International Climate Change Initiatives

Thanks to KKL-JNF efforts, Israel is one of the only nations in the world that has more trees today than it did a hundred years ago, an important step to mitigate climate change. Today, KKL-JNF participates in many international forums and joint initiatives world wide in order to work together for a sustainable future. 

Climate Change - Did You Know...?


The average person should plant 200 trees in his/her lifetime.
Photo: KKL-JNF Photo Archive

  • Climate change threatens human existence.

 

  • The process of climate change is the result of human activities, which cause the emission of greenhouse gas that pollutes the atmosphere.

 

  • Planting trees is one of the most effective, proactive ways of stopping the greenhouse effect that is responsible for climate change.

 

  • People pollute the atmosphere as a result of their everyday activities. Each person is responsible for the emission of 70 to 100 tons of greenhouse gas during his/her lifetime.

 

  • Each tree absorbs about half a ton of atmosphere-polluting carbon dioxide during its life.

 

  • The average person should plant two hundred trees in order to neutralize the pollution s/he produces during his lifetime.

 

  • Since its inception, KKL-JNF has planted over 230 million trees on a million dunams of land, which help mitigate climate change.

 

  • As part of the United Nations (UNEP) “Plant the Planet” program, whose goal is to plant a billion trees, KKL-JNF committed itself to planting six million trees in Israel over the next decade.

 

Adapting to a Changing Climate


Photo: KKL-JNF Photo Archive

  • KKL-JNF’s land management and afforestation practices have been at the forefront of Israel’s effort to combat encroaching desertification.

 

  • The experience, practical know-how and technologies developed by KKL-JNF in forest management, water reclamation and conservation, and soil erosion prevention, may serve as a model for countries in similar semi-arid and arid regions of the world.

 

  • KKL-JNF funds and conducts ongoing research in cooperation with Israel’s higher educational and research institutions. In doing so, it has gained substantive and specialized knowledge in spheres such as the management of adapted forests, forest interaction in semi-arid regions, research and monitoring, soil conservation and biological pest control.

 

  • KKL-JNF is willing to share its experience, research and technologies with agencies and countries facing similar challenges and help in turning climate threats into opportunities for advancing sustainable land and afforestation practices.

 

  • Water conservation and management projects undertaken by KKL-JNF have had a significant influence on the Israeli water economy.  Most notably, KKL-JNF water reservoirs storing treated wastewater and storm runoff have added over 8% to the national water supply. These reservoirs play a vital role in the development of irrigated agriculture and prevent soil contamination and underground water pollution.

 

  • Applied agricultural research carried out at KKL-JNF research and development stations support and enable highly technological yet sustainable farming in arid regions. This research and its outcomes support the livelihoods of the inhabitants of Israel’s arid areas. KKL-JNF shares its agricultural research and technology with different countries and aspires to expand dissemination of this knowledge. 

 

Mitigating Climate Change


Lahav Forest in the desert. Photo: Yael Hadad, KKL-JNF Photo Archive

  • KKL-JNF forests are among the largest man planted forests in the Mediterranean Middle East and as such, continue to be a source of substantial carbon sequestration for the entire region.  Research data accumulated at the Yatir Forest carbon monitoring station has demonstrated that forests in arid regions sequester carbon at nearly the same rate as the world average for forests in temperate regions.

 

  • KKL-JNF’s afforestation in Mediterranean arid and semi-arid areas prevents soil erosion, thus also reducing soil carbon emissions.

 

  • KKL-JNF has recently become an active leader in developing and implementing community-based clean and renewable solar energy projects throughout Israel, particularly in the Arava desert.

 

  • In cooperation with the Weizmann Institute of Science, KKL-JNF supports research on carbon sequestration at the only carbon monitoring station in the Eastern Mediterranean region.  The station is situated in the KKL-JNF forests in the northern Negev desert. Research conducted at the station has lead to an improved understanding of the process of carbon sequestration and the impacts of arid afforestation on sequestration rates.

UN Climate Change Conferences

KKL-JNF work in Israel’s arid and semi-arid environment has achieved significant knowledge on adaptation, such as afforestation in arid and semi-arid environments, water harvesting, soil conservation and preventing degradation.

KKL-JNF delegations participate annually in the the annual UN Climate Change Conference, holding lectures and sharing information with partners worldwide.

The Carbon Calculator

The Carbon Calculator provides an estimate of your personal carbon emission based on the national emmissions from industrial, commericla and domestic activities, divided by your country's population. Emissions are caused by energy consumption such as electricity, heating fuels, transportation, flights, solid waste and wastewater.
 

International Ozone Day


Creating a better future. Photo: KKL-JNF Photo Archive

The United Nations have declared September 16th as the annual International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, choosing the date on which countries first signed the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the Ozone Layer in 1987. The Ozone Layer which surrounds the earth at a height of about 25 kilometers protects the earths' flora and fauna by absorbing some of the radiation from the sun, thus preventing harmful ultra-violet (UV) rays from reaching the earth’s surface.  The increase in UV rays has been linked to an increase in some types of skin cancers, cataracts, lower plant productivity and deterioration in certain forms of marine life.
 
To date, 193 countries, including Israel in 1992, have signed the Montreal Protocol. The Protocol mandates that countries phase out Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) within a specified time frame. Ozone Depleting Substances are man-made chemicals containing chlorine and bromine which have high potential to deplete the Ozone Layer through chemical interactions in the earth’s stratosphere.  Examples of ODS include chlorofluorocarbons used in refrigerators, air-conditioning units, foam products, aerosol sprays and chemicals used in fire extinguishers.
 
Owing to actions taken over the past few years, the use of Ozone Depleting Substances has decreased by more than 95% since the year the Protocol was first signed. It should be noted that this also affects the world's climate, since Ozone Depleting Substances contribute to global warming. Israel has met all the international obligations determined by the Montreal Protocol.
 
As Israel's largest Green organization, one of KKL-JNF's major goals is fighting climate change and participating in the international effort to protect the earth's flora and fauna. Forests planted by KKL-JNF weaken the global greenhouse effect by releasing oxygen into the atmosphere – a means of carbon sequestration. Furthermore, trees assist the ozone layer by mitigating the intensity of the sun’s rays and creating shade, thereby establishing a more pleasant microclimate. In addition, trees prevent desertification on the perimeters of arid regions and form a barrier against pollution and dust particles.
 
In March 2007, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon planted an olive tree in KKL-JNF's Grove of Nations at the foot of Mount Herzl and Yad VaShem. Speaking at the tree planting ceremony, the UN Secretary General praised KKL-JNF’s contribution to the environment. “The issue of world climate change is high on the UN agenda. Quite simply, it is a matter of saving the world, with the help of UN member states. I hope that this young tree I have planted today will be a symbol of the efforts to minimize the ecological damage caused by greenhouse gases.”
 
Each tree like the one planted by Secretary General will absorb approximately 1.5 tons of carbon from the atmosphere and will bring new life to the environment, joining over 240,000,000 million trees already planted by KKL-JNF to help curb climate change.