8.3% —or about 171,000 hectares—of Israel is forested.

Change in Forest Cover: Between 1990 and 2000, Israel gained an average of 1,000 hectares of forest per year. The amounts to an average annual reforestation rate of 0.65%. Between 2000 and 2005, the rate of forest change increased by 31.5% to 0.85% per annum. In total, between 1990 and 2005, Israel gained 11.0% of its forest cover, or around 17,000 hectares. Measuring the total rate of habitat conversion (defined as change in forest area plus change in woodland area minus net plantation expansion) for the 1990-2005 interval, Israel gained 80.2% of its forest and woodland habitat.

Biodiversity and Protected Areas: Israel has some 756 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles according to figures from the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Of these, 1.7% are endemic, meaning they exist in no other country, and 4.6% are threatened. Israel is home to at least 2317 species of vascular plants. 18.4% of Israel is protected under IUCN categories I-V.


Israel: Forest Cover, 2005
Total Land Area (ha)2,062,000
Total Forest Area (ha)171,000
Percent Forest Cover8.29%
Primary Forest Cover (ha)-
Primary Forest, % total forest-
Primary Forest, % total land-
Other wooded land (ha)85,000

Israel : Forest types
Tropical (% forest area)0%
Subtropical (% forest area)100%
Temperate (% forest area)0%
Boreal/polar (% forest area)0%

Israel: Breakdown of forest types, 2005
Primary forest (ha | %)--
Modified natural (ha | %)70,00040.9%
Semi-natural (ha | %)--
Production plantation (ha | %)--
Production plantation (ha | %)101,00059.1%

Israel: Change in Forest Cover
Forest 1990 (ha)154,000
Forest 2000 (ha)164,000
Forest 2005 (ha)171,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)1,0000.65%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)1,4000.85%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)17,00011.04%
Change in rate (%)31.46%
Primary 1990 (ha)-
Primary 2000 (ha)-
Primary 2005 (ha)-
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)--
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)--
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)--
Change in rate (%)-
Other 1990 (ha)16,000
Other 2000 (ha)62,000
Other 2005 (ha)85,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)4,60028.75%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)4,6007.42%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)69,000431.25%
Change in rate (%)-74.19%
Other 1990 (ha)84,000
Other 2000 (ha)94,000
Other 2005 (ha)101,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)1,0001.19%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)1,4001.49%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)17,00020.24%
Change in rate (%)25.11%
Forest area+Wooded Area-Plantations
Other 1990 (ha)86,000
Other 2000 (ha)132,000
Other 2005 (ha)155,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)4,6005.35%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)4,6003.48%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)69,00080.23%
Change in rate (%)-34.85%

Israel: Primary
Primary or "old-growth" vegetation
Primary Forest 2005 (ha)-
Other primary wooded land 2005 (ha)-
Other primary wooded land 2005 (ha)0
Undisturbed vegetation 2005 (% land area)0.00%

Israel: Forest designation
Ownership of forest land, 2000
Public (%)-
Private (%)-
Other (%)-
Ownership of other wooded land, 2000
Public (%)-
Private (%)-
Other (%)-
Designated functions of forest – primary function 2005
Production (%)-
Protection (%)12.9%
Conservation (%)4.1%
Social Services (%)-
Multiple Services (%)83.0%
None of Unknown (%)-

Israel: Disturbances affecting forest land 2000
Forest Area annually affected by
Fire (%)1.22%
Insects (ha)14.02%
Diseases (ha)0.00%
Other (ha)-

Israel: Protected areas
Protected areas
Biosphere reserves, 2005
Wetlands of international importance (Ramsar sites), 20052
World Heritage sites, 20043
Protected Areas: IUCN categories I-V, percent of total land18.4%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories Ia, Ib, and II, extent, percent of total land0.00%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories III, IV, and V, percent of total land, 200418.02%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories VI and other, percent of total land, 20043.86%

Israel: Biodiversity - Wildlife
total species8
endemic species0
threatened species0
total species534
endemic species8
threatened species18
total species115
endemic species2
threatened species13
total species99
endemic species3
threatened species4
Wildlife diversity
total species756
endemic species13
threatened species35

Israel: Biodiversity - Plants
Growing stock composition
3 most common species
% of total growing stock
Growing stock composition
3 most common species
% of total growing stock
Number of Native tree species
Native tree species70
Number of tree species in IUCN red list
Critically Endangered0
Vascular Plant Species, 2004
Number endemic0
Number of Threatened Plant Species, 2004
Species threatened0

Israel: Value of forests
Biomass stock in forest, 2005
Above-ground biomass (M t)-
Below-ground biomass (M t)-
Dead wood (M t)-
Total (M t)-
Carbon stock in forest, 2005
Carbon in above-ground biomass (M t)-
Carbon in below-ground biomass (M t)-
Carbon in dead wood (M t)-
Carbon in litter (M t)-
Soil carbon (M t)-
Change in growing stock 1990 - 2005
Annual change rate (1000 cubic m/yr)
Growing stock per hectare 1990 - 2005
Annual change rate ( cubic m/ha per yr)
Wood removal 2005
Industrial roundwood (1000 cubic m)20
Wood fuel (1000 cubic m)-
Total wood removal 2005 (1000 cubic m)20
Total wood removal 2005 (% of growing stock)n.s.
Plant products 2005
Food (t)-
Fodder (t)-
Raw material for medicine and aromatic products (t)-
Raw material for colorants and dyes (t)-
Raw material for utensils, handicrafts & construction (t)-
Ornamental plants (t)-
Exudates (t)-
Other plant products (t)-
Animal products 2005
Living animals (units)-
Hides, skins and trophies (units)-
Wild honey and bee-wax (t)-
Bush meat (t)-
Raw material for medicine and aromatic products (t)-
Raw material for colorants and dyes (t)-
Other edible animal products (t)-
Other non-edible animal products (t)-
Value of wood and non-wood forest product removal 2005
Industrial roundwood (US$)-
Wood fuel (US$)-
Non-wood forest products (US$)-
Total value (US$)-
Total value ($USD/ha)$-
Employment in forestry 2000
Total people employed4,000

