Research poster display at MedPine6 at the Hebrew U Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment in Rehovot.
(photo credit: DENNIS ZINN/KKL-JNF)
Tuesday, October 8, 2018: Leading forestry and ecology experts from around the world gathered at the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment at the Hebrew University in Rehovot to take part in the 6th International MedPine Conference. The conference, which focuses on Mediterranean forest ecosystems, forestry, ecology, conservation, and human use, was sponsored by KKL-JNF - the Israeli Forest Service.
Asaf Karavani, KKL-JNF’s Coordinator for Research and Foreign Relations and organizer of MedPine 6, welcomed the guests. Karavani said that this year, the conference focused not only on the scientific ecology of trees but on the whole question of forest management as well. “A large part of the 4-day itinerary was devoted to field trips. I am happy to note that amongst the participants were many KKL-JNF foresters and field workers who were happy to give lectures and share their hands-on experience. Our purpose was to climb out of the ivory tower of pure academics and bring our knowledge to a level of forest management, where we can implement change.”
This was the second time that the conference was held in Israel, the first time was MedPine 1, which took place in Haifa in 1999.
The conference was opened by Dr. David Brand, who is KKL-JNF’s Chief Forester, and Professor Zohar Kerem of the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment in Rehovot, where the event took place.
Dr. Brand told the audience that the purpose of the conference is to pass on knowledge and to help one another. He said that it is also a wonderful opportunity for KKL-JNF to present and share its own achievements in the ecology of Mediterranean forests, and that of arid areas. “Over the last four to five years KKL-JNF has successfully revised many of its practices in order to deal with the changing climate conditions, and there is a great demand for this knowledge. We are happy to share
Looking at the large audience in the lecture hall, Prof. Kerem said that he was not surprised to see so many of his colleagues in attendance and that the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment in Rehovot is a natural venue for such a conference to take place. “I hope it will become a tradition to hold it here in the future. Let us not forget that throughout history, crises led to innovation. Today, agriculture is in crises to meet the challenges of food production. One of the ways to deal with this is certainly to protect our forests, which help regulate carbon dioxide and nitrogen levels and other pollutants.”