Sclerophyllous forests in Ramot Menashe now a UNESCO biosphere reserve
For such a small country, Israel has some very beautiful and unique natural landscapes and vegetation, including forests (those not destroyed by fires like the recent ones on the Carmel Mountains ), wild flowers like the purple “Argamon Iris,” and eco tour areas like the Wadi Ara in the foothills of the Galilee. It has now been announced that a woodland area near the ancient archeological site of Megiddo, the Ramot Menashe region is now designated by UNESCO as a world “Biosphere Reserve” due the ability of natural areas to coexist with human development. According to the UN organization, as noted during a recent conference in Dresden Germany.
Children hiking in Ramot Menashe -photo by Abdullah Shema
A total of 18 new biosphere reserves in various parts of the world were added to the list of such places.
According to UNESCO: “Ramot Menashe encompasses a mosaic of ecological systems that represent the Mediterranean Basin’s version of the global evergreen sclerophyllous forests, woodlands and scrub ecosystem types.”
UNESCO went further to note that due to Israel’s practice of using drip irrigation and recycling of waste water from nearby residential areas, these areas are able to not only conserve water resources but generate sustainable income from a pastoral livelihood.
This water conservation was combined with a decision by area residents to do away with construction in the open areas, including construction for agricultural needs.
The Ramot Menashe forest area consists of a 84,000-dunam (some 20,000 acres) area southwest of the city of Yokne’am; and specifically is in the areas of Kibbutz Ein Hashofet and Kibbutz Galed.
Read more on Israel nature sports:
Green Prophet Eco Tours Wadi Ara Trails and Springs
The Wild Winter Iris in Israel
Worst Fire in Israel’s Modern History Continues to Burn Out of Control
Queengil Provides Sensible Drip Irrigation Tape, Drop by Drop