KKL-JNF delegation visits Republic of Chad

On the ground to strengthen the country’s agriculture and water management and ‘take part in global effort to combat climate change’.

 KKL-JNF PROFESSIONAL delegation visits Chad and meets with leaders in both the field and boardroom (photo credit: KKL-JNF)
KKL-JNF PROFESSIONAL delegation visits Chad and meets with leaders in both the field and boardroom
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)

A professional delegation from Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund recently returned to Israel from the Republic of Chad.

The delegation was sent to study the regional situation in Chad in order to collaborate in bolstering agriculture and land fertility, water and surface runoff management, and to continue combating desertification during a time of climate change.

The delegation, headed by KKL-JNF’s chief forester, Gilad Ostrovsky, included KKL-JNF experts in environmental fields, in accordance with the memorandum of understanding that was signed a few months ago between the relevant entities with the purpose of sharing KKL-JNF expertise with Chad.

KKL-JNF PROFESSIONAL delegation visits Chad and meets with leaders in both the field and boardroom (Credit: KKL-JNF)KKL-JNF PROFESSIONAL delegation visits Chad and meets with leaders in both the field and boardroom (Credit: KKL-JNF)

The professionals spent 10 days in the republic, some in Chad’s open fields, learning the region’s physical characteristics, and others meeting senior politicians and local professionals.

The delegation is an essential part of strengthening Israel’s relations with the Republic of Chad, which is a Muslim country that acts as a central player in the African Union.The delegates met the republic’s secretary-general and discussed the joint desire to cooperate and promote applicable, relatively affordable projects, while aiming to facilitate and ease the manual work done by the people of Chad.

In addition, at a meeting with the president’s adviser on agriculture and water, KKL-JNF professionals were briefed on the many challenges faced in regional agricultural development and the water economy. Later, they joined the communications minister, who had previously visited Israel, who expressed his appreciation of the productive cooperation with Israel through KKL-JNF. The delegation was faithfully accompanied by Nassour Delio, who heads Chad’s National Agency for Exports and Investments.

KKL-JNF PROFESSIONAL delegation visits Chad and meets with leaders in both the field and boardroom. (Credit: KKL-JNF)KKL-JNF PROFESSIONAL delegation visits Chad and meets with leaders in both the field and boardroom. (Credit: KKL-JNF)

Spreading environmental advances

As Israel’s largest nongovernmental organization, KKL-JNF is committed to international cooperation by addressing key global issues through mutual networking, knowledge sharing and spreading environmental advances beyond Israel’s borders.

KKL-JNF uses its world-class expertise in combating desertification, water resource management and conserving land through sustainable agriculture and research to help countries in need and achieve its goals to combat climate change.

In the Turkana region of Kenya, an area in which previous attempts at farming had failed because of unsuitable water and soil, high temperatures, drought and pests, KKL-JNF established an innovative program titled Furrows in the Desert.

KKL-JNF uses its world-class expertise to help in-need countries and combat climate change

The program is a training farm where locals worked with Israeli experts and volunteers. Crops suitable for the local conditions were selected, fertilizers and pest control materials were brought in, and water-conserving limans – earthen constructions that collect floodwater – were dug, just as they are at sites in the Negev.

Since the project was launched in 2012, more than 130 farms have been established in Turkana. Today, local crops include chickpeas, beans and melons. KKL-JNF plans to launch a similar pilot project in Chad, according to its individual needs, to ensure a better future for its citizens.

Ensuring a better future

Upon the delegation’s return to Israel, the delegates began to develop a practical work plan, along with defining short-term and long-term goals for the cooperation with the Republic of Chad.The developing work plan will reflect a combination of the conclusions and findings identified by the delegates, the regional needs expressed by senior politicians, and the voices that were heard in the fields among the people of Chad.

KKL-JNF PROFESSIONAL delegation visits Chad and meets with leaders in both the field and boardroom. (Credit: KKL-JNF)KKL-JNF PROFESSIONAL delegation visits Chad and meets with leaders in both the field and boardroom. (Credit: KKL-JNF)

As previously stated, the delegation is a result of the recently signed MOU between KKL-JNF and the Republic of Chad, and it aspires to lead to a significant, fundamental impact that will benefit Chad and its citizens while dealing with the effects of climate change.

Avraham Duvdevani, chairman of KKL-JNF, stated: “One of KKL-JNF’s most important goals is to take part in the global effort to combat climate change in order to ensure a better future. We are happy to share our knowledge and technologies while cooperating with countries around the world in our fields of activity.

“I congratulate the delegation that returned from the Republic of Chad and will be collaborating with Chad in order to find options for local solutions of water resources management and afforestation methods.“It is important for us to contribute to the national effort of strengthening the relations between Israel and Chad, as well as the countries of the African Union.”

Gilad Ostrovsky, KKL-JNF’s chief forester, remarked: “Following the MOU that KKL-JNF and the Republic of Chad signed, a delegation specializing in water resources management, agriculture and afforestation traveled to the republic.

“We visited the country and toured the field to learn about the country’s reality, with the goal of consolidating a work plan in accordance with our findings.”

Karine Bolton, head of international relations and foreign affairs at KKL-JNF, said, “International cooperation continually proves to be the most effective way to advance global targets and strengthen capacities for climate resilience.

“KKL-JNF is part of this global effort, especially with regions like Africa, which face similar environmental challenges as we do in Israel. Arid and semiarid regions, like ours, have particularly difficult challenges in water, forestry and agriculture, due to the climate crisis. The only way to solve these challenges is to work together.”

This article was written in cooperation with KKL-JNF.

Translated by Alan Rosenbaum.