The IPAT equation developed in the early 1970s by Ehrlich and Holdren suggests that the impact (I) of society on the environment is associated with population size (P) coupled with manner of function (f), which is shaped by elements such as affluence (A) and available technology (T). To date, most studies that have used the IPAT framework have either focused on its conceptual idea or employed it quantitatively at national and international scales. Few studies have explored the sub-national/regional scale, and none have focused on the local/community scale. This paper employs the IPAT framework for the case of Israel’s urban indigenous Bedouin society of the Negev. The paper aims to highlight IPAT’s strength in analyzing the array of internal and external factors that contribute to the making of an environmental crisis in Bedouin towns; a crisis with dire effects on public health and residents’ quality-of-life. The paper describes the current environmental situation and identifies major policy interventions and actions taken by government ministries and civil organizations. It introduces a revised and extended IPAT theoretical equation [including such elements as behavior (B), social communality (Sc) and Governmental policy (Po)] as an analytical framework for various factors associated with the Bedouin urban environmental crisis. Finally, the paper suggests new directions for intervention based on addressing the different factors contained within the human–environment impact equation.
- Bedouin towns
- Environmental crises