Saving green spaces
River in rehab: Rare plants back on Kishon banks
By Fadi Eyadat
Haaretz May 24th 2007
Friends of botanist Yoav Gertman call him "the clover finder." During a hike on one of the interim days of
Passover 1998, he found a group of 3,000 narrowleaf crimson clover (Trifolium angustifolium), after other
botanists thought it had disappeared from Israel. After this group was destroyed by the paving of a road, he found
another group in the lower Kishon Stream, now undergoing rehabilitation. This is the only place in Israel they can
The rare clover was discovered during an ecological survey the Kishon Stream Authority conducted two weeks ago,
along with other rare species, such as catchfly and Lobularia arabica.
Gertman, the chief botanist of the Yagur nurseries and a senior observer for Rotem, the Israel Plant Information
Center, says the narrowleaf crimson clover is particularly rare although the Carmel area is considered its cradle,
along with wheat and legumes. According to Gertman the clover, an annual that blooms March and April,
"penetrates damaged and saline areas where there is no strong vegetation," but disappears due to competition with
other plants. Gertman said he was so surprised to find it that he sent samples to three other major botanists who
said they, too, thought it was extinct. That year, the narrowleaf crimson clover was crowned "the botanical find of
However, the plant's rare status did not keep the Israel National Roads Company from paving a road to a new
neighborhood in the Carmel town of Nesher soon after the clover was found, destroying it. "For this find alone the
Kishon should be protected and restored," Gertman says.
"Today this clover is found nowhere else in the country. I understand there are already plans to turn this into a back
area of the Haifa Port. We have to fight to save it." Gertman said some of the clover sent to the Hebrew University
will serve as a breeding nucleus.
Another rare plant found only in the Kishon is Cardopatium corymbosum.
The Iraqi bird that made aliyah
By Eli Ashkenazi
Haaretz, May 14th 2007
After several rare Iraqi birds moved to Israel last spring, even last summer's Katyusha barrages on the Hula Valley
failed to budge them from their new home. And yesterday, it became clear that the Basra reed warblers were here to
stay: The birds have returned to the Hula following their winter migration to east Africa.
Last spring, Yoav Perlman, a researcher for the Israel Birdwatching Center (part of the Society for the Protection of
Nature in Israel), discovered evidence that some of the warblers had nested in the Hula. That was the first time these
birds have been known to nest outside Iraq. Over the ensuing year, four warblers, including one fledgling, were
banded by Birdwatching Center researchers, who hoped to see them again this year after their winter migration.
For the past few weeks, the center has been trying to determine whether the birds had indeed returned. Yesterday,
researcher Nadav Yisraeli finally spotted a pair of the warblers in the Hula. Upon consulting the records, he
discovered that one of them had been banded at the exact same spot last year.
According to Yisraeli, this sighting "increases the chance that the bird has decided to reside and nest permanently in
Israel." Noting that this is the start of the warblers' nesting season, he explained that "their presence at the same
place where the fledglings were discovered last year provides another significant piece of evidence that the warblers
have immigrated to Israel."
Over the coming months, researchers hope to find the conclusive proof - a nest containing eggs or chicks.
The Basra reed warbler is a small bird, some 15 centimeters long. Its name comes from its traditional nesting site in
the marshes of southeastern Iraq, near Basra. It is an endangered species, and its population is thought to have
declined by about 90 percent over the past few decades, due to former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's efforts to drain
the marshes as part of his war on the tribes that lived there.
Perlman explained that in recent years, the warblers have been following Iraq's rivers out of the marshes in an effort
to find new nesting grounds, "and that may be how they reached us.
While the Hula is the warblers' first known nesting site outside Iraq, Perlman stressed that "neighboring countries,
such as Syria, have not conducted orderly surveys, so the Basra reed warblers could be nesting there as well."
Now, the researchers are trying to ensure that the warblers do not lose their new nesting site - a fish breeding pond -
as well, by asking the fish farmers not to cut the pond's reeds yet. "We are in contact with them and hope that they
will cooperate, at least until the end of the hatching season," Perlman said.
Air Pollutant Mapping in Haifa Bay
from Haaretz 05/24/2007
The Ministry of Environmental Protection has allocated a million shekels (about $250,000) for air quality mapping in Haifa
Bay. The project, scheduled to begin on June 10, 2007, will measure and map air quality in terms of "exotic" pollutants -
pollutants which are not routinely measured in monitoring stations. During the course of the project, four series of air
sampling and analysis will be carried out, two in the summer and autumn of 2007 and the rest in the winter and spring of 2008.
The director of the Haifa region of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Robert Reuven, announced that air sampling will
be undertaken in some 20 points around industrial plants and adjacent residential areas. The air pollutants which will be
checked include dioxins and furans, volatile organic compounds, polyaromatics, particulates, heavy metals, ammonia,
mercaptans and hydrogen sulfide, all of which are hazardous and toxic air pollutants emitted by industrial and transportation
Sampling is meant to provide a basic picture of air quality conditions and the location of hot spots in Haifa Bay. A decision on
the continuation of the project will be taken based on preliminary results and resource availability.
