KKL-JNF to Sign Memorandum of Understanding with Kenya

Monday, June 19, 2017

Visit of Kenyan Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources

The Kenyan Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources, Professor Judi Wakhungu, is arriving for a visit in Israel. KKL-JNF will be hosting the minister for a visit to the south, and on June 27, a tree planting ceremony will take place in Jerusalem, at which a Memorandum of understanding will be signed between KKL-JNF and the Kenya Forest Service, with the participation of KKL-JNF World Chairman Danny Atar.

Kenya is one of KKL-JNF’s central partners in Africa. KKL-JNF’s ties with Kenya are very close and have been in place for a number of years in various fields, including the unique “Furrows in the Desert” project.

In 2014, during the Dry Lands, Deserts and Desertification Conference (DDD), a Kenyan forestry delegation learned about KKL-JNF’s work as a leading international environmental organization, and asked to look into possibilities of collaboration. In 2015, the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, visited Israel, and at the traditional tree planting ceremony at the Grove of the Nations, he was very impressed by KKL-JNF and expressed his desire to sign a cooperation agreement. Later on, the Kenya Forest Service invited KKL-JNF representatives to Kenya to get a firsthand impression of activities and needs related to afforestation in arid areas in preparation for signing the agreement.

Over the years, mutual visits took place in Kenya and Israel: In 2013, the Kenyan Minister of Water visited Israel, and as mentioned above, in 2015, the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta visited Israel. In 2016, a delegation of KKL-JNF professional experts went to Kenya, and now, the Kenyan Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources is arriving for a visit in Israel, during which the memorandum of understanding will be signed at a special ceremony.

Central projects that are the result of cooperation between KKL-JNF and Kenya include the Furrows in the Desert Project in Turkana, to which KKL-JNF has been a partner since 2015, together with the Israeli Brit Olam Association and the Spanish Mission of Saint Paul the Apostle in Kenya, the Arava Institute and the Arava Research and Development Station.

An additional project is volunteering at Furrows in the Desert (2016-17). A contribution of KKL-JNF Germany and JNF Australia makes it possible to send six volunteers every year to work on the project in Kenya after being trained in Israel. The volunteers work at the project for half a year.

KKL-JNF’s activities in Kenya are carried out together with the Greenbelt Movement of Wangari Maathai, who received the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in the field of afforestation and sustainable development.