Israel Environmental Protection Minister Ezra and German Federal Minister for the Environment Gabriel have agreed to intensify cooperation on the environment between the two countries.

(Communicated by the Ministry of Environmental Protection Spokesperson)

Israel Environmental Protection Minister Gideon Ezra and German Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety Sigmar Gabriel along with senior officials of their respective ministries met on March 17, 2008 within the framework of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Israel.

Based on the German-Israeli Agreement on Cooperation in Environmental Matters and Nature Conservation of March 17, 1993 and the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation regarding Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Projects of February 12, 2008, the two ministers agreed to intensify bilateral cooperation in the important areas of air pollution and climate change, energy efficiency and renewable energy, water and river restoration, recycling and waste management.

At the meeting, Mr. Gabriel announced his intention to return to Israel in several months, along with senior professionals in his ministry and representatives of the German Environmental Foundation and the German Federal Environment Agency. During the course of the next few months, a work program will be formulated between the German and Israel Ministries of Environmental Protection which will be finalized in the next ministerial meeting, slated to take place in the summer of 2008.

Following are some of the issues which were raised for further discussion:

– Support for sectoral action programs to reduce greenhouse gases in Israel.
– Support for the establishment of a voluntary Greenhouse Gas  Registry in Israel, following the workshop held in Israel on 13 – 14 February, 2008.
– Cooperation for promoting projects in special Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) areas, such as programmatic CDM.
– Potential conventional CDM activities for project matching in order to bring Israeli and German companies together. 
–  Workshop on clean coal technologies.
– Support for technology transfer on solid waste recycling and advanced waste recovery methods.
– Active German participation in a workshop on Sustainable Materials Management organized by the OECD Working Party on Waste and hosted in Israel.
– Assistance and support to a local municipality as a pilot project in promoting recycling.
– Transfer of technology and information exchange on maintenance of sewage and fuel pipelines to prevent pollution.
– Cooperation on prevention of transboundary pollution.

At the conclusion of the ministerial meeting, an environmental forum took place with the participation of business sector representatives from the two countries in order to initiate common efforts to address climate change and review means of promoting cooperation on greenhouse gas emissions trading.