United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Israel

Madam Co- Chair, Honorable Ministers, Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen;
It is my honor and pleasure to take part in this round table on sustainable
consumption and production, a significant subject that ranks high among
the priorities of the international community.
Following Prof. von Weizacker's comments I would like to elaborate on
Israel's' experience in water management. Since the establishment of our
state, 62 years ago, we are facing a chronic water shortage. As a result we
have become world leaders in water technologies. Just to name a few:
drip irrigation, desalination of marginal & sea water & treatment of waste
water to a level which enables us to reuse them in agriculture for all
crops. Currently we are reusing >70% of our wastewater in agriculture.
Our efficient agriculture results in the highest yield per unit of water &
land. We are ready to share our experience & knowledge with all of you.
In 2003, the Government of Israel began enacting a comprehensive policy
related to the principles of sustainable development. Since that landmark
event, we have taken major strides forward, yet we also recognize that
much remains to be done. We remain committed to shrinking the gaps
between rhetoric and reality by introducing the best available
technologies to our industries, implementing integrated pollution
prevention and control programs, and most importantly, raising
awareness of sustainable consumption and production practices.
In December 2009, a Green Government initiative was approved by our
cabinet. The decision mandated the government to lead by example on
the issue of sustainable development. As such, the government set
measurable targets to reduce paper, electricity, disposable beverage
containers consumption. At the same time, the decision gives preference
in government tenders for vehicle purchasing to low polluting, low fuel
consuming vehicles. This reinforces an earlier government decision on
green procurement, which calls for the incorporation of environmental
criteria into the public procurement of several products and services.
These government decisions are expected to encourage environmentally
friendly production by manufacturers, to create a market for green
products, to conserve natural and energy resources and prevent pollution,
and to increase public awareness of the importance of sustainable
consumption.
In parallel to ?greening? our government, we are making major efforts to
green our schools, from kindergartens to universities. In this regard, we
have a positive effect on the next generation of Israelis through curricula
that teach students about sustainable development and the environment,
as well as programs that encourage concrete action on behalf of the
environment and the community, especially in terms of conservation of
resources and minimization of waste. Side by side with these efforts, the
Ministry of Environmental Protection, local governments and ?green
organizations? are raising public awareness of sustainable lifestyle
patterns which will permeate all sectors of society.
It is my hope that we will emerge from this round table as agents of
change for sustainable consumption and production practices in our
respective countries and around the world.
Thank you.
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