Israel has strengthened its environmental policies of late and should now "develop a green growth plan covering environmental, economic and social policies." This is the thrust of the OECD Environmental Performance Review of Israel
issued earlier this month – the first such review since Israel joined the OECD a year ago.
The review reflects extensive use of JIIS material, garnered primarily from the Environmental Policy Center (EPC). It directly quotes JIIS documents and research projects 11 times, particularly in reference to research on contaminated land, on enforcement, and on the national budget and the environment.
"The involvement of the EPC and JIIS is also quoted in the text in relation to the preparation of the Sustainability Outlook for 2030 project and the preparation of the master plan for the Kidron Valley," says EPC director Valerie Brachya.
In addition, the OECD review emphasizes the importance of promoting environmental liability, another subject currently under EPC research. This, in fact, figures as one of the key recommendations of the review. Also winning attention is the Dead Sea, both in relation to the Peace Canal and concerning problems incurred by the lowering of its water level. The EPC will be issuing a policy document
on this issue in the coming weeks.
The review offers an indication that EPC and other JIIS research is well recognized not only by Israeli authorities but also by international authorities as important and reliable sources of policy research with significant influence on policy making in Israel.
The OECD review covers integrated approaches to sustainable development, with an emphasis on green growth, environmental management and international cooperation. The selected issues studied in detail by the OECD are water, biodiversity, climate change and air quality and waste management. Its recommendations relate to the use of environmentally related taxes and market-based instruments, to improving enforcement and strengthening environmental liability and to improving management of waste.
It acknowledges, for example, that "the scope of Israel’s international and regional environmental cooperation considerably expanded during the review period, despite some geopolitical constraints." The report noted progress made in addressing air pollution, water use and other environmental challenges, as well as the development of a dynamic clean-tech sector.
"However, the fast pace of economic and population growth intensifies pressures on the environment, including waste generation, habitat degradation and greenhouse gas emissions," it stated.
The review was presented to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by OECD Deputy Secretary-General Rintaro Tamaki.