The delegation is compiling data and information for the preparation of an Environmental Performance Review of Israel.
(Communicated by the Ministry of Environmental Protection)
A delegation of experts from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and its member states including Norway, Germany, Korea and the USA has completed its visit to Israel to assess environmental conditions in the country and to compile data and information for the preparation of an Environmental Performance Review of Israel.
According to Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan, "The arrival of the mission underlines the importance given by the OECD to the environment and to assuring quality of life in its member countries alongside economic growth. I hope that Israel’s Environmental Performance Report will help upgrade the environment on Israel’s national priority list."
Within the framework of Israel’s accession to the OECD , the organization will be preparing an Environmental Performance Review (EPR) of Israel. During the delegation’s 11 day visit to Israel, members met with the Minister of Environmental Protection as well as with representatives of government, local authorities, industry, environmental non-governmental organizations, etc. Their visit included field trips to the Hiriya recycling park, the Dan Region Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Hadera desalination facility.
Minister Erdan: "Analysis of the report which will be prepared by the OECD will allow Israel to assess its progress in attaining its goals and its international commitments. Its recommendations will serve as a catalyst for promoting our environmental performance."
The report will review Israel’s environmental performance, with special attention to the use of economic tools for tackling environmental issues, including, among others, energy and air quality, transport and the environment, tourism and the environment, coastal zone management, the national greenhouse gas registry and reporting system, water, biodiversity, noise, waste and recycling, etc.
The report, which will be submitted to the government of Israel, will include conclusions and recommendations as well as a timetable for implementation designed to improve Israel’s environmental performance. The OECD will formally follow up on Israel’s progress in implementing its recommendations.
The Director General of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Dr. Yossi Inbar, said: "This comparative assessment and the EPR process itself are an opportunity to review Israel’s environmental performance in different subject vis a vis the existing knowledge worldwide. These tools will also allow us to contribute of the wide range of knowledge which exists in Israel in fields in which we are at the forefront."
In preparation for the delegation, the Ministry of Environmental Protection submitted background material, reports and data to the OECD on a wide variety of subjects:
- Biodiversity in Israel – scientific data, information on open space, policy tools and Israel’s National Biodiversity Plan, which was published in 2010.
- Examples of technological innovation in industry in Israel and the diversity of tools used to encourage innovation.
- The Clean Air Law and preparations for its entry into force in January 2011.
- The waste revolution and the introduction of extended producer responsibility on packaging spearheaded by the Ministry.
- Treatment and recovery of wastewater in agriculture, a field in which Israel is an acknowledged world leader.
- Desalination in Israel and measures taken to address the environmental aspects of desalination.
- Israel’s active participation in international frameworks such as the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP), cooperation on high production volume (HPV) chemicals, etc.
- Background material on local environmental activities such as community gardens.
- River rehabilitation in Israel and the chain of parks.
- Wide-ranging data on air quality in Israel, water quality, Sea of Galilee, etc.
An Environmental Performance Review is prepared by the OECD for member countries every few years, in order to improve the environmental performance of these states and to create a comparative index among OECD members. Furthermore, the report promotes a continuous policy dialogue among member countries through "peer learning" and stimulates a greater accountability from member countries’ governments toward public opinion.