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Knowledge of nature and the universe

Knowledge and practices about nature and the universe include knowledge, skills, competencies, practices and representations developed by communities interacting with the natural environment. These ways of thinking about the universe are expressed through language, oral traditions, feelings of attachment to a place, memories, spirituality and worldview. They also strongly influence the values ​​and beliefs and underlie many social practices and cultural traditions. They are in turn shaped by the natural environment and the larger world of the community.

Intangible cultural heritage

This area includes many areas such as traditional ecological wisdom, knowledge of local flora and fauna, traditional healing systems, festivals, languages ​​and visual arts. Traditional knowledge and practices are at the heart of the culture of Israeli communities. The protection of Israel's natural environment is closely linked to safeguarding the country as well as other aspects of its intangible cultural heritage.

The State of Israel is a Middle Eastern country located along the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea and the Northern border of the world's largest desert belt.  Israel has a semi-arid climate, with lengthy summers and short winters. According to the Köppen-Geiger climate classification system Israel is composed of three climate zones. Areas on the Mediterranean coast are classified as "dry-summer subtropical", and experience both the hottest and coldest months of the year. 

Closer inland Israel transitions into a dry semi-arid climate, with an average temperature of 18 C.  Rainfall is relatively higher in the North. As a result, resource development, in particular water, has benefited from relatively high government support throughout most of the country's history. For example, Israel's water conservation and reclamation infrastructure is one of the most advanced in the world, with approximately half its water supply derived from reclaimed and treated waste water, brackish water and desalinated water. Additionally, Israel is party to several international agreements regarding air pollution and climate change, including the Kyoto Protocol, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and Montreal Protocol. 

Environmental Research in Israel *

Israeli scientists have developed a host of new technologies - placing Israel at the forefront of world developments in a number of environmental fields.

Water Management

Israel is a world leader in the development of drip irrigation, a technique by which relatively small amounts of water are delivered directly to the roots of plants. These techniques have the further advantage of reducing adverse environmental impacts associated with continuous irrigation, such as increased salination.

In addition, Israel today is a world leader in wastewater recycling, which now accounts for some 30% of its total supply, up from 3% two decades ago. By recycling urban wastewater for irrigation purposes, in accordance with strict permits issued by the Ministry of Health, the country not only saves precious fresh water but prevents the environmental damage caused by indiscriminate discharge of wastewater into streams and seas.

Strategies implemented since Israel's establishment in 1948 have succeeded in pushing the edge of the desert southward, and reversing the process of desertification. Using a number of innovative methods, rainfall and runoff are redirected and relatively highly-productive patches are created within the desert landscape. As a world leader in arid zone management, including afforestation, water harvesting, water and soil conservation and use of saline water, Israel is taking an active part in regional and international efforts to combat desertification.


Solar Energy

Israel  has become a world pioneer in the use of solar energy. As a result of university research carried out as early as the 1950s, Israeli scientists were able to develop the first solar absorption coatings - black enamels that made it possible for solar panels to retain a higher proportion of the sun's energy. This development led to a decision to equip all residential and commercial buildings in the country with solar water heaters. Today Israel produces most of its domestic hot water and 3% of its national energy balance from solar power, as well as exporting tens of thousands of solar water heaters all over the world. 

It is estimated that 10 square kilometers of the Negev desert receive an annual average of solar energy equal to all of the electricity generated by the Israel Electric Corporation - a process that consumes about one-third of the country's entire fuel imports. Therefore, it is only natural that in Israel's arid south, Ben Gurion University's Solar Energy Research Center is testing and demonstrating a variety of solar-powered thermal and photovoltaic technologies. The Center makes it possible to take a new idea from the initial laboratory stage right through to final large-scale testing in the sun-soaked Negev desert, further enhancing the exploitation of solar energy.



Israel’s eco-houses

Mud is a traditional natural insulator along with straw bales. Forward-thinking communities such as Kibbutz Lotan and Kibbutz Neot Semadar in the Negev desert have long built with these materials. As eco-construction moves into suburbia, the most popular natural product for insulation is hempcrete, a weather-resistant composite biomaterial of powdered lime and hemp hurds, the woody inner portion of the hemp stalk. Due to hemp’s natural properties and the way it’s processed for construction, buildings made with hempcrete take less energy to build, create less waste and consume less fuel compared to concrete houses.

