Ministry of Environmental Protection (Israel)

The Ministry of Environmental Protection (Hebrew: המשרד להגנת הסביבה, HaMisrad LeHaganat HaSviva; Arabic: وزارة حماية البيئة) is a government ministry in Israel. It was formerly known as the Ministry of the Environment (Hebrew: המשרד לאיכות הסביבה, HaMisrad LeEikhut HaSviva).

Ministry of Environmental Protection
המשרד להגנת הסביבה
Agency overview
JurisdictionGovernment of Israel
Minister responsible

The ministry operates on three levels: national, regional and local: At the national level it is responsible for the formulation of a nationwide integrated, and inclusive policy for the protection of the environment. At the regional level, through its six districts, the ministry, among others, oversees the implementation of the national environmental policy, engages in local planning processes, assists municipalities with their environmental responsibilities and supervise them when formulating requirements for the acquisition of business licenses. At the local level the ministry lends support to environmental units and towns associations that have been established in municipalities throughout the country.[1]

Climate Change is a major area in which the ministry operates. The prime objective of the ministry in this area is to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) from all sources in the Israeli economy. In the run-up to the UNFCCC convention in Paris in 2015 the ministry has led an inter-ministerial committee that examined a range of GHG emissions reduction targets for 2030 and formulated the strategy for meeting these targets. The ministry is also responsible for preparing and submitting Israel's different Climate Change reports to the UNFCCC. The ministry focuses its activities on policies and measures to promote renewable energy, switch from coal to natural gas in the power sector and to ramp up the implementation of energy efficiency measures across the economy.

A basic volunteer for the ministry is called a "Ne'eman Nikayon", translated literally as a "clean trustee" but more accurately described as a volunteer cleanliness protection officer. They are certified under the "Cleanliness protection law of 1984". A volunteer must pass a one-day course where they learn the basic laws involved in their ability to report violations of Israeli littering laws. Once certified, a volunteer can write out tickets against violators and submit them directly to the ministry for processing. In almost all cases a simple fine is issued (ranging from 250–8000 Israeli new sheqels), but under some circumstances the case may be sent automatically to a judge (especially in the case of a repeat offender) to determine special punishment.

The environmental protection ministry has paid inspectors (Pakachim) who serve in a similar capacity as a basic volunteer, as well as holding additional powers according to Israeli law.

List of ministers

The Environmental Protection Minister of Israel (Hebrew: שר להגנת הסביבה, Sar LeHaganat HaSviva) is the political head of the ministry. The post was created on 22 December 1988,[2] and until May 2006 was known as the Minister of the Environment (Hebrew: שר לאיכות הסביבה, Sar LeEikhut HaSviva). There has been a Deputy Minister on one occasion.

# Minister Party Government Term start Term end Notes
Minister of the Environment
1Roni MiloLikud2322 December 19887 March 1990
2Rafael EdriAlignment237 March 199015 March 1990
3Yitzhak ShamirLikud2411 June 199013 July 1992Serving Prime Minister
4Ora NamirLabor Party2513 July 199231 December 1992
5Yossi SaridMeretz25, 2631 December 199218 June 1996
6Rafael EitanTzomet2728 June 19966 July 1999
7Dalia ItzikOne Israel286 July 19997 March 2001
8Tzachi HanegbiLikud297 March 200128 February 2003
9Yehudit NaotShinui3028 February 200317 October 2004
10Ilan ShalgiShinui3029 November 20044 December 2004Acting Minister
11Shalom SimhonLabor Party3010 January 200523 November 2005
12Gideon EzraKadima3018 January 20064 May 2006
Minister of Environmental Protection
Gideon EzraKadima314 May 200631 March 2009
13Gilad ErdanLikud3231 March 200918 March 2013
14Amir PeretzHatnuah3318 March 20139 November 2014
15Avi GabbayNot an MK3414 May 201531 May 2016Member of Kulanu
16Moshe KahlonKulanu3431 May 20161 August 2016
17 Ze'ev ElkinLikud341 August 2016

Deputy ministers

# Minister Party Government Term start Term end
1Yigal BibiNational Religious Party2420 November 199013 July 1992
2Ofir AkunisLikud339 December 201414 May 2015
3Yaron MazuzLikud342 August 2016


  1. About us Ministry of Environmental Protection
  2. All Ministers in the Ministry of the Environment Knesset website
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