Think Environment - Think KKL-JNF

Climate change, desertification, groundwater pollution, carbon sequestration, sustainable development, biodiversity: What do all these mean? Join us and learn how KKL-JNF contributes to environmental quality in Israel and the world over.


Climate Change

Mitigating Where We Can, Adapting Where We Must

 

Following the UN Climate Change Conference in 2009 (COP 15), KKL-JNF updated its environmental policy to contribute to the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Along with the essential work that we are already doing, we are doing even more in order to mitigate climate change.

 

KKL-JNF forests, among the largest planted forests in the Mediterranean Middle East, are a source of substantial carbon sequestration. KKL-JNF is working to mitigate climate change by:

 


Liman in the Negev. Photo: KKL-JNF Photo Archive

 

  • Planting trees to prevent soil erosion, conserve soil and reduce soil carbon emissions

 

  • Sharing our knowledge with developing countries by helping them implement more environmental methods of forestry and farming

 

  • Developing strategies to reduce carbon emissions and adapt to climate change: green construction, solar and other alternative energy sources

 

Environmental Forestry

Planting for the Environment

 

One of KKL-JNF's major achievements is undoubtedly the ratification of the National Master Plan for Forests and Afforestation (NMP/22). Following four years of intensive study and mapping of Israel’s vegetation, KKL-JNF formulated a plan that combines protection and conservation of vegetation, forests and woodlands in Israel withthe maintenance of developed forest areas as infrastructure for public recreation. Ecological considerations play a major role in KKL-JNF’s current afforestation policies, such as:

 


Saplings for planting. Photo: KKL-JNF Photo Archive

  • Studying natural ecosystems to determine the best type of tree for each habitat, and  using native species used whenever possible

 

  • Savannization: KKL-JNF's unique savannization program focuses on restoring and managing areas that have undergone desertification.

 

 

  • Developing the concept of community forests to involve people with caring for forests near their home
     

Water Management

Making the Most of the Little We Have

 

Israel, one of the most densely populated countries in the world, suffers from a serious water deficit. This is aggravated by the pollution of many of our streams and springs. KKL-JNF plays a major role in improving Israel's water situation in the following ways:


 


Biofilter in Kfar Saba for cleaning and recycling rainwater. Photo: KKL-JNF Photo Archive 

  • Developing reservoirs to harvest floodwater and enrich groundwater

 

 

  • Leading river rehabilitation in Israel to restore aquatic habitats for plants and animals and create new recreation areas for people such as the Alexander River Demonstration Project and rehabilitating springs

 

 

Environmental Education

To Know Your Environment is to Care for It

 

According to a long-standing agreement between KKL-JNF and Israel’s Ministry of Education, we are responsible for providing “in the field” education, designed to encourage love and knowledge of the country and its environment. Our environmental education activities are varied and reach people of different backgrounds, ages and interests:

 


Youth activities in Lavi Forest. Photo: KKL-JNF Photo Archive

  • KKL-JNF operates 5 Field and Forest Educational Centers (FFEC) throughout Israel that aim at fostering the bond between young people and Israel’s nature, landscapes, history, and heritage.

 

  • MAOF” – the Hebrew word for vision – is the acronym for KKL-JNF’s innovative environmental program aimed at new immigrant students and peripheral communities.

 

  • KKL-JNF organizes youth groups that participate in environmental activities and arranges teacher study days that focus on our work in the environment. 

 

  • KKL-JNF operates a recycling education center at the Duda'im Landfill and is planning to add additional centers in the future.

 

Biodiversity

The Variety of Life on Earth

 

For us at KKL-JNF, biological diversity is a major issue. We have progressed tremendously since our early days, and now use afforestation methods geared at encouraging biodiversity. Many of our other projects (listed below) encourage biodiversity as well:

 


Coypu at Lake Hula Park. Photo: Yoav Devir

 

  • Restoring threatened tree species, such as the Tabor oak, to their natural habitat.

 

  • Developing parks and forests to suit a broad variety of plants and animals.

 

 

  • Protecting seasonal winter pools – an essential habitat for amphibians and various crustaceans and insects.


Cultural Diversity

People's Contribution to the Environment

 

Cultural diversity needs to be preserved as much as biodiversity. Actually, in many cases the two types of diversity are closely linked. The Land of Israel has been settled by many different peoples, each with their own culture and traditions, and KKL-JNF is active in preserving and restoring many of the remains of ancient and more modern societies. This includes:

 


Ancient terraces in Sataf. Photo: KKL-JNF Photo Archive

  • Restoring and preserving the complex system of ancient agricultural terraces and irrigation methods such as is found in Sataf in the Jerusalem Hills. 

 

  • Preserving ancient trees venerated by many different ethnic groups in Israel.

 

  • Integrating local customs in many of our educational activities.

 

  • Preserving archaeological and heritage sites.

 

 

Sustainable Agriculture

Farming for the Future

 

In Israel, we take great pride in our farming heritage, but at KKL-JNF, we know how easily agriculture can harm the environment. Uncontrolled pesticide use, habitat destruction and farmer-wildlife conflicts are only a few of the fields that we are involved in. KKL-JNF believes that farming can go hand-in-hand successfully with good agricultural practices. We work with farmers on all levels, including:

 


Carrot fields at Halutziyot in the Western Negev. Photo: KKL-JNF Photo Archive

  • Supporting R&D Stations to develop integrated pest management schemes

 

  • Promoting pesticide-free farming schemes such as the Clean Arava Project

 

  • Finding innovative solutions to farmer-environment conflicts, such as the Crane Feeding Project in the Hula Valley

 

Environmental work sometimes seems endless, almost like trying to stop a flood by sticking a finger into the dam. But at KKL-JNF, we are optimistic – we believe that by working with our environment and improving it, we will have a better world to leave to our children than the one we received from our forefathers.