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Vision of Sustainability for Israel at 2030

The vision of sustainability presented here portrays an image of Israel in the year 2030 from the environmental, economic, and social perspectives. Israel of 2030 will be a country whose citizens reside in an environment that enables economic wellbeing, social resilience, and personal security while enabling active involvement in community life in all its various forms. It would be a country in which innovation and initiative would be promoted, as would vibrant city life, inclusion of all, and access to employment opportunities and services for all population groups. It would be a country in which economic growth is not accompanied by environmental degradation or continuously increasing material consumption. In 2030 the population of Israel will have a high quality of life but one that protects environmental resources for future generations and maintains ecosystem services of high resilience.

A Common Vision of Sustainability

The creation of a vision includes developing different types of vision, beginning with a positive vision, continuing to a defensive vision, and concluding with a satisfactory vision. The positive vision aspires to the maximum, while the defensive vision identifies thresholds that must not be crossed. As such it is a minimal vision. The expert group progressed from individual visions to building a group vision. In building the vision it used models of visions built by various groups, such as the WBCSD VISION 2050.

Population

The population of Israel in 2030 will live in a sustainable environment, accompanied by economic security and in a stable regional setting. Population growth rate, technology and consumption patterns will ensure that the needs of this generation are met and that resources are conserved for future generations.

Economy

Economic development will be decoupled from the deterioration of the environment and enable a high level of conservation of existing resources. The economy will operate as a circular system (production, consumption and trade) which enables the optimal use of resources and the reduction of emissions and wastes. A significant reduction in the consumption of resources and in the level of environmental deterioration has been achieved through a transformation of the economy towards service provision and through a transformation of waste to resources. Economic activity is characterized by innovation and enterprise, enabling Israel to become a 'pilot' for the commercial application of clean-tech. Economic growth is linked to inclusiveness in relation to the weaker groups in regional disparities and within sectors of the population.

Society

Status of an individual in the eyes of society is decoupled from material consumption. Opportunities are made available at every stage of life for the expression of the diverse identities of Israeli society to express themselves either as individuals or within the community. The values governing society are based on a post-materialistic lifestyle, including mutual support, cultural interaction between past inheritance and future challenges.

Cities

The population largely resides in urban centers established by the end of the last century and which provide a high quality of life. The towns are characterized by high density development which supports vibrant city life and at the same time, protect open landscape around the towns. City dwellers live in buildings which are friendly both to their inhabitants and to the environment, through resource efficiency and smart systems. The population depends on highly efficient public transport, which is both convenient and comfortable, which enables breaking dependence on the private car. Public spaces in cities provide diverse opportunities for vibrant city culture and for generating spontaneous diverse connections between the inhabitants.

Infrastructures

High levels of connectivity enable all sections of the population to make use of employment opportunities and services, through both physical and virtual forms of accessibility. Highly developed and flexible infrastructure networks are capable of adaptation to technological or other changes.  Communities are connected by convenient and comfortable public transport, along joint infrastructure corridors. The infrastructures are operated efficiently and effectively through smart management systems.

Water

Water supply is no longer an issue of security, even under conditions of climate change, as a result of increasing sources of supply and prevention of loss. Water flows down rivers and supports natural habitats. Fresh water supply to agriculture conforms to national interests for landscape protection and land management.

Energy

Israel is capable of supplying all of its energy requirements as a result of discoveries of offshore natural gas and the provision of back up facilities for importing LNG. Natural gas fields are also conserved as long term reserves. Israel becomes a leader in the development and application of technologies for energy efficiency, solar energy, electricity storage and smart distribution systems.

Ecosystems

Conservation of open spaces and corridors and conservation of biodiversity enable a high level of resilience of Israel's ecological systems (provisioning, protecting and cultural).

Governance

Governance is based on democracy with highly developed participatory democracy. Decision making is delegated from central to local government through subsidiarity, with due consideration to the separation of professional from elected representation and with due consideration to the wide range of communities. Governance systems enable the division of responsibility for achieving a high quality of life and high level of resilience for all parts of society. Long term strategic planning gives due consideration to risk prevention. Decision making is well based on facts and scientific research which enables a high quality of discussion and guarantees resilience, flexibility and adaptability.

International cooperation

Israel is an active partner in the global dialogue of developed countries, fulfilling its international obligations (including environmental and social obligations) and has become a leader on several key global issues. Israel takes steps to reduce the level of exposure to risks of global trade, on which it is dependent, by taking an active part in discussions of international groups in which it has an interest or expertise.

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