Israel : Production, trade and consumption of forest products, 2002
Woodfuel ('000 cubic m), 2002
Industrial roundwood ('000 cubic m), 2002
Sawnwood ('000 cubic m), 2002
Wood-based panels ('000 cubic m), 2002
Pulp for paper ('000 metric tons), 2002
Paper and paperboard ('000 metric tons), 2002
Israel: Environment
Environment - current issueslimited arable land and natural fresh water resources pose serious constraints; desertification; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; groundwater pollution from industrial and domestic waste, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
Natural hazardssandstorms may occur during spring and summer; droughts; periodic earthquakes

Israel: Land use / Resources
Land use (%)arable land: 16.39%
permanent crops: 4.17%
other: 79.44% (2001)
Natural resourcestimber, potash, copper ore, natural gas, phosphate rock, magnesium bromide, clays, sand

Israel: Economy
Economy - overview:Israel has a technologically advanced market economy with substantial government participation. It depends on imports of crude oil, grains, raw materials, and military equipment. Despite limited natural resources, Israel has intensively developed its agricultural and industrial sectors over the past 20 years. Israel imports substantial quantities of grain, but is largely self-sufficient in other agricultural products. Cut diamonds, high-technology equipment, and agricultural products (fruits and vegetables) are the leading exports. Israel usually posts sizable current account deficits, which are covered by large transfer payments from abroad and by foreign loans. Roughly half of the government's external debt is owed to the US, which is its major source of economic and military aid. The bitter Israeli-Palestinian conflict; difficulties in the high-technology, construction, and tourist sectors; and fiscal austerity in the face of growing inflation led to small declines in GDP in 2001 and 2002. The economy rebounded in 2003 and 2004, growing at a 4% rate each year, as the government tightened fiscal policy and implemented structural reforms to boost competition and efficiency in the markets. In 2005, rising consumer confidence, tourism and foreign direct investment - as well as higher demand for Israeli exports - boosted GDP by 4.3%.
GDP - per capita$22,200 (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate (%)4.3% (2005 est.)
Agriculture - productscitrus, vegetables, cotton; beef, poultry, dairy products
GDP - composition by sector (%)agriculture: 2.8%, industry: 37.7%, services: 59.5% (2003 est.)
Industries high-technology projects (including aviation, communications, computer-aided design and manufactures, medical electronics, fiber optics), wood and paper products, potash and phosphates, food, beverages, and tobacco, caustic soda, cement, construction, metals products, chemical products, plastics, diamond cutting, textiles and footwear
Economic aid - recipient$662 million from US (2003 est.)
Debt - external$73.87 billion (30 June 2005 est.)
Population below poverty line (%)21% (2005)
Labor force - by occupation (%)agriculture, forestry, and fishing 2.6%, manufacturing 20.2%, construction 7.5%, commerce 12.8%, transport, storage, and communications 6.2%, finance and business 13.1%, personal and other services 6.4%, public services 31.2% (1996)

Israel: Population / Demographics
Population (July 2005)6,276,883
Population growth rate (%) (2005)1.20%
Population density (people/sq km) (2005)308.7
Percent rural (2003)8.4%
Median age (years)total: 29.39 years
Total fertility rate (children born/woman)2.44 (2005 est.)
Ethnic groups (%)Jewish 80.1% (Europe/America-born 32.1%, Israel-born 20.8%, Africa-born 14.6%, Asia-born 12.6%), non-Jewish 19.9% (mostly Arab) (1996 est.)

Largest Cities in Israel

Cities and urban areas in Israel with population over 100,000 All figures are estimates for 2002.

CityCountryCity PopulationUrban Area Population
Jerusalem (ISR)Israel6847001036500
Tel Aviv-YafoIsrael3478002896900
Be'er ShevaIsrael180300180300

 Environment, Land use / Resources, Economy, Population / Demographics, Infrastructure, Health -- CIA World Factbook, 2005
 Forest Cover, Forest types, Breakdown of forest types, Change in Forest Cover, Primary forests, Forest designation, Disturbances affecting forest land, Value of forests, Production, trade and consumption of forest products -- The FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS's Global Forest Resources Assessment (2005) and the State of the World’s Forests (2005, 2003, 2001)
 Protected Areas, Plant and animal biodiversity -- United Nations Environment Programme - World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). 2004. World Database on Protected Areas.
 Biosphere reservers -- United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) - Man and Biosphere Program. 2004. UNESCO - MAB Biosphere Reserves Directory.
 RAMSAR sites -- The Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands . 2005. The Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.
 World Resources Institute's EarthTrends web site
 The 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
 Population Data -- United Nations Population Fund
 With additional analysis by Rhett Butler of

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