Arava Accacia Survey Summary

This document is based on a on a comprehensive survey commissioned by KKL-JNF and conducted in 2011-2012. The results of the survey were published in "Survey of Acacias in the Arava" (Perlberg, 2013).

The survey was conducted along the Arava Valley, which covers an area of roughly 1500 square kilometers, and mapped some 65,000 acacias using remote sensing methods.
The survey referred to all the ecosystem components interacting with acacia trees and included a section on conclusions and recommendations for the future.
The policy paper regarding the Arava acacia trees gives these conclusions and recommendations spatial dimensions and maps them in a series of subject plans, which express both the work done in the acacia survey, as well as GIS data and planning aspects.

The recommendations were grouped into four main areas:

Statutory protection recommendations: recommendations based on the analysis of protected areas vs. areas of values, and identification of areas requiring increased statutory protection. The main areas requiring additional statutory protection are areas of high value that have few conflicts with contradicting area designations.
Recommendations for physical protection: recommendations based on the analysis of physical elements that allow acacias to subsist on one hand, and disturbances and abuses of the area on the other. Physical protection should be promoted mainly in areas in which acacia trees cannot be protected by statutory means.
Principles for community and tourist development: the principles were determined in relation to existing and future tourist and community initiatives, the tourism and recreational potential of the area and existing population concentrations. Acacias and other sites adjacent to communities were identified as having potential for community development whereas more distant areas of interest were defined as recreational complexes and sites for tourism development.
Management, administrative and supervisory principles were evaluated from a holistic perspective of the area, the type of management desired and the ability to control activity in the area. Recommendations included preparation of a comprehensive management program for the area together with all the interested parties active in it, which would serve as a basis for management and supervision efforts of each body.