Environment and Policy -Research Collection: Manager's Brief
Publication Year: 2002
Alon Tal, Amir Eidelman, Nir Ben-Aharon
This book contains a number of studies that were conducted in the sphere of environmental policy in 1999-2000. It is divided into three sections: Environmental enforcement, Infrastructures and water resources and National environmental challenges. The articles and studies reflect the current state of affairs in major issues relating to the environmental situation in Israel, and they include data and concrete recommendations.
Exploring Israeli Environmental Policy
The formulation of environmental policy requires a multidisciplinary approach combining knowledge in the natural sciences, medicine, the social sciences, and the humanities, as well as expertise about the judicial and governmental systems in Israel. The goal of such policy is to create an environment that is healthy, stable, balanced, and sustainable for this generation and the generations to come. A research infrastructure based on an understanding of both natural and man-made (anthropogenic) processes deepens existing knowledge, develops new ideas, and makes it possible to critique the existing situation based on solid evidence.
The aspiration is that the findings and conclusions of policy studies will be translated into legislation, regulations, work procedures, and a series of recommendations with regard to managing the resources of the environment and developing environmental-friendly technologies.
The past twenty years have seen an increasing awareness in the Western world of the need to preserve the environment. The demographic surge and the rise in the standard of living have brought with them hyper-exploitation of natural resources and a concomitant increase in ecological hazards. Awareness of environmental issues and recognition of their importance are now high on the public agenda. In many countries, environmental policy is developing within governmental and public bodies, while academic institutions are engaged in applied research in the realm of the environment.
In Israel, the Ministry of the Environment has invested considerable resources in the creation of a policy and planning “cluster,” which is intended to formulate and implement environmental policy. In the public sphere, extensive environmental activity has existed in Israel from the 1950s, when the Society for the Preservation of Nature was founded, to the present day, when a broad range of environmental viii organizations are active, such as the Israel Union for Environmental Defense, and Life and Environment, the umbrella organization of the green organizations.
The institutions of higher learning in Israel have recently created environmental study tracks, which conduct research and other activity in areas of applied knowledge. The welcome activity in the sphere of environmental policy in Israel attests to a greater awareness of environmental issues that has evolved over the years; nevertheless, major tasks still lie ahead of us, which call for a more coherent environmental policy.