(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
Agronomist Aviv Eisenband, director of KKL-JNF's Forestry and Professional Development Department, spoke at the UNFF Forestry and Economic Development roundtable. The following is an excerpt from his speech:
Israel's policy on forests
In the last hundred years, human activities and overexploitation of natural resources in Israel have produced severe land degradation, erosion and salination. Since its establishment in 1948, the State of Israel has adopted public policies designed to restore, develop and manage its natural resources. Due to these activities, Israel is one of the few countries in the world that has more trees now than it had a century ago. Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (KKL-JNF), acts as the Israeli Forest Service, maintains a policy of sustainable forest management, and has planted around 240 million trees and introduced regulations to control grazing and ensure effective water management.
Israeli forests are multifunctional, providing system services to surrounding communities and ecological systems. Forests offer recreation areas and eco-tourism opportunities and these open spaces provide much needed 'green lungs' for city dwellers. Local communities are involved in the planning and development of parks and forests, ensuring a grassroots connection. All of these vital services are provided free of charge to all of Israel's residents.
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