Established in 1953, the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) is the leading and oldest environmental non-profit organisation in Israel. SPNI works to protect Israel’s Biodiversity through education, advocacy, land-use planning, research and activism. SPNI is an IUCN member and Birdlife International affiliate. The Environment Protection Division (EPD) is SPNI’s policy department, employing 40 professionals (ecologists, planners, legal experts etc). EPD specialises in translating scientific knowledge into policy tools. EPD’s personnel represents the NGO community as members in the Planning committees, and are heavily involved in the government and parliament policy processes through professional advocacy. EPD also operates the TevaBIZ initiative for Biodiversity friendly businesses, and collaborates with 12 Israeli companies, including adoption of eco-friendly practices in Tabor Wineries’ vineyards, Eco-safe quarry code to prevent invasive species with Hanson Cement Group, reducing bird powerline collisions with Israel Electric Company, and reforming lighting design practices to reduce light pollution with Israel’s Road, oil and water companies. “The Blue Half” is SPNI’s marine program. Since 2012, SPNI is the leading NGO in marine conservation in Israel Fisheries management. After an intensive 4 years project led by SPNI, the Israeli parliament have adopted (2016) the amendment to the fishing regulations that SPNI has compiled, working in collaboration with the fisheries department and other government ministries.
SPNI has led a public participation process, mainly a dialogue with fishermen, as part of the reform. SPNI also successfully lobbied for the allocation of enforcement responsibility, from the Ministry of Agriculture to the nature and parks authority, and to the establishment of a novel marine enforcement unit responsible for fishing regulations. Marine reserves: SPNI’s activity was instrumental in designating two marine reserves as No-take zones, while working closely with the planning administration, to establish a policy of no fishing in marine reserves as part of the government MSP. Marine spatial planning– SPNI lobbied extensively for the mainstreaming of ecological considerations in the Israeli MSP plan that was approved in 2019, through the preparation of relevant policy papers. Public participation in marine conservation – SPNI has developed the “Sea Watch” app and data service: A unique initiative that enables every person to report on marine hazards and fishing violations, online, directly to the Israeli enforcement authorities. The numerous public reports have enabled (through strong collaboration with government enforcement bodies) dozens of successful illegal fishing enforcement events, dozens of ghost nets removals, and a few sea turtle rescues. Four members of personnel will be directly involved in the EcoScope project.
Contact Name: Alon Rothschild