Saving Makhtesh Ramon: Housing Minister Nixes Ramon Crater Neighborhood
After touring Mitzpeh Ramon with the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel last week, Housing Minister Uri Ariel announced his decision to freeze all activities regarding the proposed Har Gamal neighborhood.
The Har Gamal neighborhood was planned to be constructed on the edge of Makhtesh Ramon. Local residents and SPNI argued that construction on the cliff of the crater was likely to cause environmental damage, as well as damaging the natural beauty of the crater which could effect tourism to the region.
Ariel announced, "efforts should now be directed to finding a more suitable construction area in another portion of the city, without causing undue harm to nature and to a particularly unique and valueable landscape." The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel looks forward to working with local residents and authorities to plan sustainable developments in other areas of Mitzpeh Ramon. SPNI supports strengthening this urban center and enhancing the quality of life for the people of Mitzpeh Ramon.