Most Israelis not engaged in environmental activities, survey finds

With the vast majority of people not taking part in such activities, only 13% said they were engaged in environmental-social efforts, while 1% said they were uncertain.

December 5, 2015 17:53
2 minute read.
Northern Galilee

Nature trails abound in this northern Galilee getaway. (photo credit: MEITAL SHARABI)


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About 86 percent of Israelis have not taken part in environmental campaigns in the past three years, a new survey by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel revealed.

With the vast majority of people not taking part in such activities, only 13% said they were engaged in environmental- social efforts, while 1% said they were uncertain, the data revealed. Conducted over the phone in the last week of October, the survey evaluated 500 members of Israel’s Jewish population, age 18 and older. The results had a 4.4% error range, with a statistical significance of 95%.

SPNI coordinated the survey with the Geocartography Knowledge Group, ahead of the former’s seventh annual Israel Nature & Environment Conference, scheduled for December 21.

The theme of this year’s conference will be dedicated to public involvement in nature conservation and the environment, exploring the theoretical and practical tools available to expand civil action in the sector. Several entities will receive awards for their attention to nature and the environment, including the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality, the nationwide student movement Green Course and the Israel Defense Forces.

In addition to looking at people’s individual participation in green activities, the survey also asked respondents which entities they felt were responsible for environmental successes achieved around the country in recent years.

To this question, 33% of those surveyed said they believe such successes were due to the efforts of green groups, while 30% attributed these victories to independent campaigns of residents.

Meanwhile, 14% said they believe that such achievements are the result of local and regional council activities, while 4% answered none of the above and 19% were uncertain.

Of the respondents, 40% said they were satisfied with the performance of decision-makers in their cities in areas related to environmental protection – with 15% very satisfied and 25% sufficiently satisfied. On the other hand, 29% said they were dissatisfied – with 15% simply “not very satisfied” and 14% entirely dissatisfied. Another 23% responded that the environmental performance of their decision-makers was simply “OK,” while 8% said they did not know the answer to the question.

A final question asked those surveyed whether they would consider joining a voluntary environmental campaign if one existed within their area of residence.

To this, 44% said they would – with 13% saying they certainly would do so and 31% answering that they think they would do so. However, 52% responded that they would not join, with 28% saying they certainly would not and 24% answering that they think they would not. Another 4% said that they did not know.

After receiving the results of the survey, SPNI CEO Kosha Pakman said the organization “feels the honor and duty of strengthening the relationship with members of the public and working to expand the depth of their involvement in protecting nature and the environment in Israel.

“The hidden potential in the public’s ability to lead the process of and influence nature conservation and the environment is great, and we believe that conservation of nature and the environmental will strengthen and improve as a more diversified public becomes an involved and active partner,” Pakman added.

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