Policy and Planning at National Level
Since its inception in the early 1990s, OLI has successfully formulated recommendations for open space preservation policies and tools for incorporation into Israel's national planning policy. These efforts have helped bring about a major positive shift in Israel's planning policy so that the preservation of open spaces is now a national priority.
OLI's ongoing planning activities focus on further developing planning recommendations and following-up on the adoption of its recommendations within planning processes. These objectives are achieved by a variety of means, for example; OLI's Director of Planning is a member of Israel's National Council for Planning and Construction, sub-committees, and steering committees for national outline plans (master plans), thus taking part in the national planning processes’ highest echelons. At the same time, OLI's ongoing relations with environmental and planning organizations provide additional channels for incorporating its policy into planning processes. OLI also operates the "OLI Forum" – a think tank consisting of public, private and academic experts who meet to discuss planning and land management issues.
OLI has been carrying on with the activities mentioned above while focusing on the following issues regarding planning policy:
Planning Reform: After almost two years, the first governmental intensive legislation initiative was put on hold due to growing objections to the proposed legislation, in which OLI played a major role by providing professional expertise. There is now new versions of the reform and OLI has continued to be involved in the legislation process in order to improve its results.
TAMA 35 (National Outline Plan No. 35) – TAMA 35, the major planning instrument that regulates land-use planning in Israel, has been opened for review. The Planning Administration of the Ministry of the Interior has initiated an evaluation process aimed at providing recommendations for the review process. OLI continues to follow the process through its involvement in the work of the evaluation team, by providing data and position papers regarding relevant issues and through its involvement in the National Planning Council.
Biosphere Reserves – OLI has been an active participant in the Planning Administration's working committee examining the potential for establishing biosphere reserves in Israel. Progress was made regarding the incorporation of OLI's principal recommendations. This will be continued in the future.