World Wetlands Day 1998 in Israel
What is World Wetlands Day? At the 19th meeting of the Standing Committee, in late October 1996, World Wetlands Day was officially designated for 2 February of every year, the anniversary of the signing of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in 1971, as an opportunity for governments, organizations, and citizens to undertake big and small actions intended to raise public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general and the Ramsar Convention in particular.
This page is part of a series of reports on activities held on and about WWD '98 in various countries of the world, as reported to the Bureau. If you should know of any other activities not mentioned on these pages, send us a note (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we'll add it to this list.
Subject: preliminary report of WWD: "Pity on the sea" in Israel
There is an old tradition to celebrate nature protection in Israel in connection with the traditional Jewish holiday of "Too Beshvat" - The New Year for the Trees. It was used in the past to plant trees, to eat dried fruits and to have a special prayer for the life of trees and for the sack of nature.
In the last three decades it became a holiday for all the green organizations who "adopt" this holiday which is symbolized the beginning of the spring. Every year we celebrate around the day of "Too Beshvat" from one Saturday to the next for 8 days. Each year is devoted to another subject of nature conservation and it is planned and announced in advance by the "Spokesmen forum" of the "Greens" (Israel Society for Protection of Nature, Nature Reserves Authority, National arks Authority, KKL (Forest authority), Ministry of Environment and Youth Department, Ministry of Education). Special activities are always planned and advised to the Education system through the "General Director directives".
A special happening was planned this year in the Red Sea (city of Eilat) by all local "Green" organizations, Israel Society for Nature Protection; Man, Nature & Law; Greenpeace; Green activity; The Israel Diving Federation; Nature Reserves Authority; "Dolphin reef" and Underwater Observatory.
The happening took place on February the 7th from 1000 till 1700 in the Eilat Art Center which will includes:
- Demonstration of coral reef and marine protection problems.
- Research and monitoring work by the Eilat InterUniversity Institute and the Eilat lab of the Israel Limnological and Oceanographic Research Institute.
- Children activities (operated by guides)
- Plays about nature conservation
- Fishing race (to rescue magnetic fish from polluted bucket to clean one)
- Preparation of marine mobiles (fish, corals and other from Neopren)
- Marine cosmetics
- Art workshop for families:
- Mr. Moshe Frumin - Orchestra play - Orchestra instruments done from recycled materials.
- Mr. Doron Polack. - The Sea Performance - done out of used papers
- Ms. Sylvia Priuval - Marine landscape painting on plastic bags.
- Mr. Rafi Malka- - Legends about sea and men.
- Ms. Ophira Avishar - Plays made of empty plastic bottles.
- Mr. David Yerushalmi - Marine sculpturing with ceramics.
- Ms. Ruthi Katz- - Colored sand in bottles
- Slides performance on the sea - every hour.
- Photo exhibition of marine subjects.
- Some local music groups will play through all the happening (donated by the local hotel owners club).
- Public relations and advertising:
1. The happening will be covered along the day by the local radio station "Red Sea voice".
2. The happening will be promoted and advertised by the local newspaper "Every evening".
Advertising for the tourists (local hotels) by the Ministry of Tourism - Eilat branch).
Yours, Reuven Ortal