The Israeli Protection of the Coastal Environment Law – A step Towards Sustainability
"Environmental Policy and Law" Vol.36
Tzvi Levinson, Julia Lietzmann and Gil Dror, attorneys-at-law
Israel expands on 2/3 of the size of Belgium and is slightly smaller than the US state New Jersey but is home to almost 6.3 million inhabitants. It has one of the highest population densities in the world with an average of 294 people per square meter. Over half of the population lives in the Mediterranean coastal strip. It is, therefore, not surprising that the use of the shore is subject to conflicting interests.
In order to make sure that also the coming generations can still enjoy the coastal environment the Israeli legislator promulgated the "Protection of the Coastal Environment Law" in 2004. Its stated aims are 1. To protect the coastal environment, its natural and heritage assets, to restore and preserve them as a resource of unique value, and to prevent and reduce as far as possible any damage to them; 2. To preserve the coastal environment and the coastal sand for the benefit and enjoyment of the public, for present and future generations; 3. To establish principles and limitations for the sustainable management, development and use of the coastal environment.
For the first time, the principle of sustainability has been clearly introduced into an Israeli law.
The article reviews the Israeli law in comparison to international environmental legislation.