(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
MP Chalupa was visiting Israel for professional purposes, which meant, among other things, meeting with his Israeli counterpart MK Gilad Erdan, and with Minister for Industry and Trade Shalom Simhon.
Also participating in the tree planting ceremony were the Czech Republic's ambassador to Israel Tomas Pojar, KKL-JNF representatives Jana Marcus-Natanova and Avinoam Binder, KKL-JNF representative for the Czech Republic Zosa Vyoralova and members of the honored guest's delegation.
In his address at the ceremony, MP Chalupa said: "In the Czech Republic, planting a tree is a minor issue. You only need to choose a section of earth and a healthy plant. Here in Israel, it is a much more challenging and ambitious feat."
The Czech Minister for the Environment added: "It is our honor not only to represent the Ministry for the Environment on this visit to Israel, but also to come here as a group of friends who have a strong belief in the long-term friendship between the Czech Republic and her people and between the State of Israel and her people. The planting of this tree is not only for the sake of the tree itself, but also to reflect the friendship between us."
The ceremony was opened by Jana Marcus-Natanova of KKL-JNF's Europe Desk. KKL-JNF representative Avinoam Binder presented in brief a summary of KKL-JNF's activities in Israel since its establishment 110 years ago.
After the recital of the Planter's Prayer, which was read aloud by Zosa Vyoralova, MP Chalupa planted a young carob tree, the newest addition to the dozens of trees standing in the grove, which were planted by other distinguished guest from all over the world in recent years.
In a conversation held after the ceremony, MP Chalupa said that his visit had a dual purpose: "It might be surprising to hear, but in the Czech Republic, we have many problems with water management and with using purified recycled water. According to scientific forecasts, two-thirds of Czech's cities and villages will have water supply problems in the next 20 years, and we need all the cooperation and scientific information exchange that we can get in order to be able to think ahead, and find solutions to this burgeoning problem."
At the same time, MP Chalupa is discussing with his Israeli counterpart MK Erdan the possibility of cooperation at the upcoming climate change conference in Durban, South Africa from November 28th to December 9th, in which a KKL-JNF delegation will also participate. "We will explore different possibilities of mutual support regarding issues that concern both countries, and in planned projects," he said.
MP Chalupa, who also serves as Chairman of the Czech-Israeli Parliamentary Friendship Association, is seeking to advance economic ties between business people and researchers in the field of water in Israel and the Czech Republic, while exploring the possibilities of joint commercial economic projects between the two countries.
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