(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
"When I met with President Peres three years ago, he said that the future would include life without oxygen. In the meantime, however, life as we know it depends on oxygen, and in many diverse ways, KKL-JNF is in the business of producing oxygen." Dr. Petar Ivanović, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Montenegro, was speaking on Monday, April 28, at the KKL-JNF offices and nursery in Eshtaol in the Judean Hills. Dr. Ivanović was greeted by KKL-JNF Director of International Cooperation and Conferences Karine Bolton; KKL-JNF Chief Forester David Brand; KKL-JNF Southern Region Deputy Director Itzik Moshe; Foreign Relations and Research Coordinator for KKL-JNF’s Afforestation Department Johannes Guagnin; and Prof. Zvi Mendel, Professor of Entomology at the Department of Entomology, the Volcani Center.
After the meeting, KKL-JNF officials took the minister to a nearby forest, where KKL-JNF Regional Director Hanoch Tzoref showed them a KKL-JNF fire truck
donated by friends of KKL-JNF in France
and explained about KKL-JNF's fire fighting methods. From there, the group proceeded to Martyrs Forest and saw how as a result of the lessons learned from the huge Carmel forest fire, trees have been cut down around the road and in other strategic places. "Prevention is less costly that rehabilitation," Hanoch said.
The minister agreed. "It's all about economics and education. People often don't see that there's a problem, so education on different levels is a key word. I'm looking forward to future cooperation, and also towards learning from your mistakes," the minister added with a smile.
The minister concluded his two-day visit to Israel the next day at a tree planting ceremony together with KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler at Ariel Sharon Park near Tel Aviv, which in the future will be Israel's largest urban park and recreation area.
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