Conference Titled: Afforestation and Sustainable Forests as a Means to Combat Desertification

Initiative number: 06S-01 
Initiative duration: 12 Months
Dates: June 1, 2006 to May 31, 2007


Dr. Nir Atzmon, ARO Volcani Center, Head of Forest Division, Volcani Center ARO - PO Box 6, Beit Dagan, 20250 ISRAEL, TEL: 972‑(3)‑968-3682, FAX: 972‑(3)966-9642, EMAIL:

Final Report Abstract

(edited from a press release from the Jewish National Fund)

In an effort to bring together leaders in the science and practice of afforestation and sustainable forest management in arid and semi-arid zones, the Jewish National Fund - Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (JNF-KKL) hosted a conference in Jerusalem 16-19 April 2007. The conference was held at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Jerusalem, Israel.

The conference was sponsored also by The International Union for Forest Research Organization (IUFRO), Forests to Combat Desertification Organization (FCD), The International Arid Land Consortium (IALC), and the United States Forest Service (USFS). The conference provided a broad forum for the summary and synthesis of state-of-the-art afforestation practices, as well as an introduction to the achievements of the Israeli arid lands afforestation lead by JNF-KKL during the last six decades.

Desertified land presently covers around 36 million square km. of the world's total land area. Desertification and land degradation is caused primarily by human activities and climatic variations. It affects more than 100 countries and regions with a combined population of 1.2 billion, and has become a global problem threatening the subsistence and development of mankind.

At its 58th session, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/Res/58/211 which declared 2006 the International Year of Deserts and Desertification. In light of this declaration, JNF-KKL decided to hold this conference.

Among the guest lecturers are renowned academics and professionals and at least 200 people from around the world joined as participants.

 Topics covered during the conference included:

  • Joint Efforts of Research and Demonstration in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands
  • Nursery Techniques and Forest Establishment in Arid Zones
  • Trees in Towns Improving the Quality of People's Lives
  • Livestock Grazing Management Tool vs. Desertification Agent,
  • among many others.


Support for this project came from the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service.