Sunday, September 25, 2011

Engagement for Effective Environmental Governance

A new paper by Valerie Brachya, Director of the Environmental Policy Center, Jerusalem Institute for Israel Research, former Deputy Director General of the Ministry for Environmental Protection, was published in the Mepielan Bulletin.

Countries around the world recognize the importance of global and regional environmental governance and express their willingness to cooperate and support common goals. However it is increasingly apparent that most current governance regimes have not proven effective. The issue is therefore what steps could be taken to transform global or regional agreements into effective measures for implementation at the national level. Commitment will remain as good intentions without results if a country's governmental system does not translate them into operational processes which affect environmental performance. Consequently a key issue, is what brings a country's government system to reform its environmental performance?

It is frequently proposed that transformation is achieved through top down or bottom up processes, or a combination of both. This paper proposes that transformation can often best be achieved through the middle rung of the ladder, neither top nor bottom, but through a horizontal shift generated by the epistemic community of professional environmentalists inside government.

Click here to read the entire paper.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Summer Heat

Inbal Doron

The months of July and August mean summer vacation from schools and nurseries, half-empty workplaces, and a holiday feeling in the air. This raises the interesting question of where – within Israel – Israelis choose to spend their summer holidays. During July and August of 2010, Israel’s hospitality services registered approximately 5,860,000 overnight stays (Israelis and tourists): 84% in tourist hotels, 12% in rural accommodation, and 4% in youth hostels. The data further indicates that during this time of the year, there were significantly more Israelis than tourists among hotel guests. Of a total 1,575,500 hotel guests, approximately 1,116,700 are Israeli (71%), compared to only 458,700 tourists (29%).

Where do Israelis choose to spend their vacation? Eilat clearly stands out as the strongest preference. During July and August of 2010, hotels in Eilat accommodated 461,500 Israeli guests, representing 41% of the total number of hotel guests within the country. Jerusalem hotels accommodated 92,100 Israelis (8% of the total number of hotel guests in Israel). During July and August, Jerusalem in fact recorded the largest number of Israeli visitors in comparison with the rest of the year, representing 26% of all Israeli tourist hotel guests within the city during 2010. Other popular destinations included the Dead Sea hotels (12%), Tiberias (10%), and Tel Aviv (4%).

Jerusalem ranks first among the preferred destinations of tourists, and this preference holds during the summer months as well. Despite the large number of Israeli visitors to Jerusalem during July and August, Israelis represented only 39% of visitors to the city, whereas foreign tourists accounted for 61% of Jerusalem’s visitors during this period.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Relocating within the Jerusalem area

Yair Assaf-Shapira

In 2009, the demographic makeup of Jerusalem’s outmigration was as follows: 25% were children under the age of 15, 41% were young adults between the ages of 15 and 29, another 30% were adults between the ages of 30 and 64 and 4% were seniors over the age of 65. Jerusalem’s incoming migration was basically a mirror picture of Jerusalem’s outgoing migration, although it is true that more families and more adults migrated out of Jerusalem than into it.

Individuals tend to relocate in response to pivotal life-events, whether the birth of a child or once a child has reached school age. Many of those who leave Jerusalem relocate to localities in the surrounding area, which can be grouped into different categorizes by the particular demographic populations they draw.

Beitar Illit and Modiin Illit basically only draw Ultra-Orthodox population, mostly young families. Young adults between the ages of 15 and 29 made up the bulk of incomers to Beitar Illit and Modiin Illit, between 47% and 54%; children under the age of 15 accounted for 34%-40%, adults between the ages 30-64 accounted for 11%-12% and seniors over the age of 65 accounted for only 1%.

Beit Shemesh, another major destination for ex-Jerusalemites, draws a more mixed population that includes Ultra-Orthodox groups as well as others. Adults between the ages of 30 and 64 accounted for 23% of incomers to Beit Shemesh, and young adults between the ages 15-29 account for another 35%. Like other major destinations for the Ultra-Orthodox population, the percentage of children entering the city approximated 40%.

The picture in Maale Adummim, Modiin and Mevaseret Zion was somewhat different. Children under 15 accounted for 25% to 29% of incomers to these localities and seniors over the age of 65 accounted for 4%-5%. The percentage of incoming adults between the ages of 30-64 was higher in Modiin (45%) and Mevaseret Zion (41%) than Maale Adummim (34%).