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KKL-JNF Afforestation Objectives: The Preservation of Diverse and Sustainable Forests that Offers Services to the Public


Afforestation Development


The Development of Afforestation in Israel : From “Pioneer Trees” to a New Generation of Sustainable Forests

The KKL-JNF began its afforestation restoration of the Land of Israel after thousands of years of human activity that harmed and exploited the woodlands. Such damage included unregulated lumbering; suppression of natural growth by overgrazing; and the uprooting of trees to make room for agriculture and construction. In the context of the reclamation of afforestation, the KKL has planted as of today over 260 million trees and has been the main agency acting to create recreational spaces in the heart of nature, and to establish “green lungs” in large expanses across Israel .

During the first 70 years of KKL-JNF afforestation activity, its primary objective was the fastest possible establishment of forests. In so doing, fast-growing trees were planted that created forests in which the land was fully covered by trees. These forests were planted consistent with the accepted methods and philosophies of the time—most of which were characterized by the dense planting of pine whose composition was uniform regarding species and tree ages.

These pine forests filled a historic role and established Israel ’s arboreal landscape despite the fact that their establishment and management did not sufficiently consider natural components and principles of sustainable development that are accepted by the KKL-JNF today.

In recent years, the main task involved with afforestation is the replacement of the first generation of plantings that included the “pioneer trees” with forests based on natural renewal and that include indigenous copse species and seeds whose origins are based in planted forests.

The issue of post-pioneering forest renewal constitutes the primary scientific and practical challenge for KKL-JNF’s afforestation policy today. This challenge is due to the fact that this process manifests a sustainable development approach, expressing management activities associated with natural forest renewal on the one hand, and determining species, age, layer, and biodiversity composition on the other.

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