Natural Products

Harvesting non-food ocean resources sustainably
This goal measures how sustainably people harvest non-food products from the sea. Natural products harvested from the ocean provide important benefits. This goal does not include non-living items such as oil, gas, and mining products. It also does not include bioprospecting (for medicines or genes), which has an unpredictable potential value in the future, rather than measurable value now. The collection and trade in natural resources, such as aquarium fishes and corals are prohibited by law in Israel. But Israel relies heavily on sea water to provide drinking water for over half the households, by way of desalination. Therefore, the desalination of sea water was incorporated into the index as the Natural Products Goal.
About this score

Sustainable extraction of non-food ocean resources means there is little to no impact on surrounding habitats, marine species, or human well-being.   Producing the needed amount of desalinated water sustainably was set out to be the objective of natural products. The status of the Natural Product goal is calculated as the amount of sea water being desalinated versus the official goal of 750 million cubic meters set for 2020, while assessing its sustainability. Studies on the effect of desalination on the environment show different reaction of each habitat to desalination effluents, much depending on local environmental conditions, and desalination methodology. The desalination sustainability was assessed based on habitat mapping and spatial monitoring of the desalination brine (See "Desalination pollution" Data layer for more information).

56% of israeli household water originate from desalinated water