Association for Environmental Awareness & Involvement

ALMA is a non - governmental voluntary organization, which has been founded in May 1991, and has since grown to nearly 200 members.  ALMA is the Hebrew Acronym for Association for Environmental Quality, as well as the aramic word for world.

ALMA primary objective is to promote environmental awareness and involvement in Israel, Nonetheless, since its inception it has also been the – involved, through the activities of its members, in a number of environmental suits. Thus, ALMA has initiated and won two legal battles first in assisting residents of a poor Tel Aviv neighborhood in preventing the construction of a transfer station for solid waste in the vicinity, and the second is stopping the Herzlia municipality from illegally burning trash in the local garbage dump.

However, ALMA’s primary initiatives have revolved around the attempt to create an interface between the public’s awareness of the theoretical aspects of environmental problems (e.g., by organizing scientific lectures, by establishing an environmental library), and its day to day actions, The emphasis has been on those issues which are not addressed by other environmental organizations and by conventional nature conservation societies, ALMA has therefore chosen to concentrate primarily on two general problem areas: the urban-industrial aspects of environmental problems, and the promotion of the public’s environmental consciousness.

In practice, this has led to ALMA’s involvement in promoting products witch minimize ecological damage and in encouraging the recycling of plastics, paper and glass and the conservation of water resources, By and large, we have handles these latter issues by organizing civic visual presentations in community centers, by distributing of pamphlets and other materials, and via educational campaigns. It should be noted that many of these activities have received extensive and favorable coverage in both the local and the national printed media.

Finally, ALMA has succeeded in establishing fairly extensive environmental library, which includes books in both Hebrew and English. These books, which have mostly been obtained through contributions, have recently been catalogued, and are being made available to interested parties in the community, educational institution, etc.

The current plans and activities of ALMA include the establishment of the National Environmental Center, The center would be located in the center of Israel and preliminary negotiations are already in progress.

The central concept is to build it in an environmentally compatible manner, relying on the principles of permaculture, which have originally been developed by an Australian Team  of ecologists, Among ALMA’s members are also architects who have specialized in this and comparable types of design and construction.

This site would serve as a national resource center for various activities, such as: A. demonstration of how environmentally-sound principles can be implemented in building and living. B. a center of education and learning, including for some of the youth movement activities described above. C. a location for environmental exhibits of arts, carpentry, technology, etc. D. an Organic cafeteria.

To date, most of ALMA’s funds have come from the members voluntary contributions, and some from the sale of ecological products Most of the necessary administrative work has been done voluntarily by members of the organization who have generously contributed their time, effort and experience.


The Israel Environmental Center, to be situated at a central location bordering metropolitan Tel Aviv, is designed to serve as a national resource for the dissemination of environmental knowledge and information, and for ecological education, learning and scholarship.

The establishment of the environmental center has been initiated by ALMA (Aramic for “world”, the association for environmental quality), a non-governmental voluntary organization with has, since its establishment in 1991, been active to promote environmental awareness and involvement in Israel, to encourage recycling, conservation, and the use of environmentally friendly products.

The center will combine active and interactive exhibits, some on a periodically revolving basis; multimedia educational facilities; a center for independent and experiential learning by computerized and other means; an ecological laboratory; a library; a public auditorium; an organic food cafeteria; and an area designed for organic and sustainable agriculture and gardening. The Building itself will be constructed and maintained according to environmentally sustainable principles.

The center will be open the general public, as well as to school classes and other organized groups. Admission will be at none or at minimal cost. The center will also organize and host seminars and other initiatives designed to facilitate en environmental education and awareness in Israel, and provide office facilities for a limited number of environmental NGOs.

The preliminary architectural drawings and design included in this brochure depict the preliminary physical layout of the prospected environmental center. Part of the interior design, and especially the area designated for exhibitions, is structured in a modular fashion so as to permit maximal flexibility. Both the exterior structure and the interior design are still subject to change, Depending on the synthesis of the building and its physical surroundings, emerging needs and budgetary constraints.

The building itself will be constructed with environmentally compatible materials. To the extent possible, the center’s maintenance will also be based on methods designed to minimize environmental damage, such as the installation of energy saving services, the recycling and reuse of materials and water, etc. Finally, the area surrounding the building will be earmarked for demonstration projects of environmentally sustainable gardening and agriculture, and for small scale exhibits of renewable energy techniques, and of a desalinization plant.

The exhibits to be located in the exhibitions lobby (see diagram) will include, among others:

-Visual displays demonstrating ecological and biological process (principles related to the functioning of the biosphere, to the life cycle and other ecological cycles, to the structure and functioning of food webs, etc.) and discord between these cyclical processes and the linear practices of industrialized society.

  • Interactive exhibits demonstrating pollution reducing technologies and energy saving devices, as well as the principles of sustainable development.
  • Multimedia demonstrations of issues such as the exploitation natural resources, the extinction of species, population growth, and global environmental problems.
  • Exhibits on specific and immediately relevant issues, such as environmental quality and environmental protection in Israel, or green production and consumption.
  • Exhibits of environmentally relevant art and workmanship.

Many of these exhibits will be displayed on a revolving basis, so as to maximize the diversity and comprehensiveness of the themes to be addressed.

The auditorium, designed to sit some 150 to 200 people, will be used both for major public events, such as talks and films related to environmental issues, and for multimedia presentations that require larger facilities than those described above.

The smaller conference rooms will also be used for multiple purposes, including instructional workshops, diverse educational and experimental activities for youth, computer aided demonstration, activities and games, an information center on environmental organizations, facilities for the environmental NGOs in Israel, and perhaps additional exhibits.

The cafeteria, which also included an outside gallery overlooking the garden (see diagram), will serve exclusively organic food, some grown in the experimental agriculture plots surrounding the center, A Small retail store (SuperGreen) For organic food and other environmentally friendly products will be attached to the cafeteria.

As noted, organic agriculture and gardening will be practiced in the area surrounding the center, Groups of high school students will be involved in initiating and maintaining these experimental plots.


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