UPDATE ON THE YEAR OF THE ENVIRONMENT
The Year of the Environment in Israel was officially launched on September 6th, 1993 but the events associated with the year began long before. Dozens of activities have already taken place, their impact exceeding initial expectations. In the past few months, no day has gone by without media coverage of environmental issues, without environmental lectures, happenings, exhibitions or cleanups somewhere in the country. Requests for information and educational material have poured into the Ministry of the Environment in the thousands. Specially-prepared pamphlets, car stickers, posters, bookmarks and garbage bags for vehicles have been distributed to the general public. Pamphlets and stickers in English and Arabic are currently being prepared.
The formal education system will be flooded with new curricular material in December, the official opening of "Environment Year" in the school system. The Society for the Protection of Nature (SPNI) has already published several instruction booklets with specific proposals on the active study of such subjects as recycling, water conservation, pollution, etc. Moreover, in conjunction with Tel Aviv University, the SPNI has published three textbooks on the environment especially geared for elementary school students. The books are part of a comprehensive project designed to implement a new approach to the teaching of science and technology in primary schools. A special B.A. program in environmental studies, the first of its kind in Israel, was inaugurated this year in the Tel-Hai College and an Environmental Academy designed for teacher training was opened in September in Menahamiya.
A 1993-94 "Green Diary" was published by Eretz magazine under the patronage of the Environment Ministry. The entire diary is made of recycled carton and paper. The diary features drawings and descriptions of plants or animals alongside a potpourri of environmental information and proposals for citizen action on behalf of the environment.
The multitude of events which have already taken place in Israel as part of Environment Year are too many to enumerate here, but suffice it to say that events such as the Environment Ministry’s week-long anti-litter campaign around government buildings under the slogan "Cleanliness Begins at Home" have made a major impact. Throughout the country, organizations and citizen groups are taking part in local and regional events. The kibbutz movement, for example, has declared its intention to establish a model ecological kibbutz while the tourism sector is redoubling its efforts to integrate tourism and the environment.
Following are only a few of the highlights of Environment Year events thus far:
The above represent only some of the prominent events of the past few months; countless others are planned for the coming months.
Some coming attractions: