Chief foresters from Turkey, Israel and the United States agreed on ecological cooperation going forward at a convention in Rome that concluded in recent days, according to Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael- Jewish National Fund.
The foresters were taking part in the Committee on Forestry 2014, part of the World Forest Week organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Under the framework of the convention, a meeting took place among US Department of Agriculture Forest Service chief Tom Tidwell and international programs director Valdis Mezainis, Turkish Forestry General Director Ibrahim Çiftçi and deputy Ismail Belen, and KKL-JNF chief forester David Brand and other officials.
Recounting the meeting as “warm and friendly,” KKLJNF representatives said that Turkey’s forestry officials officially invited a delegation from Israel and the US to visit Turkey to learn more about the local forestry domain.
In addition, the participants decided to move forward with cooperation on a series of ecological projects, KKL-JNF said.
“The Turks see a great importance in collaborating with Israel since the two countries share very similar ecosystems,” Brand said.
“The Turks are aware of and appreciate the extensive knowledge that KKL-JNF has in the field of afforestation in arid areas and in combating desertification, and they want to increase cooperation with us.”
Following the convention, which concluded in Rome on Sunday, KKL-JNF held a forestry conference of its own in Kfar Hamaccabiah from Sunday through Tuesday, in collaboration with the USDA Forest Service.
Focusing on “Best Practices for Addressing Climate Change in Israel,” experts examined how extreme weather cases impact the environment. They looked at the implications of symptoms such as desertification, drought, soil erosion, forest fires and pest problems, as well as changes in plant and animal ecosystems as a whole, KKL-JNF said.