Ben-Gurion University Prof. Isaac Meir, a pioneer in Israeli green building initiatives, is involved in a European project to design net-zero energy communities where buildings incorporate renewable energy technologies to offset their energy consumption. The Israeli city of Hadera’s new net-zero preschool could be a model for such communities.

National Parks
  • Ahziv National Park 

  • Alexander River National Park 

  • Ashkelon National Park 

  • Baram National Park 

  • Beit Alfa Synagogue National Park 

  • Beit Govrin National Park 

  • Beit She 'an National Park

  • Beit She'arim National Park 

  • Caesarea National Park

  • Castel National Park 

  • Cochav Hayarden National Park

  • Corazim National Park 

  • Ein Gedi Antiquities National Park 

  • Ein Hemed National Park

  • Eshkol National Park

  • Gan Hashlosha National Park 

  • Hamat Tiberias National Park 

  • Hermon National Park 

  • Herodion National Park 

  • Hurshat Tal National Park 

  • Kursi National Park 

  • Nimrod Fortress National Park 

  • Massada National Park

  • Mount Carmel National Park 

  • Qumran National Park 

  • Sharon National Park 

  • Shomron National Park 

  • Tel Arad National Park Yehiam Fortress National Park 

  • Tel Hazor National Park

  • Yarkon National Park 

  • Zippori National Park 

Nature Reserve
  • Gamla Nature Reserve

  • Yehudiya Forest Nature Reserve 

  • Hula Valley Nature Reserve 

  • Nahal Ayoun Nature Reserve

  • Tel Dan Nature Reserve 

  • Ein Afek Nature Reserve 

  • Carmel Hai-Bar Nature Reserve 

  • Nahal Me'arot Nature Reserve

  • Stalactite Cave at the Avshalom Reserve 

  • Ein Gedi Nature Reserve 

  • Ramon Park Complex 

  • Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve 

  • Coral Beach Nature Reserve

Israeli Environmental Organizations*

Abraham Path: A Walking Trail Across the Middle East

ACHLA: Quality of Life for Residents of the Sharon Area

Adam v'Adamah


Al-Amal Hatikva Association

Amakim Ve’Merhavim

Arad Against Phosphate Mining in Sdeh Barir

Arad-Yehuda Group

The Ashdod Committee for the Conservation of the Environment

Association for the Advancement of Environmental Education and Recycling in the Galilee

Association of Environmental Justice in Israel

The Association for the Preservation of the Nature and Landscape in Kiryat Shmona

The Association for Quality of Life and Environment in Nahariya

The Association for Quality of Environment and Life in Petach Tikva

Beyond Business: Corporate Social Environmental Responsibility

A Breath of Air


Campaign to Save Samar

Carmel Public Forum

The Cellular Antenna Forum

The Center for Ecological Systems and Technologies

The Center for a Healthy Environment in the Arava

Citizens for the Environment in the Galilee


Clean Nature

Clean the Land

Clean Up Israel

The Coalition for Public Health

Council for a Beautiful Israel (and its Robert Price Center for Environmental Studies)

The Council for Sustainable Development: Kfar Saba

Cycle Jerusalem

Earth's Promise



EcoOp: Israeli Co-Op for Renewable Energy

EcoPeace / Friends of the Earth — Middle East

Eco and Sustainable Tourism Israel

The Environmental Forum — Midreshet Ben Gurion

Environmental Policy Center at the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

Eretz Carmel

Eretz L'Lo Bdal (No Cigarette-Butts Land)

The Galilee Society

Ginger Vegetarian Community Center

Good Energy Initiative

Green Action (Peula Yeruka)

Green Beer Sheva

Green and Blue

The Green Cell: Acre

Green Change

Green Course (Megamah Yeruka)

