The Chinese Embassy in Israel has announced plans to collaborate with the Jewish National Fund on environmental and anti-desertification projects in China.
The new partnership aims at helping China fight off desert encroachment and strengthen the country’s resource management and agricultural sectors.
The agreement between the Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) and the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) will, according to Han Jun, the science and technology counselor for the Chinese embassy in Israel, lead to “bilateral cooperation in the area of agriculture, water, resources, and environmental protection.”
In the future, the JNF-KKL/China partnership will also include an “agricultural technology transfer” to China and collaboration to help strengthen China’s “anti-desert, irrigation, and forestry” capabilities.
Han Jun stressed that Israel’s knowledge in making the desert bloom is especially useful to China, which has a similar terrain in northwestern China to Israel’s Negev region. “Israeli technology can be a good solution to [China’s problems there],” he said.
World Chairman of KKL-JNF Efi Stenzler also said in his remarks discussing the collaboration that he is pleased by the new partnership opportunity and believes that the expertise that KKL-JNF has amassed over the years will be put to good use in China.
Calling KKL-JNF an “international authority on desert and forestation,” Stenzler pointed out that KKL-JNF manages “to plant forests even in semi-arid regions where trees would usually not be planted.”
To kick off the partnership, agriculture and environmental experts from Israel will visit China to work with scientists there on a solution to desertification, while Chinese experts will come to Israel to see firsthand the technologies Israel has employed to keep the desert in bloom.
Stenzler also plans a visit to China this year to strengthen the partnership and discuss with Chinese leadership next steps in the JNF-China partnership.