The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) noted in a survey published last week that Israel has allocated more of its territory to nature reserves than any other Mediterranean nation.
According to the IUCN's figures, 16 percent of Israel is designated as either nature reserves, national parks, farmlands and forested areas, reported Ha'aretz. By comparison, France and Spain have set aside only 11.7 percent and 7.7 percent of their territories respectively as protected nature reserves. Lebanon fared far worse, with a mere 0.5 percent of the country constituting protected nature reserves.
The report was commissioned amid growing concerns over the loss of protected nature reserves in the Mediterranean area, resulting in a large number of distinctive animal and plant species facing extinction.
Israel was less impressive in other areas of the survey. The Jewish state was among the regional leaders in greenhouse gas emissions per capita.