KKL-JNF signs MOU with Kenya in the field of forestation
The collaboration will involve an exchange of delegations for a period of three years, in which KKL-JNF will share with the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) the know-how of forestation in arid regions and of surface runoff harvesting
Left to right: Chief Conservator of Forests to the KFS, Mr. Emilio Mugo; Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources, Prof. Judi Wakhungu; KKL-JNF World Chairman, Mr. Danny Atar; KKL-JNF Chief Forester, Dr. David Brand; KKL-JNF Director General, Mr. Amnon Ben Ami; KKL-JNF Finance and Economics Director, Mr. Yuval Yanai
Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary (Minister) for Environment and Natural Resources, Professor Judi Wakhungu, signed a Memorandum of Understanding today, June 27th with KKL-JNF World Chairman, Mr. Danny Atar, in a ceremony at Yad Kennedy, Jerusalem.
The objectives of the agreement between the two bodies include optimal utilization of water and forestation of arid (and semi-arid) areas in Kenya.
The KFS turned to KKL-JNF with the interest of enriching its professional and operational knowledge and for the execution of forestation projects in arid and semi-arid land, which covers about 80% of Kenya’s total land surface.
As part of the MOU, KKL-JNF and the KFS will promote a pilot project in the field of forestation. The project could potentially be funded by a third-party such as the World Bank, US AID or a UN organization.
Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary (Minister) for Environment and Natural Resources, Professor Judi Wakhungu:
“It is a great honor for me and my delegation to visit the holy city during a historic opportunity of signing a crucial partnership in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen the development of forest resources in our dry lands. As we are all aware, in most circumstances around the world, the dry lands ecosystems, more often than not do not receive requisite attention as they should. Yet these expansive landscapes are important for many dimensions.
“We can reflect on this based on the fact that dry lands are first home to 2.5 billion people, who translate into 30% of the world’s population; second, they cover more than 40% of the world’s land surface, and third, they are faced with a multitude of challenges. Key among them: land degradation, frequent droughts, desertification, and loss of biodiversity, which greatly cartels their productivity in their natural state. And finally, they are also home to the most disenfranchised and marginalized people in the world.
“As we proceed to implement the MOU, we shall come up with designs and appropriate mechanisms for restoration of degraded dryland spaces and the establishment of forests in the dry lands. This MOU is very important for Kenya. The collaboration will include exchange visits for KFS staff to Israel and KKL-JNF staff to Kenya on transfer of knowledge on various techniques of tree establishment and management in dry lands, including mechanisms for community participation.
“It is important to mention that the embassy of Israel in Nairobi has initiated a joint effort for the establishment of the Israel forest. I was delighted to launch the Israel forest on the 21st of April, 2017 for the occasion of the celebrations for the 69th anniversary for the state of Israel.
“I wish to thank both the ambassadors in Kenya and in Israel, I also wish to thank KKL-JNF and the Kenya Forest Service for the foresight in initiating the initial discussions regarding entry into this partnership. I look forward to the signing of the MOU and the start of a partnership that will continue to prosperity.”
KKL-JNF World Chairman, Mr. Danny Atar:
“The MOU between KKL-JNF and the KFS illustrates the great importance KKL-JNF holds as an international environmental organization in sharing its knowledge and experience with the world. Through support in and development of arid and semi-arid regions in Kenya, which suffer from a lack of food security, KKL-JNF helps prevent climate refugee emigration and radicalization in the area.”
Background: KKL-JNF activity in Kenya:
The journey towards this MOU signing began in 2014 and included a visit of the President of Kenya, Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta in Israel in the following year. Later on KKL-JNF was invited to Kenya to learn more about the activity and the needs of the KFS, and to lay the groundwork for the MOU.
Since 2014, KKL-JNF has been leading an initiative in Kenya called “Furrows in the Desert”. The project is designed to develop agriculture in north Turkana, Kenya's poorest district, in order to provide the inhabitants with new sources of food and income. KKL-JNF is a strategic partner in this project for the development of sustainable local agriculture by investing in local infrastructure and in disseminating Israeli professional expertise to help train people on the ground.