A Global Perspective on Dry Land Forestry and Restoration.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
Several of world’s leading international experts on forest management and restoration attended the KKL-JNF seminar, entitled “Dry Land Forestry and Restoration – A Global Perspective”, at the Ben Zvi Institute in Jerusalem.
The seminar was the culmination of a four day tour through Northern, Central and Southern Israel, where they examined the work that KKL-JNF is conducting in the fields of water preservation dry land restoration and forestry.
The participants of the seminar were welcomed by KKL-JNF Chief Forester, Dr. David Brand, and Karine Bolton Laor, KKL-JNF Director of International Relations
In his opening remarks Dr. Brand said: “over the last few days we showed our guests a sample of the unique and diverse methodologies we use in the realm of forest care. Today we have the opportunity to hear them talk about the experiences and the challenges that other countries face, regarding desertification, land degradation and restoration.”
The key note address was delivered by Professor Eduardo Rojas of the Polytechnic University of Valencia, who said that globally, there has been a disproportionate interest in tropical rainforest preservation, without much focus on dry land forests.
“Most of the dry lands are in unstable countries that lack political and financial assets to promote restoration of critical resources such as soil and water
. It is these same countries that are rife with emigration that is currently causing refugee problems on the European continent. The northern countries would do well to notice this, and invest in these needy countries, to help them create a more resilient landscape for their people in ecological and social terms.”
Sven Walter, who is a program officer at UNCCD, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, said: “it is vital to achieve land degradation neutrality, by means of avoiding or minimizing degradation while rehabilitating and restoring degraded land. We must be aware that 2 billion people live in areas classified as dry lands, where 12 million hectares are being lost every year to desertification. It is important to recognize land degradation indicators, and establish clear targets to overcome this trend. UNCCD is calling for a land-degradation-neutral world by 2030.”
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