Volume 38 of Israel Environment Bulletin is dedicated to Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.
Rio+20 – The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development will take place on June 20 – 22, 2012 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
The conference focuses on two main themes: Building a green economy to achieve sustainable development and lifting people out of poverty, while improving international coordination for sustainable development.
Much has been done in Israel over the past decade to meet the challenges of sustainable development – beginning with a landmark 2003 government decision which determined that the policy of the Government of Israel will be based on the principles of sustainable development, continuing to the development of programs for local sustainability, the setting of targets for renewable energy and energy conservation, the formulation of a national climate change plan, the initiation of a waste recycling revolution, the enactment ofa Clean Air Law and the formulation of a national plan for air pollution reduction, the introduction of a Green Government Initiative, the development of a National Biodiversity Plan, and, most recently, the approval of a government decision on a national green growth strategy.
In the spirit of Rio, this issue of the bulletin focuses on Israel’s recent decision to formulate a green growth strategy for the coming decade and on the innovative ways in which the strategy is being drafted, namely through a participatory process of discussions around a round table by all stakeholders. Looking toward the future, the Bulletin reviews Sustainability Outlook 2030, a unique project in which a range of future scenarios are presented, a vision of sustainability is formulated and the routes by which Israel can progress toward achieving the vision are defined.
The Bulletin then surveys some of the major issues that will be discussed in Rio – outlining Israel’s achievements and challenges, its visions for the future, and its position within the international community in such areas as green industry and innovation, water management, sustainable agriculture, green cities, forestation and biodiversity management.
Gilad Erdan, Minister of Environmental Protection: "Over the past year, Israel has made important progress in moving toward a green economy. Most importantly, in October 2011 our government resolved to prepare a national green growth strategy for Israel. Since then, a national round table with representatives of government, the business sector and the third sector has been hard at work formulating a green growth plan which will be submitted for government approval this year.
Israel has long been recognized as a world leader in water technologies, demonstrating how it is possible to develop and feed a growing population in a land with scarce water sources. The time has now come for us to serve as a global laboratory for the development and application of other innovations that can provide safe and clean food, water and energy under conditions of growing natural resource scarcity. We cannot afford to wait. Our future depends on the course we chart today."