The Israel Union for Environmental Defense has launched a new online venture meant to offer eco-conscious Israelis comprehensive information that could help them practice environmental responsibility.
The website – Svivati ("my environment") offers users detailed information about recycling centers, air and water pollution, cellular antennas' location, threats to open spaces and various environmental hazards.
The website also offers information about the location of urban green lungs , public parks, beaches and their accessibility to the public.
Yael Dori of Israel Union for Environmental Defense, who serves as the website's administrator, explains that the website is the result of months of information gathering from government ministries, local authorities, the Israel Nature and National Parks Service and various other green groups.
The information was then screened and verified by the group's legal department, and while some areas still lack in full information, the website in currently the most comprehensive of its kind.
The website is based on a geographic information system (GIS), which is designed to capture, store, analyze and manage various layers of geographical data. It allows users to "build" the layers according to the desired information.
For example: The menu for the "Air, Energy and Radiation" category allows users to add layers like "air pollution," "cellular antennas" and "industrial emissions."
The "Environment and Society" category includes sub-categories such as "beaches," "parks" and "recycling centers."
IUED's director Amit Bracha explained that the website also seeks to paint a true picture of Israel's environmental condition for the public, in a clear and simple way.
The reason some of the categories are lacking in information is that gathering it proved a highly complex task, which is still ongoing.
The main challenge now – other than to complete the information featured on the website – is to keep it constantly updated, Bracha noted, saying that he hopes the public becomes an active partner in maintaining and updating the site.