The Municipal Environmental Committee is a mandatory committee in all local authorities in Israel. This committee is comprised of four elected municipal members, two public representatives, and the head of the municipal environmental department. The frequency of meetings is determined by the Municipal Ordinance Law.
Listed below are the simplified main points of the law:
The purpose of the committee under the municipal ordinance is “to initiate and plan activities in areas related to environmental protection and to ensure the sustainable development and the use of the environment.”
The Environmental Committee must meet at least 4 times per year. The Committee is required to submit its plans to the Council for approval and to monitor the implementation of approved plans.
The efficacy and practicality of the Environmental Committee is determined by the nature of its members’ work and their ability to use professional judgement and reason in decision making by the Municipality. A committee that looks after collaboration with the Environmental Protection Unit in the PA and with the Urban Association of the Environment (if any) has a more established position.
Composition of the Committee:
* Members of the Municipality’s 4 council (the factional composition of the members of the committee will be, if possible, compatible with the factional composition of the council).
* A senior municipality official who is responsible for environmental issues within their municipality.
* Two public representatives who are residents of the municipality: One is elected by the Committee in deliberation with local organizations concerned with environmental protection, and the other will be selected by local environmental organizations. In the absence of a local environmental organization, the council will select one representative after deliberating with a national organization and the other will select a national organization.
* One representative of a national environmental organization (Observer standard)
* One representative of the Minister of Environmental Protection.
Because of its status as an umbrella organization representative of Israel’s environmental movement, Life and Environment was selected by both the municipalities and the organizations, being the same national organization mentioned in the law. Life and Environment’s experience and the legitimacy that it receives from municipalities, environmental organizations,and planning committees ensure that the selection process and its results are acceptable to all parties involved.