Citizens for the Environment

Citizens for the Environment (CFE) is an Israeli nonprofit driving social change in the environmental arena through a singular model of joint Arab-Jewish leadership. Established in 1990 by a group of Galileans, CFE protects local natural resources and advances a public health agenda. To date, we have successfully altered public understanding on a range of environmental issues, advanced numerous citizen groups, fostered environmental leadership within a large number of local communities, and influenced the environmental code of conduct of a significant number of factories and plants. Moreover, we have been involved in the development of new legislation and are now particularly active in the implementation and enforcement of existing environmental laws.

Ours is a Jewish-Arab partnership. We firmly believe that only a joint and shared initiative can win the environmental war and create a healthy and sustainable shared public space in Israel. We are a grassroots association, and our activity is closely tied to our fieldwork. We concentrate on the daily challenges of citizens and local authorities. Furthermore, we are principally focused on Israel’s geographic and social periphery (the Galilee and the Triangle region), where almost no other environmental organization is active.

As an organization that supports Israeli citizens in their pursuit of a healthy environment and a robust social and environmental space, we empower both individuals and groups to achieve the desired change via cooperation between Jews and Arabs, and equip them with the know-how and tools to do so. We train how to:

•   Resolve environmental hazards by exhausting legal rights.

•   Influence decision makers to enforce and implement the “Polluters Pay” law.

•   Kick-start joint Jewish-Arab activity that addresses environmental and sustainability issues.

•   Promote awareness of environmental and public health issues among individuals and local authorities.                   



Over the past ten years, CFE has expanded its activities beyond the Galilee, and now also addresses issues on the national agenda.With hundreds of members, volunteers, and activists throughout the country – Jews, Arabs, and Israelis of other ethnic origin – we raise environmental awareness, encourage sustainability, and influence decision makers on the national level. To that end, for example, we cultivate a strong presence on both traditional media (see a Jerusalem Post article entitled A little people power can go a long way) and social media (our Facebook page has over 13,250 followers and posts weekly in both Arabic and Hebrew)


It is important to note that CFE is the only organization actively operating within Arab communities (towns and villages), helping many in them to take on local authorities and compel them to act to stem environmental hazards, while steadily placing the issue of environmental health firmly on the communal agenda of Israeli Arabs.

In over 28 years of operation, we have accumulated considerable knowledge, data, and experience, and have developed professional methodologies for tackling environmental problems in Israel. These include:

1.  Collecting data and publishing surveys, studies, and reports on environmental and public health issues, including industrial pollution, supervision and enforcement, water and sewage, radiation, waste, the occupational health hazards faced by employees, and freedom of information. 

2.  Establishing and developing an informed and inspired leadership among various communities in

polluted areas, while providing them with ongoing guidance and legal assistance to support their activity.

3.  Managing the civil enforcement of legal proceedings that pertain to specific hazards, mostly within the

context of supporting communities in their lengthy struggle towards improved enforcement.

4.  Driving public and media activity towards affecting policy changes in both local and national government.

These achievements have been recognized, and we have received the Minister of Environmental Protection Award in 1997, 2007 and 2009, as well as a Green Globe Award. In 2017 we were awarded the Speaker of the Knesset Prize for Environmental Improvement.


The main thrust of our work between 2011-2017 includes:

  • Producing industrial peace reports, which examine the environmental behavior of industrial plants, with a special focus on Haifa and northern Israel. These reports constitute a comprehensive library of reports on most of the major culprits in the Galilee, Golan Heights and Haifa Bay, including hospitals and sewage treatment plants, and are the go-to source of information for residents, activists, students and researchers.
  • Promoting the Environmental Information Law and environmental transparency within local authorities.
  • The treatment and prevention of waste fires. Between 2009 and 2013, we were particularly active in the Galilee, mapping out the terrain, participating in Knesset discussions, launching campaigns to raise awareness, and putting pressure on local authorities. All this led to a significant reduction in the number of illegal waste dumps in the Galilee. In recent years we have continued this work via focused legal activity directed at local authorities (such as Mate Asher, Mizra, Peki’in, Shfaram and Arara), and in most cases have brought about real and positive results.
  • A public campaign to reduce industrial pollution in Haifa Bay and remove dangerous installations and materials, such as the ammonia tank. We entered this struggle in 2005 as part of the Coalition for Public Health, but have since 2013 also launched independent initiatives.
  • We headed an environmental civil enforcement project aimed at realizing “the polluter pays” principle, reducing the risk to residents, changing how authorities and polluting entities in question function. CFE was the first environmental association to present an environmental class action lawsuit.
  • Preparation of professional reports on sewage infrastructure in the Galilee and its impact on water resources, radiation, the occupational health hazards of employees, and more.

Following a thorough evaluation process, CFE’s Midot Effectiveness Score was renewed in the summer, providing additional proof of our effectiveness, our ability to create social value and bring about a change for the better.  annual-sum-20172.png

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משרד העמותה: רחוב הנפח 10, קומה 1, כרמיאל


פקס:  04-9978837

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