JERUSALEM, ISRAEL, June 22, 2011 Ben-Gurion University of the Negev's (BGU) Prof. Alon Tal presented the most comprehensive report to date on Israel's environmental movement. It details the movement's lack of training, involvement of experts and public support, as well as its perilous dependence on foreign donations.
The report, "Israel's Environmental Movement: Trends, Needs and Potential," was presented to Knesset Speaker MK Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday as part of Environment Day at the Knesset. Prof. Alon Tal, of the Institute for Dryland Environmental and Energy Research at BGU's Sede Boqer campus, offered a detailed portrait of the current movement and recommendations for its future.
While the mainstream population of Israel is becoming more environmentally aware, large population segments, such as the Arab and Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) sectors still remain for the most part unengaged, the report's authors found. As the two sectors are the fastest growing in Israel, Tal recommends actively increasing the environmental movement's engagement with these populations.
The report recommends addressing the "elephant in the room" the issue of overpopulation. Israel is the most crowded of the Western countries, yet continues to pursue a vigorous pro-natal and pro-immigration policy. Much of Israel's environmental problems can be attributed to a population explosion from one million people in 1950 to 7.7 million people in 2011 a scant 61 years.
"The environmental movement must start to address population policy in the same way that environmental movements abroad do so," Tal explains. "Sadly, no organization or philanthropic organization is willing to seriously address these issues, which will ultimately make Israel ecologically barren and socially untenable," he says, suggesting that the complex issues be addressed in a sensitive but proactive manner.
Israel's environmental movement is just 20 years-old and significant ch
|Contact: Andrew Lavin|
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev