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Israel's Environmental Movement: Trends, Needs and Potential

By Dr. Alon Tal, Shira Leon Zchout, Liat Frankel Oshri, Itay Greenspan and Shira Akov



The study was divided into two general stages:


Stage 1: Field research and data generation conducted between July and December 2010 offers a snapshot of Israel’s environmental community. A national survey was designed and conducted among some 98 environmental organizations. Over thirty leading experts and environmental leaders also participated in in-  depth, semi-structured, interviews. The results of the questionnaires and a synthesis of the expert consultation  were compiled in an interim report. It was presented for comments at hearings attended by representatives  of environmental groups and reviewed by the study’s advisory committee. This final report, reflects many  comments and suggestions that were received in this process about Israel’s environmental movement — its activities, priorities, capacity and perspectives, along with recommendations for strategic involvement in  Israel’s environmental movement.


Stage 2: The second stage took an additional six months and included a detailed analytical/statistical evaluation. It also allowed for the creation of a dynamic database that contains extensive information about the 98 participating organization. The English and Hebrew data base can now service and inform  the broader environmental community in Israel and abroad. The second stage was therefore designed  to provide accessible information to the philanthropic community about Israel’s environmental activities  and donor opportunities. Deliverables include in-depth data analysis of the survey results, a web-based  “catalogue” of environmental organizations and their work and this final report on the research findings with recommendations to the JMG Foundation.


The study of Israel’s environmental community reveals a movement that remains deeply committed to  environmental progress and which has become more sophisticated over the years. It enjoys excellent internal organization, with remarkable cooperation and collegiality between highly diverse, active organizations. Most  importantly, its actual achievements are numerous and impressive. Interventions are frequently successful and  many of the country’s natural resources remain intact as a result. Israel’s air, water and land are cleaner and people are healthier due to the dedicated work of Israel’s environmental community. National awareness is at an all-time high.


But there is considerable room for improvement: The environmental movement in Israel suffers from  inconsistent and often inadequate funding, absence of professional capacity and skill-sets, lack of strategic, long-term planning and only relatively modest financial support from the Israeli public. Key environmental  challenges frequently are not addressed. As funders seek to maximize the return on their investment and as the Israeli public seeks to find out “who’s who” and what matters among the myriad (and sometimes  bewildering number of) environmental initiatives, this systematic assessment can contribute to more  coordinated, strategic and effective decision making.


The report opens with a review of past studies in the field locally and relevant research. It then describes the methodology utilized to generate the data and information presented. The major findings of the study are then  presented based on a range of descriptive statistical methods and graphs, offering an analysis of the present  condition of Israel’s environmental movement. The final section contains recommendations for involvement  and support of non-governmental environmental activism and educational work.




Israeli Nature Poll

What is your favorite natural area of Israel?


"May it be my custom to go outdoors each day among the trees and grass - among all growing things."

- Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav

Did You Know?

More than a thousand Israelis die every year from cancer caused by air, ground and water pollution.

Mideast Green News

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