12/19/2011 07:02

Newly appointed Israel Nature, Parks Authority head seeks to further cooperation among various environmental organizations.
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Newly appointed Israel Nature and Parks Authority head Shaul Goldstein seeks to further cooperation among Israel’s various environmental organizations as well as increase tourism in the country’s natural oases, he told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

Goldstein, currently the head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, will begin his new job on Wednesday, after receiving approval from the cabinet on Sunday. At the end of October, when an Environmental Protection Ministry committee headed by director-general Alona Sheffer-Caro unanimously agreed to nominate him, Goldstein told the Post that “the minute” he received approval, he’d enthusiastically move to the INPA. One of the biggest challenges Goldstein now says he aims to tackle in his new role is achieving a balance between increased tourism and the ongoing protection of Israel’s natural resources.

“It’s a very challenging conflict between preserving nature and finding a way to bring more and more people to walk around in it,” he explained, stressing that Israel has so many unique species that must be maintained.

Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan expressed satisfaction at Goldstein’s approval, noting that the future INPA head would contribute greatly to promoting the goals of the organization, according to a statement released by the ministry.

Once in office, Goldstein said he also plans to strengthen relationships with groups that do comparable or overlapping work to that of the INPA, such as the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Jewish National Fund.

“We can promote all the energies into one direction instead of fighting each other,” he added.

While Goldstein has spent years governing a large section of Judea and Samaria, he said that it was too early to discuss future INPA activities that could occur in the West Bank under his authority, only adding that this region would receive “the same approach” as any other part of Israel.