Western African Leaders Visit Lahav Forest in the Negev.
On Tuesday, December 6, a group of about 30 high-ranking officials and government ministers from Western Africa visited KKL-JNF’s Lahav Forest in the Negev, where they learned about desert forestry and how KKL-JNF combats desertification.
The fire-spotting watchtower in KKL-JNF’s Lahav Forest in the Western Negev is the perfect place to get an idea of how KKL-JNF transformed the Negev landscape using its expertise in desert afforestation. This was the site chosen by KKL-JNF Chief Forester Dr. David Brand and KKL-JNF Southern Region Deputy Director Itzik Moshe to host a group of about thirty high-ranking officials from 10 Western African countries who are participating in the first-ever Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) conference to be held in Israel.
The group included ministers of agriculture, government officials, ECOWAS leadership and officials of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Togo, Cap Vert, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Guinea and Nigeria. They are attending a three-day conference entitled “Enhancing Sustainable Agricultural Productivity in Arid and Semi-arid Regions: The Israeli Development Experience”, a collaboration between ECOWAS, the Israeli Foreign Ministry through MASHAV (The Agency for International Agricultural Development), and the Israeli Ministry for Agriculture's Center for International Agricultural Development Cooperation.
Dr. Brand greeted the group in the plaza beneath the watchtower and told them about KKL-JNF’s history, emphasizing the organization’s experience and investment in research and development. “KKL-JNF is proud to share its knowledge with other countries that face similar challenges to ours, and we would like to invite you to collaborate with us in the future,” Dr. Brand said.
Lahav Forest is located south of the Lower Judean Plain in the direction of Beersheba and covers an area of more than 30,000 dunams. KKL‑JNF started planting this forest in 1952 and expanded it in the 1960s.
Read more about the visit of Western African officials to Lahav Forest