Israel Nature and Parks Authority

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Israel Nature and Parks Authority
Agency overview
FormedApril 1998
HeadquartersJerusalem, Israel
EmployeesAbout 1800, out of which 800 permanent
Annual budget516,470 NIS (2021)
Agency executive
  • Raya Shurki, Director
Parent departmentMinistry of Environmental Protection

The Israel Nature and Parks Authority (Hebrew: רשות הטבע והגנים Rashut Hateva Vehaganim; Arabic: سلطة الطبيعة والحدائق) is an Israeli government organization that manages nature reserves and national parks in Israel, the Golan Heights and parts of the West Bank. The organization was founded in April 1998, merging two organizations (The National Parks Authority and the Nature Reserves Authority) that had managed the nature reserves and national parks separately since 1964. The director of the Authority is Raya Shurki.

Hula Valley nature reserve

The symbol of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority is the ibex, a mountain goat similar to the antelope.[1] One of the missions of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority is enforcing Israeli wildlife protection laws.[2]


Flag of Israel Nature and Parks Authority

As of 2015, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority was the overseer of 400 nature reserves and 81 national parks, covering over 20 percent of Israel’s land mass.[3][4] The coverage of the Authority has grown fairly rapidly. For example, in 2007 the Authority oversaw only 69 national parks and 190 nature reserves - a doubling of reserves in only 8 years.[5]

All parks and nature reserves are divided into six regions:[citation needed]


The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel has criticized decisions of the Nature and Parks Authority's policies on several occasions, claiming that they have harmed nature reserves in various ways.[6][7][8] Let the Animals Live [he] organization has also claimed that the Authority was harming animals.[9]

In 2007, scientists and nature conservation organizations opposed the extension of CEO Eli Amitay's appointment for a second term, citing claims regarding the Authority's conservation policies during his first term, but the government approved the appointment nonetheless.[10] In 2011, Minister of Environmental Protection Gilad Erdan sought to depose Amitay, claiming that he is acting against public interest. As a result, Amitay retired a year earlier than planned.[11] In December of the same year, Shaul Goldstein, head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council was appointed as CEO by a government committee.[12]

In October 2017, the Authority came under public criticism when a visitor to Avshalom Cave observed that none of the instructional material in the cave contained an estimate of its age, and a local guide claimed that this was due to pressure by the ultra-Orthodox population, which was later confirmed by media outlets.[13] After the affair, the authority announced that the material will be corrected and the CEO "called for an examination of all instructional material to ensure that it conforms to scientific truth".[14]

Heads of Nature Reserves Authority[edit]

Heads of National Parks Authority[edit]

  • Yaakov Yanai, 1964-1978
  • Zvi Barzel, 1978-1984
  • Mordechai Ben-Porat, 1984-1994
  • Israel Gilad, 1994-1997
  • Aharon Vardi, 1997[16]-1998[17]

Heads of the Nature and Parks Authority[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 1001 Facts Everyone Should Know About Israel, Mitchell Geoffrey Bard and Moshe Schwartz
  2. ^ Genetic characterization of the golden jackal and the red fox in Israel
  3. ^ Israel Declares Five New National Parks and Nature Reserves Haaretz. Zafrir Rinat. 27/06/17. Retrieved 16/05/18
  4. ^ Where the Golan’s rivers flow into the Sea of Galilee The Times of Israel. Aviva and Shmuel Bar-am. 29/08/15. Retrieved:16/05/18.
  5. ^ "Science-based conservation workshop". Archived from the original on 2013-09-26. Retrieved 2013-03-04.
  6. ^ Scandal: the Nature and Parks Authority is Selling Nature
  7. ^ Development or Neglect? The Struggle over the Development Program in HaBonim Beach
  8. ^ Oil Drilling Approved in the "Judea Desert" Nature Reserve
  9. ^ Does the Nature and Parks Authority Like Animals?
  10. ^ "קדנציה נוספת למנהל רשות הטבע והגנים, למרות הביקורת". Haaretz (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2023-05-27.
  11. ^ Nature and Parks Authority CEO to Retire in July
  12. ^ "ר' מועצת גוש עציון יהיה מנכ"ל רשות הטבע והגנים". Haaretz (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2023-05-27.
  13. ^ The Cave Scandal: Respecting Haredi Feelings
  14. ^ On the Nature and Parks Authority's Facebook page
  15. ^ a b c d Alon Tal, Pollution in a Promised Land: An Environmental History of Israel, 2002, ISBN 0520234286, pp. 1167, 168, 178, 181
  16. ^ "מינוי מנהל רשות הגנים הלאומיים | מספר החלטה 1787". GOV.IL (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2023-05-27.
  17. ^ "מינוי מנהל רשות הגנים הלאומיים ושמורות הטבע | מספר החלטה 3353". GOV.IL (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2023-05-27.
  18. ^ דראל, יעל (2011-02-16). "ארדן שולח את מנכ"ל רשות הטבע והגנים הביתה". Ynet (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2023-05-27.
  19. ^ a b "מינוי מנהל הרשות לשמירת הטבע והגנים הלאומיים | מספר החלטה 3978". GOV.IL (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2023-05-27.
  20. ^ Dori, Oren (2022-05-24). "חברת ניהול החשמל הממשלתית ממנה את שאול גולדשטיין למנכ"ל". Globes. Retrieved 2023-05-27.
  21. ^ "הממשלה אישרה את מינויה של רעיה שורקי לתפקיד מנכ"לית רשות הטבע והגנים". ערוץ 7 (in Hebrew). 2022-06-12. Retrieved 2023-05-27.
  22. ^ Surkes, Sue. "Raya Shourky to become Israel Nature and Parks Authority permanent director". Retrieved 2023-05-27.

External links[edit]