Negev Bar-Kayma - called “Sustainable Development for the Negev” (SDN) in English, strives to increase environmental awareness and protection of the Negev region (the southern part of Israel), encourage public participation in decisions affecting development in the region, and be a catalyst for sustainable development. SDN is partners with the public to change the outlook of the government regarding future development of the Negev. The challenge is to integrate intelligent use and preservation of natural resources with development of a suitable quality of life.
Community Advisory Committees for Environmental Responsibility (CAPs) is one of the SDN’s main projects.Currently nine Committee Forums are active in ten industrial plants, within which dialogue takes place with complete transparency between the industrial representatives (executive director and heads of departments) and community representatives from the surrounding area, concentrating on environmental responsibility.
The industries include ICL Industrial Products (Brom Compounds), Makhteshim Ltd. – Ramat Hovav, Teva Tech, the Company for Environmental Services, Ecosol, Ramat Hovav Local Council, Dead Sea Works, Hadas Gardens, Chemagis – Ramat Hovav.
How does it work?
The CAPs enable the community and the industry build a network of mutual trust and work with transparency and cooperation for the good of the environment, advancing solutions for environmental problems and bringing about impressive achievements by decreasing air pollution, introducing state-of-the-art technological solutions to environmental problems, and promoting discussion and openness between the two.
Every forum meets once every month and a half to two months and in one year an average of 5-6 meetings are held per company. The meetings deal with topics connected with environmental quality. Every forum opens with a current report on the progress the company has made in treating waste, improving air quality, reducing odors and improving the influence of the plant on its environment. The forum operates with complete transparency; every question is answered seriously in depth. Forum members tour the plant in order to acquaint with and get an impression of plant activity and specialists on topics connected with plant activities are invited to meetings of the forum to lecture and discuss topics of interest.
The process of dialogue and transparency constitutes a different way in allowing the public to influence and cope with environmental problems. The process has also offered an opportunity for interested researchers and students, from universities in Israel and abroad to investigate a means of dealing with the friction between industry and the general public which is based on mutual understanding and good-will, rather than conflict.
Who can access it?
Anyone from the public and industry can become a member of a CAP – except for government officials who may only be observers.