The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, headquartered in Rome, convened the global biennial Committee on Forestry (COFO), which is being held during August 16-20, 2018.
The summit meeting brings together heads of forestry services and other senior officials of various governments to formulate the global afforestation policy in light of the various challenges around the world. Conference participants seek solutions and advise the FAO on a policy of action adapted to each region of the world.
In the wake of the extensive and intensive activities of the KKL-JNF Land Development Administration’s Forestry Division in cooperation with the Secretariat of the UN’s COFO and the UN delegation to Israel, KKL-JNF is honored to officially represent the State of Israel at the international Committee on Forestry.
This is the 24th session of the Committee on Forestry, and it is held to coincide with the sixth World Forestry Week. The session focuses on the ability of forests to contribute to the UN’s sustainable development goals (UNSDGs) for the year 2030, as well as moving from theory to practical action programs.
The discussions deal with exploring ways and means to accelerate the pursuit of these goals; the actions required to implement the policy recommendations of the World Food Security Committee regarding the contribution of forests to food security and nutrition; reviewing the opportunities and challenges of urban and peri-urban forests; implementing the climate change strategy of the FAO, and formulating the future forestry strategy.
The Chief Forester and Director of the KKL-JNF Afforestation Division, Dr. David Brand, and the Afforestation Division’s Coordinator for Research and Foreign Relations Asaf Karavani are the official representatives at the COFO. Mr. Karavani read a statement in the UN plenum emphasizing Israel’s commitment to assist in the global afforestation efforts in arid areas and rehabilitate deteriorating systems, in accordance with the Agadir Commitment published by Silva Mediterranea – the UN committee responsible for Mediterranean afforestation.
KKL-JNF representatives also participated in a working meeting of Silva Mediterranea and helped formulate and plan the organization’s afforestation and desertification prevention policy in the Mediterranean region. They also held many working meetings on the margins of the conference, including a meeting with representatives of the FAO in an effort to advance the signing of a memorandum of understanding for the exchange of professional know-how and expertise. Other encounters included a meeting with the Head of the US Forestry Service and the American delegation; a meeting that included reaching understandings on strengthening cooperation with the Silva Mediterranea; a meeting with the Secretary of the FAO’s European Department, as well as a meeting with the head of the Kenya Forestry Service to promote cooperation in the establishment of a forest in arid regions in Kenya – and more.
Together with nations throughout the world, KKL-JNF is an active partner in the global effort to realize the UN’s sustainable development goals for 2030. This involvement affirms the KKL-JNF’s status as a leading ecological and environmental forestry body in the international arena, and positions the State of Israel in line with developed countries that operate in accordance with international conventions.
Participation in the COFO is one part of the multi-year activities of the KKL-JNF Forestry Division, whose senior professionals represent KKL-JNF at international afforestation and environmental forums.