Biodiversity - Legal Aspects
Tzvi Levinson & Gi Dror, Advocates
The year 2010 was declared by the UN as the “Year of Biodiversity”. The extinction of species is a less visible damage to the environment than are polluted rivers and polluted air, especially when it is a species of bacteria. And what do we care if, of the estimated 100 million species a few thousand die? Here is not the place to enter into details about the various important roles that these different species play to keep the world in balance. But to name just a few examples of tasks fulfilled by various species: making of food (e.g. yeast bacteria in the bread and wine production), medicine (bacteria in the production of antibiotics), pollination, natural treatment of polluted water and air, waste degradation and energy production, safeguarding of soil fertility, and the list is much longer.
Already today, we can see the beginnings of biodiversity conservation in environmental law legislation in Israel. For example, the Clean Air Act of 2008 stipulates that the purpose of the law is to protect human life, health and quality and the environment, including natural resources, ecosystems and biodiversity. In April 2010, published in the Public Health Regulations governing effluent quality standards there being pumped into irrigation or rivers. These regulations also states that the preservation of ecosystems and biodiversity is part of the goals of the regulations.
The article reviews developments in the world and brings several examples of new legislation in Israel.