Earth Hour wasn’t the only way that Israel celebrated Earth Day this past Thursday – it was also the day that Life and Environment warded its annual Green and Black Globe awards. Taking place for the seventh year in a row this year, the award recognizes the positive efforts of Israeli environmental organizations, activists, groups, and companies. It also recognizes, however, parties responsible for actions that harm the environment.
This year’s Black Globe was awarded to Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, for his proposed environmental planning reform. Environmentalists claim that this plan would reduce public involvement in environmental planning and give more power to local planning committees (which are often less reliable than national planning committees).
But on to more positive endeavors.
The Committee to Save Palmahim Beach, a small organization formed to prevent the construction of a 350 vacation apartment complex on the beach, was awarded a Green Globe for its efforts to protect open spaces.
The Green Globe Volunteer Award went to Amit Mendelson, an engineer and urban planner, who has been working towards protecting open spaces in the country’s central region.
PowerSines (read more about them here) won the Green Globe Award for the business sector. The company, based on Or Yehuda, has developed a technology that ensures that the exact necessary amount of voltage is sent to lighting systems and electric motors, potentially saving consumers approximately 38% in electricity consumption.
The Jewish-Arab group, the Public Committee to Protect the Environment in Kfar Kanna, Mashhad and Mitzpe Hoshaya, was awarded a Green Globe for successfully preventing an aluminum casting factory from being built in the Tziporit industrial area. The construction of the factory would have seriously polluted the region.
Good Water Neighbors, Friends of the Middle East was recognized for its strides in environmental education. To date, this incredible organization has created partnerships between 25 Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian communities.
Sharon Nissim was awarded the Civil Servant Green Globe for her efforts to rehabilitate the polluted Kishon Stream.
The Urban Sustainability Green Globe went to Community Gardens (like the one for seniors we wrote about)- an effort that began in Jerusalem and which has spread to cities all over the country. Approximately 200 community gardens are currently active throughout Israel, and are an important statement about the potential for urban sustainability.
Read more about environmental awards throughout the Middle East::
Environmental Solar Company Awarded Enviro Prize, and Busts Arab Stereotypes
Our Friends from “Friends of the Earth Middle East” Get $750,000 from Skoll for Water Work
New Student Center at Beirut’s American University Wins Top Architectural Green Award