Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Israel teaching reforestation in El Salvador

El Salvador suffers the environmental effects of deforestation, but a model approach from Israel may provide a path for reversing the damage. An article on the GreenProphet.com blog describes cooperation between El Salvador and Israel on reforestation projects:

Unsuccessful investments in coffee plantations, a long civil war in the 1980s and then a destructive earthquake in 2001, has left El Salvador with serious environmental degradation, making much of the country look like rubble.

Rabbi Yerahmiel Barylka, director of the KKL-JNF [Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael - Jewish National Fund] Latin-American Desk, traveled to El Salvador last year to take part in a seminar to see what Israel could do. “Together with the manager, our Latin American representative at KKL, we went to El Salvador as part of a 40 person group, which included people from El Salvador who work with environmental protection and in the field of education,” says Barylka.

As part of the initial meeting, a press conference was held in El Salvador between the Israelis and El Salvadorians and included Carlos José Guerrero, Minister of the Environment in El Salvador; Matanya Cohen, the Israeli Ambassador in El Salvador; and Michael Adari, the KKL-JNF Latin America Chief Emissary.

“I gave them the basic information on how to set up a non-profit organization,” Barylka tells ISRAEL21c. “In the future we will invite all the consul representatives from El Salvador based in the United States and will give them additional seminars,” he says. Hopefully, the consul members will learn how to appeal to potential donors in the US on how to give money to save El Salvador’s environment, through tree planting.

“Afterwards we will send foresters from El Salvador to Israel to learn about the KKL,” he adds. (more)

The model of the KKL includes fund-raising among a country's diaspora to encourage them and others to donate to tree planting in their home country.

Hat tip to George for suggesting this article.

8 comments:

Salvi_Alchemist said...

"Unsuccessful investments in coffee plantations, a long civil war in the 1980s and then a destructive earthquake in 2001, has left El Salvador with serious environmental degradation, making much of the country look like rubble."


That's a bit harsh. The country looks like rubble? We're not some desolate country in the middle of a desert. Extreme much?

Well I'm glad this is happening. I hope it sparks the beginning of something bigger. A lot of the country needs to start planting trees, and tress that are unique to the region, not palmettos. It makes me cringe at the sight of the grassland for it was once nothing but forest.

Anonymous said...

El Salvador IS one of the most deforested countries of the hemisphere, so any likening to rubble isn't far off. What is worse is that if you drive through El Espino it becomes crystal clear that El Salvador is severely lacking at maintaining and managing the FEW green areas it has-- what other thing might you need than to see the desolation that has been spread there on the ground where a badly-planned road was going to pass, to realize that rubble indeed we are?

Hopefully this reforestation program will be legit and help reforest El Salvador with greenery native and proper to the areas.

Anonymous said...

yay!!! trees!!! trees are the answer to all of the planets problems. i hope the new govt under funes starts a program on which during a week of every year every single person in el salvador plants a tree. at least one tree per individual. that's what china has been doing over the last few years and forests have crept out of nowhere all of a sudden. think about it, if el salvador has 6 million people and everybody agrees to plant at least one tree and look after it, bang, all of a sudden you have 6 million trees just like that, than after repeating the process everyyear for several more years, we'll have one of the most wooded countries in the world.

JMB said...

Los arboles son buenos.

I hope all goes well. We tried to get local leaders here in the US to plant some trees.

Trees love CO2 and they give us oxygen in return. Less respiratory and asthma problems.

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Anonymous said...

Mmmmm but isn't Israel basically a desert? I know there's the Jordan river but what else. I'd hope they would help El Salvador with irrigation systems and recooping efficient sunlight energy, or in the production of bio fuels from our sugarcane crops. But I don't want to sound ungrateful, in fact I think it's nice that the Israelis want to help. I'm sure they know that El Salvador helped them during their most critical moments in 1948. I wish I knew who these reforestation people were so I could contact them for more info.

Anonymous said...

Civilization starts when the first tree is chopped down, and civilization stops when the last tree is chopped down. Comprende, amigo.

Anonymous said...

The key element needed for social, economic, ecological and developmental progress in any country is education, understanding, responsibility and respect of oneself and of others, and of the surroundings with which we form an integral part. El Salvador is sadly lacking in all of the above. The Salvadoran people have learned to blame others, and to demand rights but never to acknowledge ones own responsibilities. Hence, the rubble, overturned garbage can appearance.