Well Being Conflicts over Access and Rights

September, 2016
By Dr. Jawad Hasan-Shoqeir, Director of the Soil & Hydrology Research Unit, Al-Quds University, Palestine

The following article is part of the SFG publication “Big Questions of Our time: The World Speaks”. To access the full publication please click here.


Throughout human evolution, the relationship with land has been critical. There are critical zones that harbour soil preservation and biodiversity, supporting the food chain. 

Soil terraces evolved over thousands of years at these critical zones. Soil terraces served small communities covering simple basic needs. Human nature is influenced by factors such as land ownership, conflicts over access and rights, evolving in both space and time. 

In the process of evolution, critical zones were neglected; habitats demolished, natural forests were replaced by modern pastoralism and large scale agriculture. Fragmented elements of the landscape and habitat which used to give us the sense of happiness no more exist. Therefore understanding of our place in our natural and cultural environment is a question of time and space. 

The big question is about the new civilization: What are the values and elements - other than habitat and landscape - that can give us the sense of continuity and understanding of our place in our natural and cultural environment?important

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