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The Environment in Israel:
Toward a Sustainable Future

By Shoshana Gabbay





Historic Overview


Landscape Conservation

Water Quality

Air Quality

Marine & Coastal Environment

Solid Waste

Hazardous Substances

Environmental Research

Toward a
Sustainable Future





Olive tree
Courtesy: Jewish National
Fund/Photo Archives

Israel recognizes that, for assuring sustainable development, methods must be developed to conserve biodiversity, protect vital water sources, control air pollution in densely populated areas, upgrade wastewater treatment and expand effluent recovery, provide for pesticide-free agricultural produce and assure safe disposal, treatment and recycling of solid and hazardous waste. Consequently, both Israel's environmental industries and its academic institutions have invested in broadening their research and development activities. At the same time, stringent new standards, accompanied by tough enforcement, along with educational initiatives and public campaigns are increasing the environmental consciousness and responsibility of government and civil society alike.


Israel believes that sustainable development can be achieved, that environmental degradation can be arrested, that damaged areas can be restored. It is convinced that its renewed commitment to the environment will ensure that ecological values and environmental resources will be protected — not just for present generations, but for the generations yet to come. This concept is not new. It was expressed by ancient Judaic sources almost a thousand years ago. Yet, the message rings as true today as it did then:


"When the Holy One Blessed Be He created the first man, He took him and warned him about all the trees of the Garden of Eden, saying: 'See My works, see how beautiful and perfect they are, and all I created — I created for you. Beware lest you spoil and destroy My world, for if you will spoil it, there is no one to repair it after you.'" (Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7:13)