Land Management Policy
Land management and allocation policies have significant influence on the future of open
spaces in Israel. OLI deals with this issue by examining land management policy, conducting
applied research and accordingly formulating recommendations for policy and tools for
sustainable development and the protection of open spaces.
OLI's ongoing work and involvement in sustainable land management led to significant results in 2009. In March 2009 the Israel Land Administration (ILA) Council adopted a motion presented by Yoav Sagi, OLI’s Head, who serves as the representative of Israel's environmental NGOs on the ILA council, calling for the mandatory consideration of open space preservation in each of the Council’s and Land Authority's decisions regarding land allocation and management. These recommendations were presented to legislators and adopted during the Knesset debate on land reform initiated by the government. They were legally incorporated into the goals and functions of the newly ratified Israel Land Administration Law.
According to the new legislation, one of the stated goals of the Israel Land Administration (ILA) is the obligation to "…. Manage Israel's land as a resource… for the benefit of the public, the environment and future generations… while keeping an appropriate balance between conservation and development needs …" The new legislation also directs the ILA to "… allocate … and purchase land for environmental and social purposes in needed locations and capacity…" In addition, the legislation established an "Open Space Protection Fund". The Open Space Protection Fund is dedicated solely to providing funds for the acquisition and management of ecologically valued open areas to protect these open spaces. 1% of the ILA’s annual income is given to the Open Space Protection Fund for this sole purpose. These changes in the ILA's goals and mandate represent a tremendous and landmark victory for OLI and are a vindication of our ongoing work.