International Research Cooperation
United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF)
KKL-JNF is taking part in the work of the United Nations Forum on Forests
since 2011 as a representative of Israel. Upon its first time participating in a forum convention, a KKL-JNF represntative was elected to head the UNFF group of Western European and North American countries.
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC)
Israel, which currently has observer status at the annual gatherings of the United Nations Climate Change Conferences
, sends an official delegation every year, consisting of government ministers and top representatives in the environmental and business sectors including professionals representing the KKL-JNF.
United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP)
As part of the United Nations Billion Trees Campaign initiated in 2007 and sponsored by the UNEP in Kenya, KKL-JNF pledged to plant six million trees over the next ten years. The pledge was made on January 27th, which is the official day designated by the United Nations to commemorate the Holocaust. The pledge to plant six million trees in memory of those who perished in the Holocaust takes on special significance for KKL-JNF as an organization. The project enables us to enhance environmental quality in Israel and the planet by sequestering harmful carbon from the atmosphere, while at the same time creating a living memorial to the six million Holocaust victims.
The United Nations Department of Information (UN-DPI)
In 2003, KKL-JNF was accepted as a non-governmental organization member of this United Nations body. Its representatives participated in the annual conference for NGO's and presented its activities in the fields of afforestation, fighting desertification and river reclamation.
International Association of Mediterranean Forests (IAFM)
Since 2000 KKL-JNF has been active in the IAFM, exchanging information and cooperating on various subjects related to forestry.
Urban and community forests
play a major role in improving surroundings of cities and towns, providing residents with a touch of nature close to home. This is particularly significant in Israel where over 90% of the population lives in urban environments. For several years now KKL-JNF develops and maintains community forests together with the members of surrounding communities. The number of community fotrests in Israel is constantly growing.
KKL-JNF is a member of the European Forum for Urban Forestry, a unique venue where urban forestry professionals meet scientists and policy-makers. Through the forum we are in contact with over 200 experts on these matters.
International Union of Forest Researcher's Organization (IUFRO) and the Forests to Combat Desertification Organization (FCD)
Together with the IUFRO and the FCD, KKL-JNF sponsored an international conference on afforestation and sustainable forests in April 2007. This was a unique opportunity for KKL-JNF to bring over 200 participants to Jerusalem, among them guest lecturers and renowned academics and professionals in the field of forestry, affording participants the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience on an international level. Many came from third world and developing countries and viewed first-hand our forest projects and research stations and the pioneering accomplishments we have made in this field.
The Conference allowed other KKL-JNF's activities in afforestation, desertification and water harvesting and our impact on the national and global scene to be highlighted – forging the way for numerous contacts for future international cooperation. The scientific research findings from the Yatir forest
are very important not only for Israel, but for arid regions throughout the world, showing that afforestation in semi-arid regions is a viable means of carbon sequestration and should be considered as an option.
Binational and Regional Cooperation
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
KKL-JNF is active in the framework of Silvae Mediterranea, the FAO's Committee on Mediterranean Forestry Issues, to advance research and exchange knowledge on Mediterranean forests.
United States Forest Service (USFS)
The relationship began in 1987, with both KKL-JNF and the USFS collaborating in the "Friends and Partners" program. During the last twenty years, through this unique and diverse program, dozens of joint research topics have been conducted together by both organizations. Over forty missions of technical exchange have taken place with foresters from the USFS coming to Israel and over eighty reciprocal visits and study tours were organized in the United States.
USFS director with KKL-JNF world chairman. Photo: KKL-JNF Photo Archive
The researches of the US Forest Service in the field and in professional training are a highly valued source of information amongst those dealing with forests in Israel. With its help, advanced methods to monitor forested areas in Israel were introduced to the KKL-JNF, by means of information beamed down from satellites. This remote sensing technology enables mapping and identification of problems that arise in forest areas as a result of pests or from changes in yearly precipitation. Forestry experts from the USA come to Israel for annual advisory visits, while forestry staffers and scientists from KKL-JNF participate regularly in professional workshops in the US held by the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service.
