ZALUL

 

Zalul is one of Israel's leading environmental NGOs dedicated to protecting the seas and rivers of Israel. Zalul accomplishes its mission through conservation, activism, research, awareness-raising, and education. Zalul challenges Israel's existing power structure and strives to bring the issues of water preservation and environmental protection to the forefront of the Israeli public. Zalul was founded in 1999 by a few concerned citizens who recognized the dire need for environmental activism and advocacy in Israel. The group continues to wage strategic campaigns that target unchallenged municipalities, corporations, and the national government on the basis of their negligence and destruction of Israel's most essential natural resource - water. Zalul is responsible for some of the leading campaigns for water protection in Israel in recent years. It tackles environmental issues that other organizations shy away from, such as the preservation of the coral reef in the Gulf of Eilat (Aqaba) and the fight for removal of the fish cages from the Red Sea. The Zalul team is comprised of dedicated professionals from various fields, including environmental science, law, academia, public relations, lobbyists, volunteers, and concerned citizens. Although a small group, the Zalul team's potency lies in the devotion of its combined expertise towards working for environmental change in Israel. Zalul is generously supported by various sources, such as the Kahn family, that do not jeopardize its uncompromising commitment to environmental protection.

 

Campaigns:

Returning the Jordan River to a Healthy State: The Jordan River, once a crossroads of civilizations and continents, is now a river suffering greatly from pollution.  With the establishment of the State of Israel and the National Water Carrier, water was taken from the Sea of the Galilee and a dam was built to block water from flowing to the Jordan River.  The result was immediate.  The Jordan River began to slowly die and the water level in the Dead Sea began to drop.  Instead of freshwater flowing into the Jordan River, today the Southern Jordan is a river of polluted wastewater.  As Zalul's most recent campaign, we are taking it upon ourselves to save the Jordan River- demanding the removal of polluters along the entire length of the river, as well as replacing polluted water with clean water.

The preservation of the Gulf of Eilat (Aqaba): The campaign led to the creation of a safety phosphate mechanism in Eilat's port and improvements to the sewage system in the city of Eilat. The final obstacle in insuring the longevity of the reef is the fish cages in the Gulf. All the national authorities, including the government's Legal Counsel and the National Planning Committee, ruled that the cages have to be removed from the sea. This decision has international implications for many developing countries regarding their sea-life preservation efforts.

Halting pollution of the Kishon River and encouraging its rehabilitation: Together with the Navy's 'Silent People' group, whose divers were harmed in the Kishon, the campaign led to a public outcry as well as several large-scale demonstrations that led to the re-prioritization of the issue on the municipal level as well as in the Knesset. Zalul's report on the river's polluted soil forced the Ministry of the Environment to thoroughly investigate the damage and its future impacts.

Stopping pollution of the Naaman River: The Naaman River, one of the most polluted rivers in Israel, is located in Acco in northern Israel. Several villages and factories dump sewage into the Naaman River at the combined amount of over 6 mcm/year. The campaign resulted in Acco's construction of its first sewage treatment facility and the dismissal of the CEO of Miluban, one of the most polluting factories in the region. Zalul will continue to monitor the area's rehabilitation until normal conditions are resumed.

Herzliya Municipality's pollution of the Mediterranean: The city of Herzliya's sewage treatment facility is working at over-capacity, resulting in frequent sewage spills into the sea, near some of the most popular beaches in Israel. The treatment of the sewage is only partial, and 7 mcm/year of unsuitably treated water is being dumped 600 meters off-shore into the Mediterranean. The campaign urging Herzliya to take action has led to a legal battle and a great deal of public awareness and support.

Stopping the Shafdan from Spilling Sludge into the Mediterranean: Shafdan, the largest waste-treatment facility in Israel and one of the biggest in the world, spills sludge into the Mediterranean. Zalul initiated a campaign that involved thousands of Israeli citizens, with banners hanging from hundreds of balconies, bumper stickers on thousands of cars, and demonstrations against the pollution of the sea. The campaign brought an end to a long-lasting problem by offering an alternative treatment to the sludge. A lawsuit filed by the state against the previous director of the Shafdan, whose negligence caused raw sewage to flow into the sea for over two weeks in the winter of 2003, is setting a precedence in Israel.

Defending the Mediterranean from Land-Based Pollution: According to the Sea Report published by Zalul in 2006, 80 factories and municipalities have a permit to legally spill their sewage into the sea. Besides the permitted sewage that is spilled, a substantial amount of untreated sewage is spilled into the sea illegally due to poor enforcement and lack of ramifications for the offenders. This campaign intends to substantially reduce the flow of pollution from these sources over a three-year period.

Protecting the Lachish River: “Don’t Say Kaddish for the Lachish” is Zalul’s slogan for the campaign to save the Lachish River running between the cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod. After an in-depth study was undertaken to determine the pollution sources and the variety of pollutants, a major public campaign was begun with wide-media coverage. Pressure from the public has led to the involvement of the Mayor of Ashdod and the Ministry of the Environment in the creation of the Lachish Committee, headed by the Mayor and responsible for the river’s rehabilitation – since it’s creation, the Mayor of Ashdod has now pledged to completely eliminate all pollution of the river by the municipality by summer 2008.

Protesting the ALA Pipeline in Acco: An ancient city, Acco has relied on the gulf that it has neighbored since biblical times. Now that gulf is in great danger of turning into a sewage pool due to a pipeline built to carry sewage from regional factories directly to the sea. Over 10,000 Acco residents signed a petition protesting the operation of the ALA Pipeline and the sewage spilled into the Gulf of Acco as part of Zalul’s campaign. This campaign has received enormous support from both the residents and local leaders, notably the mayor, of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 
 
for more information please visit:  http://www.zalul.org.il/en/default.asp
 
 
 

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