On November 21, 1999, the Israeli Cabinet approved Environment Minister Dalia Itzik’s proposal to establish a National Environment Council. The decision is an important precedent that proves that the entire government understands the importance of environmental issues. The government can now make proper decisions in the daily war between the protectors of the environment and its despoilers.
The Council will comprise 75 members representing public bodies, academe, economic sectors, Members of Knesset, religious groups, education, literary and media groups, the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI), local authorities, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and youth movements. Half of the Council members will be women and half men.
The Council will submit recommendations to the Environment Minister, government and Knesset on environmental policy issues, while taking economic, scientific and cultural aspects into account, raise public and individual awareness on environmental matters and the quality of life in Israel, suggest directions for research and seek to develop alternative forums for the exchange of opinions between the government, public institutions, the private sector and academe, to submit periodic reports on the environment to the Environment Minister and to monitor the implementation of international environmental agreements by Israel.
Sources: Israeli Government Press Office