The climate crisis is changing our coastline
The continuing rise in sea levels arising from climate change presents numerous challenges for planners, policymakers and local authorities. Rising sea levels may change our Mediterranean beaches irrevocably and entire beaches may disappear or be severely damaged. The sandstone cliffs characteristic of the coastline are already threatened and under constant maintenance, and posing a threat to beach-goers. Climate change will also bring storm surges that can cause millions of dollars of damage to promenades and marinas, as well as to vital infrastructures like ports, desalination facilities, power plans, and precious heritage sites. Environmental damage from higher sea levels threatens natural habitats, flora and fauna.
Excessive and poorly planned construction have already robbed the Israeli public of some of its favorite recreation spaces. As advocates for the Coastline Protection Law passed in 2004, Adam Teva V’Din has been involved in scores of planning interventions and legal cases limiting the use of the beach front for private residences, securing some precedential rulings that have preserved the open beach front and guaranteed free access to public beaches.
Sea level rises predicted
The Israel Oceanographic & Limnological Research Institute (IOR) recently published forecasts of climate-related sea level rise in Israel. Predictions include a rise of 1.2 meters by the year 2050, 1.6 meters by 2070, 2.4 meters by the end of the century, and 5 meters by 2135.
With increasing signs of climate-related threats to other Mediterranean coast, we are calling on the National Planning Authority to cease delaying action on implementing measures to preserve the coastline, beaches and coastal towns.
Adam Teva V’Din is calling on the Planning Authority to consider:
- Updating the definition of the coastal strip in relation to the current and future situations. For over 20 years, the coastal strip has not been adjusted and remains at 300 meters from the water line.
- Amending the National Outline Plan to reflect the updated coastal strip.
- Re-examination of construction plans currently in the planning processes.
- Examination and reconsideration of approved but unimplemented construction plans, approved before enactment of the 2004 Coastline Protection Law.
- Coordination between the Planning Authority and the Israel Land Authority regarding management of the State’s land resources, and adjusting where necessary in order to best balance land conservation and development needs.
- Allocation of budgetary resources for compensating private landowners whose land rights become invalid due to changes in the coastal environment outlined above.