Israel’s Environment Protection Ministry and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) have teamed up to host the first event at the Israel Pavilion of Expo 2020 Dubai, KKL-JNF announced in a statement on Wednesday.

The two will present Israel’s accumulated knowledge, experience and preparedness for climate change through nature-based solutions, according to the statement. The ministry will additionally present the DeserTech initiative—”an international innovation center promoting solutions to the challenges of climate change and sustainable life in desert regions.”

The ministry aims to share Israel’s knowledge and experience in multiple environmental areas, with a view to working jointly with the UAE and other regional and global partners, the statement said.

At the presentation event on Wednesday for the DeserTech International Innovation Center, Israeli Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg said: “At Expo Dubai, in addition to presenting Israel’s capabilities, we are examining opportunities for cooperation and partnerships with other countries facing similar challenges, both in our region and beyond.”

The desert, said Zandberg, “poses many challenges to humanity, and the key to dealing with them involves; technology, innovation and collaboration. The DeserTech international innovation center we presented today will enable the harnessing of Israeli experience and innovation for the benefit of all countries in the world, in our fight against climate change and its repercussions.”

KKL-JNF chief scientist Doron Merkel added: “KKL-JNF, as Israel’s largest environmental NGO, continues to be leading Israel’s efforts that make it a global player in the fight against climate change. We continue to promote large-scale research projects that put Israel at the forefront of tackling the climate crisis and desertification process that is going on throughout the region.”

KKL-JNF, said Merkel, was in the process of developing a brand-new Global Center for Combating the Climate Crisis.

“This international innovation center will be tasked with creating technological solutions to assist in the fight against climate change. We hope to foster an atmosphere of international cooperation to promote these advancements, namely with Persian Gulf countries and other regional actors,” he added.

The organization said in its statement on Wednesday that “Desert regions, arid and semi-arid, constitute almost 40 percent of the world’s surface, with over two billion people living in arid regions. These numbers are expected to increase due to population growth and climate change. One of the major challenges in such areas is responding to the demands for water and food, with direct impact on the welfare of populations in both developing and developed nations.”

Israel, it continued, is a world leader in water recycling, drought-resistant crops, solar energy and the health challenges involved in climate change.


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