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Monday, October 18, 2010
OECD Delegation of Experts in Israel to Review the Country's Environmental Performance

OECD Delegation of Experts in Israel to Review the Country's Environmental
Performance
Updated: 10/18/2010

A delegation of experts from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD) and its member states including Norway, Germany, Korea
and the USA is visiting Israel in order to assess environmental conditions
in the country and to compile data and information for the preparation of an
Environmental Performance Review of Israel.

According to Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan, "the arrival of
the mission underlines the importance given by the OECD to the environment
and to assuring quality of life in its member countries alongside economic
growth. I hope that Israel's Environmental Performance Report will help
upgrade the environment on Israel's national priority list."

Within the framework of Israel's accession to the OECD , the organization
will be preparing an Environmental Performance Review (EPR) of Israel.
During the delegation's 11 day visit to Israel, members will meet with the
Minister of Environmental Protection as well as with representatives of
government, local authorities, industry, environmental non-governmental
organizations, etc.

Minister Erdan: "Analysis of the report which will be prepared by the OECD
will allow Israel to assess its progress in attaining its goals and its
international commitments. Its recommendations will serve as a catalyst for
promoting our environmental performance."

The report will review Israel's environmental performance, with special
attention to the use of economic tools for tackling environmental issues,
including, among others, energy and air quality, transport and the
environment, tourism and the environment, coastal zone management, the
national greenhouse gas registry and reporting system, water, biodiversity,
noise, waste and recycling, etc.

The report, which will be submitted to the government of Israel, will
include conclusions and recommendations as well as a timetable for
implementation designed to improve Israel's environmental performance. The
OECD will formally follow up on Israel's progress in implementing its
recommendations.

The Director General of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Dr. Yossi
Inbar, said: "This comparative assessment and the EPR process itself are an
opportunity to review Israel's environmental performance in different
subject vis a vis the existing knowledge worldwide. These tools will also
allow us to contribute of the wide range of knowledge which exists in Israel
in fields in which we are at the forefront."

In preparation for the delegation, the Ministry of Environmental Protection
submitted background material, reports and data OECD on a wide variety of
subjects:

1. Biodiversity in Israel - scientific data, information on open space,
policy tools and Israel's National Biodiversity Plan, which was published in
2010.
2. Examples of technological innovation in industry in Israel and the
diversity of tools used to encourage innovation.
3. The Clean Air Law and preparations for its entry into force in January
2011.
4. The waste revolution and the introduction of extended producer
responsibility on packaging spearheaded by the Ministry.
5. Treatment and recovery of wastewater in agriculture, a field in which
Israel is an acknowledged world leader.
6. Desalination in Israel and measures taken to address the environmental
aspects of desalination.
7. Israel's active participation in international frameworks such as the
Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP), cooperation on high production volume (HPV)
chemicals, etc.
8. Background material on local environmental activities such as
community gardens.
9. River rehabilitation in Israel and the chain of parks.
10. Wide-ranging data on air quality in Israel, water quality, Sea of
Galilee, etc.

An Environmental Performance Review is prepared by the OECD for member
countries every few years, in order to improve the environmental performance
of these states and to create a comparative index among OECD members.
Furthermore, the report promotes a continuous policy dialogue among member
countries through "peer learning" and stimulates a greater accountability
from member countries' governments toward public opinion.

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