See the tree, see the forest

December 21, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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The world knows about Israel’s technological success but its environmental success stories often go under the radar.

Josh Royal, Micayla Polon and Celine Farkash handle the phones

Josh Royal, Micayla Polon and Celine Farkash handle the phones

Those concerned about the state of play of the environment can be heartened by Israel’s record in tree planting. KKL-JNF world chairman, Effi Stenzler, claims that Israel is the only country in the world that has more trees now than it did 100 years ago.

More than 240 million trees have been planted since KKL-JNF’s inception. KKL-JNF’s tree planting initiatives around Israel are supported by research and development at Ben Gurion University and the knowledge and expertise is shared with developing countries through conferences of the United Nations.

KKL-JNF forests, particularly those found in arid areas, provide a variety of ecosystem functions such as carbon fixation, erosion prevention, soil conservation and pollination services.

Planting a tree in Israel

Planting a tree in Israel

A current major focus of KKL-JNF is on plantings around Be’er Sheva, which aims to create a “Green Belt” for this growing metropolis. The large-scale desert forestation consists of planting of approximately 160,000 trees on 400 hectares. The project aims to develop the Negev sustainably and improve the environment for future generations. The area will be the “lungs” of the region and will also provide much-needed recreational space.

Australian Jewish teenagers can contribute to the Israeli environmental initiative by supporting KKL-JNF on Green Sunday on February 3rd.

By assisting the annual Tu Bishvat Telethon campaign, they can help source donations to continue the vital tree plantings.

And, as previous Telethon attendees have found, it’s a great opportunity to network with hundreds of other teenagers from other schools. Volunteers come together to learn about KKL-JNF’s work transforming semi-arid areas into green landscapes.

After a 30-minute briefing, volunteers man the phones for 90 minutes. The Telethon will be conducted at Meriton HQ and is sponsored by Meriton.

To volunteer please visit

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