What a difference a year has made for Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski. Last year, he was awarded the Black Globe for damaging the environment, while this year he received a Green Globe prize for protecting the environment. There was also a Green Globe prize for the NIF-supported Coalition for the Preservation of the Jerusalem Hills, which earlier this year, with the support of Lupolianski, succeeded in convincing the government to scrap plans to expand Jerusalem westwards and destroy acres of hills and forests.
The Jerusalem hills (above) and an artists impression (below) of how they might have looked if the campaign of the Coalition for the Preservation of the Jerusalem Hills had failed.
"The public, and consequently public figures, take the Green Globe and Black Globe awards very seriously because they attract so much media coverage," explained Sigal Yaniv, Executive Director of Green Environment Fund (GEF), NIF's partnership for environmental activities with the Nathan Cummings Foundation, Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, Pratt Foundation and others.
The awarding of the Green Globe prizes for the environment is shown live on Israel's Channel 10 TV and featured prominently in the country's media. The awards ceremony is the central annual event as Israel marks World Environment Day on June 5th. The ceremony was first launched five years ago by GEF and SHATIL, but for the past four years has been organized by Life and Environment, an umbrella organization of some 100 local green organizations, which is supported by GEF.
Among other Green Globe prizewinners were GEF grantees: Citizens for the Environment in the Galilee, a group of Arab and Jewish grassroots activists who work to preserve water resources; the Organization for the Quality of Life in Nahariya, which seeks the removal of many city structures polluted by asbestos; and Haredim and the Environment, which promotes green awareness in the ultra-Orthodox sector. The Black Globe this year was awarded to the Association for Collecting Drink Materials, which is lobbying against legislation that would improve the recycling of plastic and glass bottles and cans.