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Israel Environment & Nature: Legislation for the Protection of Species & Habitats

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.

Sources: The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL)