According to Shtrit, the chairman of the Science and Technology Committee, "there are many beautiful ideas whose implementation is far from reality. There is logic and a role for every animal that exists in nature, even though we don't always understand it"
As part of Environment Day, the Science and Technology Committee, chaired by MK Meir Shatrit (Kadima), discussed the National Biodiversity Plan in Israel. Representatives from the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Nature and Parks Authority, the National Fund for Israel, the Society for the Protection of Nature and scientists from the various universities participated in the discussion.
The chairman of the Science and Technology Committee, MK Meir Shetrit, opened the discussion by reviewing the issue of biodiversity in the State of Israel and expressed dissatisfaction with the government's handling of the issue: "I saw the plan of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and we are very far from an optimal situation. There are many beautiful ideas whose implementation is far from reality. There is logic and a role for every animal that exists in nature even though we don't always understand it. This is worse than the cottage crisis. You can live without a cottage, but without biodiversity there is no life."
Prof. Uriel Sferial, the adviser to the Ministry of Environmental Protection on biodiversity, said that: "Ecosystems provide life-supporting services until the day when red lines are crossed. In the end, human development that comes at the expense of biodiversity will backfire. We don't yet know where the red line is, but we hope we will identify it in time."
Dr. Uri Shains, Head of the Department of Biology and Environment at Oranim College, said that: "Loss of open spaces is one of the main causes of damage to biological diversity. There is a serious problem with Israel's land manager who makes fateful decisions with zero representation supporting the issue of biodiversity. A policy must be enacted that states that fertile agricultural areas that are abandoned will return to nature and will not become warehouses."
Alon Rothschild, coordinator of biodiversity at the Society for the Protection of Nature, said that: "If we don't understand that biodiversity is the infrastructure for all our lives, we are in trouble." In England and the USA there are already laws that require government officials to take biodiversity into account before enacting laws. In the world, the services we receive from nature are already priced economically, and then we look at decision-making in a different way."
Israel Tauber, Director of the Department of Forest Management and Geographical Information at the National Fund for Israel, said: "Something is happening in the world. From floods, droughts to huge fires. The question is whether we are ready for this challenge and know how to identify the red lines before we cross them. It is our duty and that of the decision-makers to demand answers, to receive data and integrate it into a decision-making system."
In a report on biodiversity compiled by the Knesset's Research and Information Center, it is stated that: "The legal infrastructure in Israel for incorporating considerations of biological diversity into decision-making is partial and insufficient, and is limited to some projects within the framework of the Planning and Construction Law only. Israel, as a player in the global market, has to meet expectations to improve the legal infrastructure - by virtue of joining the OECD and signing various international treaties"
After hearing all the speakers, the chairman of the committee, MK Shatrit, concluded that "if we harm nature, it will come back to us like a boomerang", and called on the government and the Minister of Environmental Protection to fund a national monitoring system to preserve biodiversity, to add standards for scientists in the academy and to take a long-term view Long who also sees biodiversity as of national importance. MK Shetrit even announced that he would consider initiating a bill that would oblige legislative bodies to review biodiversity. He also recommended institutionalizing the activity of the MRG (a multifactorial ecological system) and budgeting it on an ongoing basis, and also called on the MLA and LT to prioritize the absorption of scientists from the fields of taxonomy and ecology.