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The Mediterranean

WHY WE WORK ON MARINE MANAGEMENT
Israel needs a coherent legal framework for managing its marine environment..

The Mediterranean is a vital component in Israel’s economy, defense, tourism and transportation sectors.  However Israel has no regulative framework to manage and protect this precious resource. Our groundbreaking Marine Management bill, based on eco-system based approaches, aims to fill this legislative void.


The Mediterranean is a bustling arena and holds vast potential for Israel’s economic future. There is offshore natural gas and oil, fisheries, desalination plants, there is talk of artificial islands for industry and airports in the heart of the sea to answer Israel’s lack of open spaces. But despite these conflicting uses, Israel has no regulative framework to manage and protect this precious resource.


Israel’s Mediterranean: A wild west

While the rest of the western world is taking major steps towards eco-based management, Israel has yet to implement this integrative approach. Fragmented authorities and ministries lead to conflicts of interest and deadlocks. The right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing. And the laws we do have are outdated and out of step with today’s environmental standards.

Planning and building laws do not apply to Israel’s exclusive economic waters (which are larger than all of Israel); natural gas companies are not required to put up financial securities when drilling, so if, or rather when, disaster strikes the tax payer will pay for the damage. Only one government ministry, Ministry of National Infrastructure, which has a vested interest to develop this sector, has sole authority in this zone. No-one else in making sure it toes the line.

 

Photo: State of Israel Flickr 

 

Our Marine Management bill, based on eco-system based approaches, aims to fill this legislative void:

 

Members of Knesset are busy signing our bill which calls to establish an independent marine authority. There is enough room in our waters for all of these uses: There is room for gas and oil exploration, for marine nature reserves, fisheries and infrastructure.  But only an independent body, which has the understanding, authority and the means to supervise and enforce the law, can properly balance all of these often conflicting uses, interests and pressures. This is the only way we can protect our Mediterranean and put Israel in line with the marine environmental standards of our European neighbors. 

 

We are fortunate to have as our mentors the Environmental Law Institute of Washington DC who have 'written the book' on marine management strategies. We also have a respected international advisory board headed by Justice Emeritus Dalia Dorner, former Interior Minister Ofer Pines-Paz and marine scientists from Israel, the U.S. and Europe. 

 

Want to learn more?

Contact us at info@adamteva.org.il

 

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