O3, SO2, H2S, CO, NOx, Pb, etc
A new site for recycling and dumping of garbage in the Hof Shemen
district : between 400 and 450 tons ( households, industry) and
between 50 to 70 tons of crushed garbage (branches,etc..) will be
treated daily. 30% of the garbage will be recycled
***** Haifa pilot city for for electric cars
Haifa Municipality has signed an understanding with Better Place: parking lots, streets and all
new buildings will have charging station infrastructure. Haifa will be the first city in Israel to
conduct a pilot experiment to examine the feasibility of using electric cars, and will allow Better
Place to install charging stations in the city as part of a three-year experiment.
You can bring unused medecines to Maccabi sick fund clinics
6/2010 Intel's Green building in Matam, HaifaThe first building in Israel to receive the LEED, Leadership in
Energy and Environmental Design, Gold certificate, conforms also to the Standards Institution of Israel standard
5281 for green building. As part of the LEED certification, the new design center will use: environmentally
friendly building materials and construction methods; natural and controlled lighting by means of an internal patio
which infuses light into all levels from an atrium; air-conditioning and electrical system which both save and recycle
energy; and an irrigation system which utilizes only recycled water. Miki Livnat, Intel's Environmental, Health, and
Safety manager for the region stated, "The project team was passionate about building a green building, and despite
initial skepticism, they drove this project from a concept to a reality."
|Centre de recyclage: 7 rue Yud Lamed Peretz, Haifa
de gauch a droite papier, equipement electronique qui peut encore servir, bouteilles de plastic, electronique, habits, batteries, disquettes
Vous pouvez aussi donner des meubles et des equipements electomenagers au centre Lev Haich
Et enfin (2014)! le recyclage du verre (poubelles violettes)!
OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Israel 2011
OECD Environmental Performance Reviews provide independent assessments of countries’
progress in achieving domestic and international environmental policy commitments and goals,
together with policy-relevant recommendations. They address the management of air, water,
waste, biodiversity, and land; they examine the relationship between economic and social policy
and the environment; and they describe the subject country’s international co-operation in such
areas as climate change, marine pollution and development co-operation. Each report includes
a broad range of economic and environmental statistical data.
Assessment & Recommendations
Urban sprawl is threatening Haifa’s remaining nature spots
Municipality says it will take preservation of indigenous flora and fauna into account when approving construction
From Haaretzby by Zafrir Rinat 2/9/2013
Dozens of nature spots in Haifa are at risk of yielding to development or are inaccessible to residents because they
lack hiking trails, according to experts who have been surveying the streambeds and slopes of the Carmel area over
the past two years.
The detailed survey of 37 sites in the city conducted by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel found a rich
world of flora and fauna in the area, including dozens of species of bats and butterflies, wild boars, coyotes and
endangered plant species. But according to the survey’s authors, most of these areas have construction plans
prepared for them, while others have no paths that would allow residents to hike through spots adjacent to their
homes. These spots are all located within Haifa city limits. The survey, which was funded by the Beracha
Foundation, was conducted in conjunction with the Haifa municipality and the Environmental Protection Ministry.
Ornithologists, ecologists, and experts in butterflies and plants scoured the areas and documented the flora and
fauna, using a remote sensor system for analyses. They also used automated cameras to document the paths of
Among the discoveries were nearly 40 kinds of butterflies. “This is a relatively high number, given that this is a large
urban area, part of which has heavy industry,” says the report. One of the experts’ recommendations is to plant host
plants in various places on which female butterflies can lay their eggs. The survey recommends that one species, the
buckthorn lime butterfly, be chosen as the “municipal butterfly” of Haifa.
Jackals, wild boars and hares were observed in the streambeds and at other sites, as were badgers, a rarer species of
predator. Also identified were eight species of bats, including three species of horseshoe bats, which have nearly
disappeared from the Carmel in recent years. Nine species of endangered reptiles and amphibians were also spotted
in the city.
One of the key findings of the survey was locating 40 species of endangered plants, the most prominent among them
being the tree spurge, which exists only in the Haifa area and whose bloom is particularly evident on the Stella
Maris ridge in the western part of the city. Haifa is also one of the few places in Israel where the species allium
tardiflorum (shum stavi in Hebrew) can be found. Most of the rare species were found in the few surviving natural
areas near the Kishon River.
“This is a city with the richest diversity of natural habitats in Israel,” says Amir Balaban, the SPNI’s urban nature
coordinator. “There are, inter alia, a coastal environment of sand and rocks, swamps, springs and Mediterranean
forests. It's fun to go to a place like Nahal Siah and see rabbits and boars skipping along the slopes. We also found
the remains of things that were and will probably be no more. For example the hyena, a remnant of the large
predators which are only found today far from the city, or a rare species of amphibian, the triton, which was found
at a site already seriously damaged.”
