Introducing Catalyst Israel 2030
Governments around the world are lagging in addressing climate change, ecosystem loss and environmental degradation: Israel is no exception in this regard. Yet, Israel's scarce resources and geographical location make it particularly vulnerable to these risks, which experts believe will be much more difficult to manage after 2030. There is growing consensus that preparedness must begin from the bottom-up with cities and regions taking the lead in fostering transformative change.
Catalyst Israel 2030 harnesses scientific tools, new economic thinking, and a collaborative spirit to bring about sustainable change at the local level throughout Israel. Established by Dr. Yosef Gotlieb, Catalyst Israel 2030 works in the capital region with the Jerusalem Green Fund, a non-governmental organization, to initiate and nurture multi-functional projects with environmental, ecological, and socioeconomic objectives that promote durable sustainability in all sectors of the society. We offer: 1) multi-disciplinary professional support to foster new initiatives and scale-up existing ones, 2) provide a platform for knowledge sharing and the diffusion of appropriate technologies, 3) showcase models that can be adapted to other localities, and 4) serve as network for mutual support locally, nationally, and internationally.
Our projects cultivate the capacity of neighborhoods and peri-urban communities to develop sustainably, enveloped by healthy environments and robust local economies that can better withstanding the challenges ahead.
What We Do
We enlist local authorities, academia, civil society, and private enterprise to: provide interdisciplinary assessments of local strengths, vulnerabilities and potential; advance collaborative planning involving both professionals and community members to determine goals and an action program, and; impart tools for community organizing, education and entrepreneurship to position these projects on an independent and ongoing footing.
We focus on two areas at the interface of society and nature that are critical to building long-term resilience to global warming and related stressors:
Earth Stewardship: Reclaiming underused or degraded areas to restore ecosystems and environmental services and rehabilitate landscapes, as the JGF has done in its Romema and Bustania community gardens and the planned revival of terraces and other ecosystems in the framework of its Regional Biosphere Partnership.
We work to consolidate these activities and add socioeconomic functions to them to promote new economic alternatives and livelihoods, further food independence and create enhanced public spaces. The synergy created by matching environmental and ecological objectives with socioeconomic ones strengthens system-wide sustainability in communities.
2. Sustainable Economies: Circularity, Resource Sharing and Bioeconomy, to strengthen community solidarity, generate new sources of income, and produce savings — while reducing our collective ecological footprint.
Enterprise Centers/Repair Hubs that: refurbish and resell household products (ex., clothing, furniture, appliances), as is currently underway at the JGF’s Kiriat Yovel Sustainability Center; lend products that are used infrequently (ex., power tools, outdoor gear); advance local artisanship and small- and medium-sized enterprises, and; offers frameworks for collective purchasing. Such endeavors are consistent with the values of JGF’s nascent Green Business Council
Recovering materials from the waste stream that can be reprocessed and used as product inputs or for energy generation using integrated (economic, employment and environmental) solutions. This approach expands on the work of JGF’s Waste Management Forum and serve to rehabilitate the environment.
Being prepared for the 2030 horizon and building a sustainable foundation for ourselves and our descendants requires focused action now. Facilitating these efforts is what Catalyst Israel 2030 sets out to do.
Dr. Yosef Gotlieb is a geographer who has worked as a lecturer and researcher internationally specializing in global change and sustainable development. He is the author of numerous professional books and academic articles and has published in leading American and Israeli newspapers. A writer of novels and poetry, he paints in the naivism style. He established Catalyst Israel 2030 in the fall of 2022 with the aim of advancing community-based sustainability initiatives throughout Israeli society at a time when the country’s vulnerability to climate and other planetary stressors is abundantly clear.