International Forest Day 2016: Saying Thank You to the Trees

March 16, 2016 08:08

International Forest Day, which takes place on March 21st, is an excellent reason to celebrate the forests in Israel and raise people’s awareness of the importance of the forests in our world.

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International Forest Day 2016: Saying Thank You to the Trees

International Forest Day 2016: Saying Thank You to the Trees. (photo credit:KKL-JNF)

On this day, people all over the world hold all kinds of local, national and international events related to the forest. This year, International Forest Day is an opportunity to raise public consciousness about how forests help provide water for the Earth.

“For us, every day is Forest Day, and everything KKL-JNF does for forests is done all year round,” said Dr. David Brand, KKL-JNF’s Chief Forester and Director of the KKL-JNF Forestry Division.

International Forest Day 2016 highlights the unique contribution of forests to the world's supply of freshwater. “Forests conserve water, absorb rainwater and prevent erosion,” Brand explained. “Forested areas prevent extreme flooding compared to other open areas such as grazing areas, cultivated areas and, of course, developed residential areas. Without forests, rainwater would rush to the sea and take a lot of soil and organic material with it.” 

Beyond water economy, forests have many other functions as Brand specifies: recreational opportunities in natural settings, landscape design, support for biodiversity, counteracting global warming by carbon sequestration and oxygen emission, economic advantages (such as pasture, wood products and tourism), conservation of open areas, protection of indigenous trees, preservation and restoration of historical landscapes, ecological rehabilitation of damaged habitats, promoting the connection of the public to nature, creating barriers for the prevention of noise and air pollution as well as landscape hazards.

KKL-JNF’s forestry work includes managing ecosystems that include forests, woodlands and open areas covering over 1.6 million dunams (close to 400,000 acres). As the caretaker of forests in Israel, KKL-JNF has to deal with many threats -floods, droughts, fires, diseases, pests, invasive species and construction development pressure. Thanks to KKL-JNF, Israel is one of the only countries in the world that has more trees today than it had a hundred years ago. During its 115 years of activity, KKL-JNF has planted 240 million trees, with support from its friends all over the world, some of them in areas where no one believed forests could survive.

 For further information, comments or permission please contact
Ahuva Bar-Lev
KKL-JNF – Information and Internet Department

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