The need for a Sustainability Outlook

A review of the last decade of government policy together with a review of the main issues which had been of concern to the leading environmental organizations revealed that policies and activities were often disjointed, changed according to the administration in office or to the source of funding available and did not add up together to a coherent long term framework within which all actors (whether government or non-government) could find their course of action and together promote long term goals. Typically policies and actions were generated by the identification of an immediate concern or as a response to an issue regarded as critical at that point in time. It resulted in a disjointed response to crisis or a haphazard distribution of funds and effort according to a particular interest.

The emphasis on being able to demonstrate tangible results to the public, whether by a Minister or by an environmental organization, channeled efforts into enforcement and implementation rather than into strategic thinking and policy formulation. The lack of a long term framework frequently resulted in conflicts between the environmental actors, reflecting how each would like to see the other take action, but without realizing the benefits that could be gained from collaborative and mutually supportive activities towards common goals.

The goal of Sustainability Outlook 2030 is to present a vision of sustainability for the year 2030 towards which Israel should aspire, thereby enabling Israel’s decision makers to understand existing trends, recognize any disparities in pursuit of the vision, and identify the appropriate routes to achievement of the vision.

The project is still underway: the scenarios and common sustainability vision have been completed and the strategies and policy packages are currently in preparation. The final report should be delivered to the Minister of Environmental Protection in anticipation that he will bring its contents to the government and adopt the ongoing process of preparing long term outlooks as a government decision and that the insights will be used by the Israeli delegation in preparation for the global summit Rio+20.

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