Asides from its ongoing support of research and development in sustainable agriculture
and renewable energy, its powerful impact on Israel's water economy and its sustainable forest management policies, 2016 saw some very exciting new KKL-JNF developments in sustainability:
KKL-JNF made headway in getting local communities involved in its forests. Together with other environmental organizations and local Jerusalemites, KKL-JNF launched a campaign to save Mount Heret
from untrammeled development, and also, it developed a Jerusalem Forest Master Plan
to make it more accessible to the nearby Jerusalem neighborhoods. Together with the communities of Shaalvim and Nof Ayalon, it transformed the neglected wooded area in their backyard into Shaalvim Community Forest
. KKL-JNF continues to build lookout points and hiking and cycling trails, including the new bike trail in Shoham Forest
. The organization continues to make sure that every segment of Israeli society can visit its parks and forests, including those with limited physical mobility. In recognition of its efforts in making its sites accessible, the Access Israel Convention awarded the Accessibility Prize to KKL-JNF's Hula Lake Park
An essential part of sustainable development is getting businesses involved. This year, KKL-JNF and the Dan Hotels chain inaugurated the Dan Hotels Scenic Lookout
on Mount Carmel. Together with the Israel Electric Company, it also inaugurated the accessible Renewable Energies Trail in Hagit Forest
in the Galilee.
As part of its priority to work together with local authorities around Israel to advance comprehensive planning for towns, cities and villages, KKL-JNF, together with the Federations of Local Authorities in Israel, launched an urban planning conference
in Haifa to discuss the interface between the organization and local government in a variety of areas including education, welfare, transport, housing, green environment and culture, in order to promote citizens' daily life in Israel.
KKL-JNF also launched the Center for Water Sensitive Cities in Kfar Saba
together with the Kfar Saba Municipality, Monash University in Australia, the Technion, Ben Gurion University of the Negev and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
In addition, KKL-JNF and the Israeli Ministry of Housing and Construction funded the first green renovation project
in Sderot, as part of the Housing Ministry's Urban Renewal Program. It is hoped that the pilot's success in renovating an old apartment building to fit with green standards will extend the project to cities and towns all around Israel.
As part of its policy to work with natural systems rather than against them, KKL-JNF is taking a 'hands-off' approach to forest rehabilitation in the wake of the November 2016 fires
, encouraging the forests to regenerate themselves with only a little help along the way, such as clearing away dead trees and scrub, creating fire breaks and encouraging the growth of natural local species.