(photo credit: KKL-JNF photo archive)
Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and a former minister in the government of Tanzania, met last Sunday with David Brand, KKL-JNF Head Forester. Prior to her visit to Israel, the Deputy Secretary-General had asked KKL-JNF to plant 18 trees in the burnt Carmel Forest on her behalf and on behalf of the United Nations.
The Deputy Secretary-General's visit to Israel was organized by MASHAV, the Israel National Agency for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and included a visit to the burnt area of the Carmel forest. David Brand took Dr. Migiro on a tour of the area near Kibbutz Beit Oren and to the site where the bus with the prison guards went up in flames. Brand explained about the huge fire and about the Carmel restoration. The Deputy Secretary-General displayed extensive knowledge about the international aid that Israel received and the demonstrations of solidarity during the days of the fire. She expressed her satisfaction that everyone was able to overcome their differences and were willing to lend a hand in extinguishing the fire.
Brand also describe KKL-JNF's various activities, including its expertise in the management of open areas, restoration of rivers, forestation of arid areas, and water reservoirs. He also emphasized KKL-JNF's policy regarding sharing its professional knowledge with developing countries free of charge.
Before the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General's visit to Israel, Ilan Plus, director of MASHAV's Planning and Public Relations Department, and David Brand had proposed that 18 trees be planted in Israel in Dr. Migiro's honor. When she heard about the initiative, Migiro asked that the trees be planted in the Carmel as part of the restoration program. Dr. Migiro was presented with a KKL-JNF Planter's Certificate at a ceremony that took place at the Carmel Center for international women's empowerment.
According to David Brand, "the visit was extremely significant. We shared what happened in the Carmel with Dr. Migiro, and thanks to her prior knowledge of the international aid and solidarity, along with the fact that she asked to plant trees in the Carmel, I think we helped her to really feel a part of both the tragedy and restoration efforts." Brand added that he would be meeting with Maxwell Jiliard, Director of Humanitarian Activities for the United Nations, who accompanied the Deputy Secretary General on her visit, in Jerusalem, in order to promote joint projects between the United Nations and KKL-JNF.
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