SPNI's Three Year Work Plan for Environmental Protection - 2021-23

SPNI employs the largest team of independent environmental experts in Israel. Together they work on both national, regional and local issues to protect Israel's open spaces, ecological corridors and biodiversity. The team applies research to influence government policy through legislation and education. Where necessary we also attempt to galvanize the public through large scale public campaigns. 

Our goals are set on a three year rolling basis and this is the second three year report published. Within this document are the goals for the next three years together with an evaluation of our progress over the past three years.

In this cycle we introduce goals related to the climate crisis and changing Israel's culture of littering.

Click here for the full document regarding our three year work plan starting in 2021 >>

Israel’s Seaspiracy: SPNI’s Mission to Protect the Marine Environment and Ecosystem

The new Netflix documentary Seaspiracy has made waves around the world, including Israel, painting a devastating picture of the nature of the global fishing industry.

Since 2012, we at SPNI have understood, based on science and research, that fishing is the number one threat to our oceans. This is not to ignore other issues such as pollution, the fossil fuel industry, climate change, and invasive species.

Over the last decade we have been fighting to implement the first reform of Israel’s fishing industry since the 1950’s. SPNI has been fighting to create marine reserves where all fishing is banned, a breeding season moratorium, a limit to the size of fishing fleets and fishing quotas.  We’ve also campaigned to minimize the damage caused by the natural gas industry, aquaculture, and beachside developments including new marinas. 

Fishing has severe ecological consequences, both for “non-target” species that are defined as bycatch and for the functioning of the entire ecosystem. The marine ecosystem plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of our planet, including through carbon sequestration, maintaining water quality, and as a source of inspiration and pleasure. SPNI does not wish to see fishing totally banned but recognizes that it must be closely regulated with tough and effective enforcement.

In terms of fish consumption, we advocate for reducing consumption of wildlife in general, and of fish in particular, as set out below.

This document looks at some of the issues that were raised in the documentary and details how things stand with these in Israel as well as what we are doing about them, and how we can have a positive impact on our oceans.

Click here for the document >>

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The need to stop Afforestation in Sensitive Natural Ecosystems in Israel and Conserve Israel’s Natural Landscapes.

This report deals with one of the major nature conservation issues in Israel today, an issue with
tremendous environmental consequences, whose scope is completely disproportional to the minor place it has occupied in public discourse to this day. Forests have many benefits and they are an established fact in Israel. Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (the Jewish National Fund), the organization entrusted with afforestation in Israel also has many merits. However, as in many other fields, it is time to reexamine the relevance of concepts that were once common and suited to those times.Read the full report >>

The Campaign to Save Israel’s Wildflower and its Spatial Impacts 

Research Paper by Dr. Benny Furst, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

In September 1998 the Standards Institute of Israel awarded its National Quality and Excellence Prize to the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) and the Israel Nature Reserves Authority (INRA) in acknowledgement of their wildflower protection project, which began in the 1960s. This was official public recognition of the joint campaign led by the two organizations to save Israel’s wildflowers, which was one of the most significant educational successes since the establishment of the State. One of the campaign’s major rubrics, “Go out into the nature but don’t pick the flowers”, is regarded to this day in Israel as one of the most effective and influential marketing slogans in terms of its impact on public behavior. To understand the power of this transformation and its significance, one must first understand the social conditions that preceded it, that is, wildflower picking as a long-standing cultural norm. Hence, the aim of this article is to present a documentary ontology of this social change, based on the three phases in Archer’s morphogenetic model, which explains actions taken by agents of change in a social structure chronologically.Read the full paper>>