Legislation for the Protection
of Species and Habitats
By Dr. Alon Tal, Israel Union for Environmental Defense (Adam,
Israel has no endangered species law per se. As part of Israel's
Nature Reserve Law under the National Parks, Nature Reserves,
Memorial Sites and National Sites Law of 1992, there is a special
section which empowers the Minister of Agriculture to designate
certain species, inanimate objects and such as Protected Natural
Assets. For example, there are special kinds of cylindrical rocks
which managed to make their way to Israel from volcanoes in pre-historic
Egypt and they are no less protected than the corals in the Gulf
of Eilat, or the local leopards, wolves or karakuls.
There is a blanket prohibition on destroying, damaging, picking
up, uprooting, poisoning or changing a protected natural asset.
The success Israel has had in protecting natural assets is a result
of the Minister of Agriculture's extensive regulations and [the] encyclopedic
lists prepared for him by Israel's Nature Reserve Authority, which he
has historically signed into force. The guts of the process are
the many regulations which have been filed. From a quarter page
series of enabling provisions, Israel has a fairly solid system
in place. Of course the law doesn't focus sufficiently on habitat
preservation, and this will take some time to improve.
Source: The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL).