Adapting to a Changing Climate
- 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.
Lahav Forest. Photo by: Yael Hadad, KKL-JNF Jerusalem
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 annualy in the UN Claimte Change Conferences, holding lectures and sharing information with partners worldwide.
Mitigating where we can – Adapting where we must
Admit Park. Photo by: Avi Hirshfield, KKL-JNF Jerusalem
International Ozone Day
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 global warming 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.