KKL-JNF Head Forester Dr. David Brand addresses the audience at the KKL-JNF Research Open Day.
(photo credit: DENNIS ZINN KKL-JNF)
The annual one-day KKL-JNF Land Development Administration Research Seminar took place on Thursday, May 24th at the world-renowned Volcani Agriculture Institute, which is the research arm of Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. In attendance were researchers and students from the institute and other academic institutions, as well as KKL-JNF senior officials, foresters and professional staff.
Read more about the presentations at the KKL-JNF research open day
The seminar began with words of welcome from Yaron Ohion, the new director of the KKL-JNF Land Development Administration, who said that after a year and a half on the job, he only now realizes how complicated forest management actually is.
“KKL-JNF holds 1.6 million dunam [approx. 395,000 acres] of forest and open spaces for the benefit of the residents of Israel. We are proud to be one of the only countries in the world that have been able to increase its forest coverage over the past 100 years. Today, as a result of current climatic conditions, I am well aware that management of these areas requires knowledge and expertise that needs to be renewed and upgraded continuously.”
The first session dealt with the challenges of forest management under stress and climate change was opened by KKL-JNF's Head Forester, Dr. David Brand. He said that KKL-JNF has geared up towards finding ways to combat the threats posed by climate change to the country’s forests.
“We see the threat as comprised of three components, all of which need to be addressed. Firstly, we are experiencing the phenomena of extreme climatic conditions and drought. Secondly, as a result of the climatic change, we are finding an intensification of disease and pests attacking our forests. Lastly, the long dry season makes the woodland much more prone to fire.”
Brand said that under his guidance, KKL-JNF invests some 7 million shekels annually in forest management research.
“What may appear to be purely academic from the information you hear today, is very much not so. We choose our research topics very carefully and I make sure that the work carried out will be both scientific and applicable. Pure science is the job of the university; we need real tools to deal with real problems.”