Green Eye

Green Pilgrim Jerusalem

Green Now

Green Rahat

Green Triangle

Greenpeace Mediterranean

Greens of Megiddo

Guardians of the Environment



Haredim la’Sviva

International Birding and Research Center in Eilat

Israel Bicycle Association

Israel Civic Action Forum

Israel Energy Forum

The Israeli Forum for Ecological Art

The Israel Green Building Association

Israel Green Building Council

Israel Healthy Cities Network

Israel Long Term Ecological Research (ILTR — Ma'arag)

Israel-Palestine Center for Research and Information

Israel Union for Environmental Defense (Adam Teva V'din)

Israeli Cooperative for Renewable Energy

Israeli Forum for Ecological Art

Israeli Meteorological Society

The Israeli Permaculture Organization

The Israel Society of Ecology and Environmental Science

The Israeli Society for Sustainable Economics

Jerusalem Bird Observatory

Jerusalem Green Map

Jerusalem Nature / Natural History Museum Museum

Jewish Climate Initiative

Jewish Eco Seminars

JiVE! Jerusalem Volunteers for the Environment

Kayak4All Zebulun

Keren Kayemet L’Yisrael / Jewish National Fund in Israel (KKL-JNF)

The Keshet Association

Kurkar Hills Forum

Life & Environment (Chaim V’Sviva)

Link to the Environment

Local Sustainability Center

Lotan Center for Creative Ecology

LOTEM: Integrated Nature Studies

Malraz: Council for the Prevention of Noise and Air Pollution

Movement for Israeli Urbanism

The Naga Association

Neighborhood Sustainability Center

Neot Kedumim

Ramot Favors Environment

Red Sea Environmental Centre

Sabbatical Year Project (Shnat Shmita)

SAHA (Fair Trade)

Samson Riders Bike Club

Save Adullam

Save the Krayot Beaches

Save Our Sea

Save Palmachim Beach

Save Timna


Settling with the Environment



Shomrei HaGan

The Society for the Conservation of the Red Sea Environment

SPNI: Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel

SPNI’s Open Landscape Institute

Sustainable Development for the Negev

Sustainable Jerusalem Coalition

Sviva Israel

Tel Aviv Hiking Club

Teva Ivri (Hebrew Nature)

Teva Naki

Tevel Be'Tzedek

Three Sycamores Association

Towns Association for Environmental Quality

Transport Today and Tomorrow

Walking Towards the Future


Israeli Environmental Institutions

Animals and Society Project at Tel Aviv University

Arava Institute for Environmental Studies

Heschel Sustainability Center (formerly the Heschel Center for Environmental Learning and Leadership)

International Center for the Study of Bird Migration at Latrun

Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences

Israel Marine Mammal Research & Assistance Center at the University of Haifa

Israel Society of Ecology and Environmental Sciences

Israel School of Herbal Medicine

Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

National Solar Energy Center at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Natural Resource and Environmental Research Center at the University of Haifa

Newman Information Center for Desert Research and Development at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Porter School of Environmental Studies at Tel Aviv University

Stephen & Nancy Grand Water Research Institute at Technion Israel Institute of Technology

Tiyul B'Aretz

Yeshivat Simchat Shlomo Eco-Activist Beit Midrash

Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Israeli Government Environmental Agencies

Agricultural Research Organization

Dead Sea Drainage Authority

Israel Land Administration

Israel Marine Data Center at the National Institute of Oceanography

Israel Meteorological Service

Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection

Israel Nature and Parks Authority

Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research

Jerusalem Transportation Master Plan Team

Kishon River Authority

Park Ayalon (Ariel Sharon Park)

Volcani Center / Agricultural Research Organization

Yarkon River Authority

Israeli Environmental Communities

Ecological Greenhouse at Kibbutz Ein Shemer

Hava & Adam Eco-Educational Farm

Kibbutz Hanaton

Kibbutz Ketura

Kibbutz Lotan

Kibbutz Neot Smadar

Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu

Kibbutz Yotvata

Liberation Farm

Moshav Amirim

Pinat Shorashim at Kibbutz Gezer

Vertigo Eco Art Village

Yesh Me’ain

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