starting point -- restoration -- and how that evolves into an interconnected matrix of economic functions for a green pilgrimage economy and related social functions.

Significance of Community Outreach

This will be a personal journey telling how The Himalayan Consensus established House of Shambhala in Lhasa, (another significant pilgrimage city), and how it grew to include four hotels supporting workshops for the disabled, medical and education, eye care and outreach programs in nomadic areas.

Ethics of a Pilgrim-Based Economy

I will put this in the macro-economic context: heritage protection + renewable and efficient energy = a model for sustainable growth in the context of "diversified localisation." Points covered will be how pilgrimage travel -- if properly managed with guiding local regulations -- can create a sustainable economy, preserve traditions and heritage

Lumbini – the World Heritage for Peace and Nirvana

Pilgrimage is done by feelings in heart and tears of gratitude in eyes. It is not just a physical body movement. The Gautam Buddha's birth place is that place, where every seekers and devotee in depth feels a divine vibration of the mystic born here 2600 years ago.

Friends of André Chouraqui

L'association des Amis d'André Chouraqui se fera une joie de participer à cet événement. Notre association se situe en effet dans la droite ligne des idéaux (réconcilier les peuples, les cultures et les religions) qui prévaleront lors de ce symposium et qui s'avèrent être aussi les principaux buts poursuivis par A. Chouraqui durant toute sa vie.

Green Pilgrimage and Interfaith Eco-Cooperation in Israel and its Global Significance

Rabbi Neril will discuss his experience in promoting green pilgrimage and interfaith cooperation on environmental sustainability, and explore why this is crucial for us and our children to inherit a liveable planet.

Envisioning a Sustainable Jerusalem – The Hospitality Industry

Using its unique process, Photograph from the Future (PFF™) that allows organizations to design a strategy "from" the future and then fulfill it, the Yoyah Group will lead senior hotel and restaurant management in envisioning and then implementing their own sustainable operations to achieve eco-efficiency in energy, water, waste management and procurement, at the same time maximizing economic, social and environmental benefits.

“If not now – When? A call for the religions of the world to act before it’s too late”

If God were to talk to you, or rather, if you were able to hear God’s prayer what would you hear? You would hear the crying of the Creator for the damage being inflicted on the beautiful and infinitely intricate creation that supports life on our planet.

“Three Faiths—One Vision for Peace”

As Jews, Christians and Muslims, we followed with tremendous apprehension and compassion, the conflict which recently rocked Israel and Gaza. We are grateful that, to date, the cease fire holds and pray that it will serve as the starting point for a more permanent peace.

Mapping our Common Ground with Green Map System

For those of us who feel reverence for nature, affirm community and believe in the promise of a sustainable future, Green Maps can help citizens everywhere appreciate their world from a greener perspective.

Extend an outstretched hand welcoming you to the City of Jerusalem

Join us on a quest depicting the more aesthetic, spiritual aspects of Jerusalem life, exploring those aspects that focus on our inner being, nourishing our inner lives.

“How to Green a Pilgrimage to Jerusalem and Israel”

Rabbi Neril will explore practical aspects of ‘eco-tourism,’ relating to transportation, water use, and food consumption. He will also provide examples of ecology-themed programs, including visiting headquarters of green technology companies, organic farms, and a garbage dump turned into a park and environmental education center.