On Wednesday, December 16, Mr. Chi Yun-Sheng, the Taiwanese representative to Israel, planted the first trees of the new Taiwan forest grove in the Negev, together with staff from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Tel Aviv and members of the Taiwanese community in Israel.
“On behalf of the government of Taiwan, we are honored to donate
1,000 saplings to KKL-JNF in order to establish the new Taiwan forest grove in the Negev
. It is a privilege to join hands with KKL-JNF to help reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses, which is a major priority of the Taiwanese government. Planting these trees demonstrates our shared concern for the environment and the friendship between our two peoples.” Mr. Chi Yun-Sheng, the Taiwanese Representative to Israel, was speaking at the KKL-JNF Donor Recognition Site at Gilat
in southern Israel, after planting the first trees of the new Taiwan forest grove in the Negev. Mr. Yun-Sheng was accompanied by additional embassy employees and members of the Taiwanese community in Israel.
The ceremony began when KKL-JNF Israel Fundraising Director Michael Ben Abu and KKL-JNF Director of International Relations
Karin Bolton-Laor greeted the Taiwanese representative and his entourage at the site of the new grove, which is part of the Nahal Ashan Forest. As Mr. Ben Abu explained, Nahal Ashan Forest grows in a semi-arid region
, with no more than about 200 mms. annual precipitation. Various experts believed that no forest could ever succeed here, but KKL-JNF foresters proved that by innovative and more efficient methods of harvesting runoff water, such as limans
, trees can grow even in the desert. Planting trees in the desert helps mitigate global warming and has been proved effective in carbon sequestration.
After planting his tree, the Taiwan representative recalled that the last time he planted a tree was 55 years ago, when he was a child in Taiwan. “It’s a very meaningful experience for me,” he said. “In the Bible there is a prophecy that trees will grow in the desert, and creating a grove here is a fulfillment of that prophecy.”