Integration of environmental assessment into the regional development planning process of the Galilee

S. Amir, A. Frenkel, H. Law-Yone, D. Shefer, T. Trop

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The Galilee region on the northern edge of Israel constitutes more than 15% of the state's territory, supplies more than half of its drinking water needs, and is an important recreational resource and destination for Israelis. One of the main objectives of the plan for the Galilee was to devise a regional physical and economic development strategy for the years 1992-2007 that would arrest the trend of emigration of its residents, attract newly arrived immigrants to the region, and at the same time protect natural resources and environmental quality. This paper is limited to discussion of the environmental aspects of the plan. It analyzes spatial concepts for distribution of projected population growth, evaluates environmental impacts of alternative plans, and proposes a decision-making framework and tools for minimizing natural resources loss from development at the local level. Assessment of potential environmental impacts generated quantitative data of natural resources areas. Application of the data in the plan evaluation stage showed that the alternative that concentrated most of the new development in central Galilee was the second best choice environmentally, but was preferred as the best choice for overall qualities. The planning study offers an alternative environmental impact assessment (EIA) process to the one presently used in israel by incorporating environmental considerations at the initial plan making stage and not at the plan-approval stage. It demonstrated that in order to be effective, environmental assessment and land-use planning should be seen as one effort that is integrated from the start and in each stage of the plan-making process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-68
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Development planning
  • Environmental assessment
  • Galilee

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Pollution


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