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Environment & community

 
 
Orly Ariav, Adv.
Environment & community

No one can appreciate the compelling power of grassroots advocacy and community awareness better than Orly Ariav, head of our Environment & Community Initiative. Over the years, Orly has served as a committed activist for her own community. She has also given voice to the pressing concerns of other communities in her role as co-founder and manager of a socially-orientated law clinic in Haifa University. Since July of this year, Orly has continued to empower communities in need as lead attorney in our Environment & Community Project.

 

The power of community action


“I know from personal experience the power of community action. I was outraged by the Government’s plan to site an onshore gas terminal on the natural scenic Dor Beach near my hometown of Zichron Ya’akov.

It did not make any sense to me to build an additional gas terminal when two fully functioning alternatives exist within a 15 mile radius! Together with fellow residents, I headed a grassroots campaign to protest the damage to our environment and the threat to our health and our homes. This was my first encounter with Adam Teva V’Din who were advocating for an overall plan for onshore/offshore gas installations. The connection to the organization was immediate. When there was an opportunity to join the Adam Teva V’Din team, I jumped. And as they say, the rest is history.”

 

Hand in hand - not head to head


Our Environment & Community Initiative reaches out to underserved communities who need our help the most. In a collaborative venture with the Ministry of Environmental Protection, we are working with selected underprivileged communities to give them the awareness, tools and confidence needed to address the environmental issues which adversely affect their lives and well-being. “In the past we have often butted heads with the Ministry when it comes to finding suitable solutions. This time we are both on the same side. From the outset we are working together with the Ministry to provide swift resolutions to environmental problems. Together we will identify the issues affecting the communities, agree upon and implement concrete solutions.”

“Up until now, these marginalized communities lack an environmental consciousness. We don’t receive any complaints from them, despite numerous environmental dangers. This project aims to raise their environmental awareness and help them to understand that they, as a connected community, can improve their surroundings.”

Lod & Deir al-Asad


In the first stage of the project, two disadvantaged communities have already been selected: Lod, a mixed Jewish-Arab city south of Tel Aviv, and Deir al-Asad, an Arab village in the Galilee.

 

Deir al-Asad

Slaughterhouses are a traditional source of income for many of these families.

“In a village where two or three abattoirs would be enough, they have close to 27.”

 

But, because of insufficient infrastructure, the effluents from the slaughterhouses are disposed of in the village sewage.  This is a serious health risk, not only for Deir al-Asad, but for neighboring villages as too.

 

“Five years ago, Adam Teva V’Din helped the city of Tamra solve a similar environmental problem. This is not an insurmountable obstacle. With the Ministry on our side and with the residents’ cooperation, we can find a solution.”

   

In each town, we will work together with leaders of the community to build a solid base of environmental agents and to devise a work-plan tailored towards their most acute concerns. Our expert team will guide them along the way with lectures, round-table discussions and professional advice. At a later stage, two additional communities from the south will be chosen together with the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

Making their voices heard


“We want them to speak out because they understand the significance of these hazards on their health; because the state of their neighborhoods matters to them; because they know that they can make a difference.” 

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