The three main areas of activity are in the fields of research, technological transfer and education. Although there are differences in resources, size of the countries and the nature of the problems, a large base of common issues has been analyzed with ensuing cooperation. Future collaboration will focus on the possibility of dealing with relevant issues of concern and expanding to new areas. Some of the latest topics include: USFS participation in the 2010 International Conference on Dry lands, Deserts and Desertification, a workshop on Cycling in Forests and Open Spaces in Israel, assistance from the USFS in the project of collecting the predatory fly Leucopis tapiae in Hawaii, KKL participation in the Jordan River Restoration Project, collaboration on migratory birds research, butterfly flyway conservation and KKL participation in seminars on protected areas and watershed management.
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
The service for the conservation of natural resources operates within the framework of the US Department of Agriculture, assisting farmers in managing agricultural lands. KKL-JNF has developed professional ties with the organization focusing mainly on managing watersheds.
AMEP – The Arava Medfly Eradication Project
The Mediterranean fruit fly is one of the most serious agricultural pests in Israel, attacking some 60 different plant species. Current chemical pest control methods are harmful to the environment. AMEP is part of the EASTMED project to use biological methods to eradicate the medfly jointly in several Middle Eastern countries. KKL-JNF supports this and other studies as part of its policy to encourage the development of new, environmentally-sound farming methods.
The Green Agriculture Revolution in Africa
KKL-JNF has been invited to join as a partner in an international forum – The Green Revolution - which will involve Israeli NGOs and government ministries in an international effort to find ways to improve the environment and agriculture around the world. It is being currently sponsored by noted experts who led in advancing the United Nations Millennium Goals.
The Green Revolution is a term used to describe the period from around 1960 to 1990 when there was a tremendous boom in agricultural productivity in the developing world, especially in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Governments invested heavily in agricultural research and modern science was put to use to find ways of producing more food and fighting widespread famine.
A main concertation of the forum is to make certain that food production will be sustainable, and everyone, including poor farmers have access to take advantage of the Green Revolution's resources and breakthroughs. KKL-JNF is confident that its experience and innovative groundwork can help developing nations and make an important contribution to alleviating world hunger.
Rehabilitating Forests in East Timor and Indonesia
Top KKL-JNF forestry experts have been active in both East Timor and Indonesia. Their visit to the largest Muslim state in the world, that still does not officially recognize Israel, led to meetings with Indonesian scientists and foresters and even to the first-ever reciprocal visit by several of them in Israel. The KKL-JNF executives found that they can supply their Indonesian colleagues with much, varied knowledge that they require, in spite of basic difference between Israeli and Indonesian forests, which are rain forests. KKL-JNF helps the two countries to set up tree nurseries in order to rehabilitate forests that were damaged by the long war that raged in this region.
Afforestation and soil conservation in Australia
A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed for cooperation in the fields of afforestation and soil conservation with the States of Victoria and New South Wales. In addition, KKL-JNF has been cooperating with CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australia's national science agency and one of the most diverse research agencies in the world, for many years.
Particular areas of interest and exchange have focused on biological pest control, with Israel sharing its research and successful experience in fighting the wasps that ravage eucalyptus trees.
Israeli-German collaboration in forestry research
In 2008, as part of the Israel-Germany Scientific Cooperation Year, a group of 20 German scientists visited Israel. The scientists are involved in environmental research in German forests. There were initially some doubts and surprise – “Are there even forests in Israel?”
one German professional wondered aloud. However, it soon became obvious that questions relating to forest development, rehabilitation, and the environmental effects on forests, are common to Israel and Germany, in spite of the basically different climates and vegetation between Germany’s immense forests and Israel’s modestly sized stretches of trees.
Annual forestry conference in South Africa
In May 2009, David Brand from KKL-JNF’s Forestry & Development Department participated in an annual forestry conference in Pretoria, South Africa. The conference brings together academics, foresters, and officials and focused mainly on discussion of forest diseases and pests. David Brand presented his hosts with vegetal material containing the natural enemies of invader wasps that have begun to affect large areas of forest in South Africa.
KKL-JNF also takes part in major international forums, exchanging valuable information and cooperating on various subjects, ranging from forestry to climate change