This impressive nature inventory is at risk because of construction plans slated for many of the sites.
“The Carmel slopes in the areas of the Azov and Ahuza streams are virtually all slated for construction,” says Ella
Alexandri, the SPNI community director in Haifa. “The plan is to construct high walls that will ruin the landscape.
In the future, anyone looking at the view of the Carmel from the Coastal Road will see a Chinese Wall.”
The lovely Nahal Ovadia canyon is also endangered by a road meant to run through it. “The plan was frozen by the
city after it invited public participation in the planning process,” says Alexandri. “But it has not been canceled and
the danger still exists.”
She added that while other places are not threatened by construction they remain inaccessible to the public,
particularly the sites of steep streambeds. Other sites are neglected and suffer from the lack of enforcement against
illegal construction or waste disposal.
Alexandri hopes the city will use the new survey to reassess its building schemes.
“For the first time, accurate information has been gathered that enables us to know what’s in each place and what
we stand to lose,” she says. “We do not categorically oppose construction everywhere. But we don’t believe that at
sites like Nahal Azov and Nahal Ahuza we can rely on building plans approved 40 years ago. There’s a need to insert
changes that would allow more consideration of the landscape.”
“Urban nature should be integrated into urban planning to avoid conflicts between nature and the built-up
environment,” says Balaban. “There has to be a buffer at the edge of Mount Carmel, with a thinning of vegetation
to prevent the spread of fires. Garbage facilities must be designed so that wild animals cannot dig into them, which
now leads to the spread of animals like coyotes and undesirable friction with residents. In the case of wild boars
there is a need to see where they cross roads and inform residents to avoid a safety hazard.”
Another challenge to the preservation of open spaces in Haifa is the high proportion of privately owned land in
several areas of the city. Important nature areas like Nahal Ovadia, the slopes of the Denya neighborhood and Nahal
Nadar have a number of plots like that, whose owners are pressuring to be able to utilize their construction rights.
There are other publicly owned sites that the survey suggests be offered in exchange, so that construction can take
place in areas with fewer natural riches.
But the primary recommendation of the survey is addressed to the municipality, which is being asked to immediately
formulate a plan to manage the natural areas, based on the survey’s findings. Such a plan, the researchers say,
would increase the chances that future development will take into account the many creatures that live next door to
The Haifa municipality said in response: “The survey of nature sites prepared by us in cooperation with the Society
for the Protection of Nature in Israel reflects the importance the municipality assigns to conserving nature in general
and the streambeds in particular. The survey was presented to the municipal Environment Committee and is a
milestone in information-gathering on flora and fauna, its preservation and nurturing. It supplements other research
initiatives the municipality is encouraging to expand the information available to city planners, so that every
planning decision will be based on the knowledge required to preserve nature and the landscape.
“The importance the municipality ascribes to preserving green spaces is also reflected in the city’s new master plan,
which calls for the streams to remain in their natural landscape. This plan is designed to ensure that no planning
initiatives will be allowed to harm natural assets, which is why municipal Engineering Administration initiated the
Haifa committee halts controversial beachfront project
Haifa coastline must be protected as 'public asset, despite today’s economic pressures,’ environmental protection
From Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat Oct. 2, 2013
One of the most controversial construction projects along Israel coastline, the Carmel Beach Towers, will not be
allowed to expand, the Haifa District Planning and Building Committee ruled on Monday.
The committee members made their decision after hearing from experts who warned against plans that include
reclaiming land from the sea to build more hotels, in addition to the two towers already standing.
When the first two buildings went up years ago, they sparked harsh public criticism over their impact on the
landscape, and because at least one of them was built close to the water line.
According to the plan, which triggered a legal challenge by the Union for Environmental Defense, the developers
would be authorized to build four more towers on an area double that of the already built up area. To maintain the
legally-mandated 100-meter distance from the water line, they would have had to reclaim land from the sea. But
before they could do so, they were required to submit an environmental impact study.
The Environmental Protection Ministry, supported by Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, submitted its
opinion in the study, arguing the plans to reclaim land from the sea did not ensure the nearby beaches would remain
The developers had proposed reclaiming land from the sea by creating an extended breakwater wall about half a
kilometer long opposite the beach. According to the Environmental Protection Ministry expert opinion, the erection
of such a wall would ruin the beauty and tranquility of the beach, and “create a bay in which the quality of the water
would be uncertain.” The ministry also said the project could harm nesting grounds for endangered sea turtles.
The Interior Ministry stated that in consideration of the expert opinions, the District Planning and Building
Committee had decided to reject the construction plan, and called on the Haifa municipality to create a
comprehensive program for the city’s southern beaches. Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz called the
decision a significant one, “that conveys a clear message that preference must be given to protection of beaches as
public assets, despite today’s economic pressures. We must not yield to threats that tourism in Israel will suffer,
because [the project] can also exist a few hundred meters from the water.”
The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel hailed the decision as “an opportunity to create a comprehensive
vision that ensures the creation of open beaches that contribute to the wellbeing of the entire public.”