Cleanup Initiative for Millions Gets Underway

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 11:15 AM

In the runup to International Earth Day on April 22, 2021, a broad-based national initiative to clean up Israel’s open spaces has been launched as a joint enterprise supported by KKL-JNF and a large number of organizations, including Mifal HaPayis, municipalities, regional councils, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel.

(Photo: Yael Herman, KKL-JNF Photo Archive)
The initiative offers a new vision: to generate for the first time a long-term developing process that for five years will provide a national driving force to raise public awareness of the necessity to keep forests clean and actively engage Israelis in preserving the environment at both a community and national level.

The initiative will be launched on International Earth Day, at the end of this week, with widespread cleanup and conservation activities.

On International Earth Day large numbers of groups representing local authorities, companies and all sectors of society throughout Israel will set out together to clean up the country’s open spaces in areas allocated ahead of time. In addition, during the year, cleanup and explanation “peak days” will be held in June and October 2021 to mark the beginning and end of a phase as far as the groups are concerned.

Throughout the rest of the year, community activities will take place countrywide among all sectors of Israeli society, to encourage local authorities and their residents to commit to keeping local open spaces free of litter. At the same time, specially assigned cleanup groups will “adopt” open spaces in more remote areas in order to inculcate a generalized culture of keeping the countryside clean and litter-free. Environmentally-conscious local residents will be enlisted to provide a personal example of ecological awareness and caring for nature, both locally and nationally. In addition, throughout the year and the entire duration of the initiative, leading community representatives will be given appropriate preparation and instruction.

So far tens of thousands of people have signed up for this initiative. When it reaches its height, we expect around one million Israelis to set out together for a massive cleanup operation.

Avraham Duvdevani, KKL-JNF World Chairman:
We are proud and happy to take part in this welcome Cleanup for Millions (Nikyon HaMilion) operation and support KKL-JNF flagship issues such as sustainability and environmental conservation. These are issues that express the very essence of KKL-JNF, under its covenant with the government of Israel ever since the State was founded. We invite the entire population of Israel to come along and enlist in this campaign, so that, together, we can make Israel cleaner.

Haim Bibas. Chairman, Federation of Local Authorities:
Local authorities are proud to play a significant role in the Cleanup for Millions initiative, which contributes an additional element to their already extensive activities for the preservation of a clean and well cared for environment. Local authority heads all over Israel are promoting environmental conservation and anti-littering educational activities as part of a change in cultural attitudes designed to improve quality of life for ourselves and for the generations to come. I am sure that joining this welcome combined initiative will redouble our ability to enlist the public’s help in attaining this important objective.

Avigdor Yitzhaki, Chairman, Mifal HaPayis:
Mifal HaPayis is proud to take the lead – together with local authorities, KKL-JNF and the Nature and Parks Authority – in this delightful initiative in which we shall all join forces for a single noble objective: conserving the open expanses of our beautiful country and of the entire world we inhabit. We call upon the public to come out into the countryside, join us, take part in this educational and social voluntary mission and so become full partners in conserving the beauty of the Land of Israel and its landscapes. Mifal HaPayis will continue to take action and invest extensively in the care of the country’s open spaces, for the benefit of residents of the local authorities and all citizens of Israel.

Shaul Goldstein, CEO, Israel Nature and Parks Authority:
Littering is an issue that preoccupies the Nature and Parks Authority day and night. Two years ago we realized that, if public consciousness did not undergo a change, the country would remain filthy. To bring about this change, I initiated an approach to our partners. Collaboration with all those involved is the only way we can begin to alter the situation. I call upon the general public to participate in this initiative for the benefit of us all!

Shai Hajjaj, Chairman, Center for Regional Government:
Most of Israel’s open expanses fall under the jurisdiction of the regional councils, which do everything in their power to conserve these areas for the benefit of the public nationwide. The dropping of litter in open spaces is one of the most significant challenges we have to deal with every day. We are delighted by the extensive cooperation of all those involved, and we call upon the public to display responsibility and enlist in this national campaign to clean up the country.

Registration and additional details:
Nikyon HaMilion Service Center
Open Sunday-Thursday, 09:00-17:00