SPNI Appeals Mega-Housing Project in Sharon
In an appeal to the National Council for Planning and Building, the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel sought for the government to create a national park in the Sharon region. The public space would serve the millions of people living in Israel's central region, Gush Dan, as a recreational area for hiking, touring and education.
Maintaining natural areas in the region would preserve continuity in the delicate and already taxed habitat of the coastal plain. A national park would not only serve a large portion of the Israeli population but would also safeguard the unique and dense biodiversity, including some 373 species of plants, some endangered.
Israel was designated a biodiversity hotspot in 1989. Identified as areas "where exceptional concentrations of endemic species are undergoing exceptional loss of habitat," biodiversity hotspots were defined to highlight areas where conservation efforts would have the most profound effect on the global environment. A small country with a growing population, Israel must balance demands for housing with open spaces that sustain natural resources and serve the population.