Forestry and Ecology

Forest Management in Israel

Balancing between People and Nature


More than 1.6 billion people around the world depend on forests for their livelihoods. Since its inception in 1901, KKL-JNF has planted over 240 million trees in Israel for the benefit of people and the environment, along with maintaining 100,000 acres of natural woodland. KKL-JNF forests, which are among the largest planted forests in the Mediterranean Middle East, are a source of substantial carbon sequestration, along with providing a range of benefits in agricultural systems. KKL-JNF also plants fruit trees for nutrition, promotes research on medicinal trees to combat disease, and its forests contribute towards the conservation of biological diversity. KKL-JNF's parks and forests are open for everyone to enjoy free of charge.


KKL-JNF's afforestation program has given the Israeli public a valuable asset. The new forest management policy recognizes the need to implement changes in current approaches to forest management and design according to the latest developments in forestry, ecology, social and economic sciences.


Thanks to this plan, Israel’s wooded areas and open spaces are safe from exploitation and misuse. It provides guidelines for the preservation and maintenance of forests and woodlands on close to 400,000 acres (160,000 hectares) of land, side by side with regulated, careful development.


KKL-JNF's goal is to create a synthesis between the often conflicting needs of people and the environment, thereby imparting practical meaning to the concept of sustainability.


One of KKL-JNF's major achievements is undoubtedly the ratification of Israel's National Master Plan for Forests and Afforestation (NMP22) in 1995.


Gully Trees for Food Security


Many dry creeks in Israel are located next to agricultural fields, and local farmers cultivate and irrigate the gully heads and dry riverbeds. This leads to land degradation and erosion, which eventually makes the fields unusable for growing food crops. In order to remedy this problem, KKL-JNF plants trees on either side of the creek, which stabilize the land and absorb the pesticides used by the farmers. All the trees planted are native to Israel, including acacias, tamarisks and carobs. The farmers originally refused to give up land for what is known as gully head control, but eventually, they realized that this KKL-JNF project would benefit not only them, but also their children and grandchildren.


Combating Desertification -Trees for Life


In Israel, a country that is largely arid, the need to combat desertification and manage desert lands was accepted long before anyone had coined the concept of climate change. KKL-JNF is the leading body in this field and over the years, it has invested extensive resources in a broad ecological and environmental program to combat desertification and to upgrade degraded land. The experience, practical know-how and technologies developed by KKL-JNF in forestry work in semi-arid regions, soil erosion prevention, research and monitoring, and desert afforestation, serve as a model for countries in similar semi-arid and arid regions of the world. KKL-JNF shares its experience, research and technologies with countries facing similar challenges, and also takes part in the ongoing discussions led by the International Arid Land Consortium (IALC) and the Middle East Research Cooperation.