KKL-JNF and the USFS Explore Collaboration in Ecological Forestry Services .
(photo credit: YOAV DEVIR KKL-JNF)
A team from the United States Forestry Service visited Israel for a series of tours, professional meetings and debates that took place from September 10th-14th. The visit, a testament to the US organization’s years-long cooperation with KKL-JNF, was designed to enable both parties to examine the possibility of joint plans for ecological forest services.
“Cooperation like this promotes professional development on both sides,” explained Brehan Doud, the US Forest Service’s Director of International Programs. “We have had a significant connection for a long time now, and the current visit is designed to enable us to examine cooperation on forest management issues, with the emphasis on the ecological services the forest provides.”
KKL-JNF Head Forester David Brand pointed out that KKL-JNF has maintained excellent cooperation with the US Forest Service for decades. “About two years ago we began to think together about what the latest forest management theory defines as the supreme function of Israel’s forests: the provision of ecological services for the benefit of the country’s residents.”
Brand explained that the forests offer leisure facilities for the population, together with environmental monitoring – such as pollution reduction and the prevention of soil erosion – grazing, pollination and wood-provision services.
“Together with our colleagues in the US, we are drawing up a multi-year work plan for the implementation of new methods that will be directed towards the provision of these ecological services. This is a new subject everywhere in the world, and so it gives us an opportunity for shared learning,” he added.
The US Forest Service, naturally, has a great deal of professional know-how to contribute here. Nikola Smith, a Forest Service staff member whose field of expertise is ecological systems, presented a number of new plans related to ecological services.
“We’ve visited some fascinating places in Israel, but the opportunity to get to know people here has been no less important,” said Smith. “Forestry organizations all over the world are coping with the question of how to transform a plan into a tangible project on the ground. Despite the many differences between our two countries, we have a broad basis for cooperation. Meeting up with colleagues from abroad enables us to try new things. Apart from the similarity between ecological systems, different organizations also share certain points in common where the implementation of work methods is concerned. After all, people are people no matter where they live, even if environmental conditions differ.”
Read more about the US Forestry Service visit