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National Outline Plan for Forests and Afforestation (NOP 22).

Type of law

This National Outline Plan for Forests and Afforestation is a nationwide sectoral document aiming at (i) protecting Israel’s vegetative resources, including its planted forests and natural woodlands; and (ii) maintaining the quality of the environment as an open, green hinterland for the population, for purposes of relaxation, leisure, and recreation. The document is in line with the constitutive principles of Agenda 21 arising from the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) convened in Brazil and also known as the Rio Declaration - Earth Summit. Related to the two main goals, there are other objectives for the forestry management, they are (i) define forest areas: existing forests and areas zoned for forests, including planted forests, natural woodlands, forest parks, coastal forest parks, and riverside plantings; (ii) guarantee that forestry activity will be carried out conserving the country’s diversity and in consideration of the various landscape units; (iii) set guidelines and instructions for the planning and approval of detailed plans for proposed forests; (iv) set permissions, limitations, and prohibitions regarding land uses in forested areas or areas designated for forests; (v) establish the relationship between the plan and other plans and land uses. For each goal, subordinate aims have been stipulated and subdivided into the following categories: social, environmental, scenic-natural, and economic. Since the national outline plan was prepared in the early 1990s, the following local plans precisely define the forest boundaries drawn in NOP 22, due also to the advances in computer technology. The forests of NOP 22 are meant to include areas of forests, hills, and rocky areas that are not fit for cultivation. Based on this principle, the local plans are accurate in differentiating forests and natural woodlands from cultivated land.
To make forestry more productive and sustainable, the Plan aims to (i) broad public participation in decision making; (ii) conserve biodiversity, forest health and productivity; (iii) utilize forests to an extent that does not exceed their productivity and regeneration; (iv) promote cycles of felling as well as forestry activity to accelerate growth and encourage regeneration; (v) create forests of constant cover and density in time and space, such as forests of diverse ages and species. The Plan also implement the Agenda 21 Recommendations related to forestry management, such as (i) encouraging the involvement of different sectors (trade unions, rural cooperatives, local communities, youth, women, the private sector, NGO user groups and organizations) in forest-related activity; (ii) forestry research, including collecting data on the dimensions of forested land, the areas suitable for forests and their ecological value; (iii) forest renewal in mountainous regions, on bare ground, on degenerated farmland, in arid and semi-arid zones and in coastal areas; and (iv) stimulating development of urban forestry for the greening of urban, peri-urban and rural human settlements for amenity, recreation and production purposes and for protecting trees and groves.
The document encourages a proper forestry management as a tool to create jobs, supply wood and reduce poverty, specially in rural areas.
In order to increase the resilience of livelihoods to disasters, the NOP 22 aims to put into practice, through good forest management, the principles of Agenda 21 on environmental protection, such as (i) atmospheric protection; (ii) integrated approach to use of land resources; (iii) combating deforestation; (iv) halting desertification; (v) protecting mountainous ecosystems; (vi) sustaining biodiversity; and (vi) creating and expanding systems of protected areas, characterizing types of forests, managing according to drainage basins, preparing an inventory for forest planning, felling and renewal, promoting conservation of old forests.
As for Governance, Israel, on the basis of Agenda 21, calls to strengthen the institutions and organizations of forest development and protection, and to promote forest functions with a view to ecological, social, cultural, and economic aspects.
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Legislation Amendment