KKL-JNF has continuous growing ties with countries in the Mediterranean Basin in the field of forest research. Many of these countries have similar problems and environments that resemble Israel and deal with issues that KKL-JNF has placed high on its agenda. The major Mediterranean countries we have established professional contacts with and exchanged knowledge and technology are: Italy, Cyprus, Spain, Greece, France and Turkey.
Within the Kingdom of Jordan, KKL-JNF has for many years had some shared research, modest in size but highly effective for both sides, one of which has been to eradicate the Mediterranean fruit fly, which harms extensive agricultural areas in the Arava, on both sides of the border. Cooperation on a more limited scale is also carried out with the Palestinian Authority.
Forest research has laid a strong foundation for international cooperation between KKL-JNF and other countries with especially close research links with scientists in Turkey, mainly owing to similarity of problems that foresters face in both countries. Good relations have also developed with foresters in Italy and Spain where cooperation focuses on a major “plague” in every forest – extinguishing forest fires and renewing the forests after a conflagration.
International cooperation sometimes brings results that could not have been gained in any other way. For example, during a study tour in Turkey, KKL-JNF representatives were able to collect seeds from cedars of Lebanon, bringing them to Israel for germination. These cedar saplings can already be seen planted in the Galilee, mainly in the Biriya Forest, which was badly damaged by fires during the Second Lebanon War.
At the end of 2008, a delegation of German forestry scientists visited Israel, to inspect at close range KKL-JNF’s unique achievements in developing forests on the edge of a desert. This was their very first visit in Israel and the German scientists were amazed by the very existence of extensive stretches of forest in Israel. In several professional meetings, the visitors presented different aspects of forest-care problems in Germany, and once again it was seen that here too, there is a common denominator and a common language when delving into forestry topics. Not that every solution that is used in Germany can be applied in Israel, but as a result of this visit another network of scientific cooperation has been formed between Germany and Israel, and in particular with KKL-JNF.