Environmental officials hope to impress OECD

Environmental officials are hoping that a recent visit by a delegation from the OECD (the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) to see the rehabilitation efforts being made at the Kishon River will help move Israel closer to being allowed to join the organization, reports www.local.co.il. The OECD's chemicals delegation visited Israel last week with the aim of checking how well the country meets OECD requirements on the production, use and disposal of chemicals, how it handles chemical accidents, and how transparent the chemicals management system is. According to the report, the delegation was headed by the deputy director of the OECD's environmental section, Rob Visser, and met Kishon River Authority officials for a tour along the river and to hear reports on the continuing recovery efforts being made there. The report said the delegation was "impressed" and delegates expressed their appreciation of the work being done to clean the riverbed and create parks along the length of its banks. "The River Authority sees great importance in the exposure of its activities to rehabilitate the Kishon River, and is proud of the significant process the river is undergoing on its way to complete recovery," a Kishon River Authority spokeswoman said. "I hope that the impressions the delegations received from our activities will help Israel be accepted as a member of the organization." According to the Ministry for Environmental Protection, Israel first began seeking membership in the OECD - a cooperative organization of the world's 30 most developed countries - in July 2008. The ministry said that while the OECD is primarily an economic organization, it places the environment "high on its agenda," with 60 of its 220 subsidiary bodies dealing with environmental matters.