In a special emergency meeting held today, the Ministry of Tourism in cooperation with representatives of the KKL-JNF USA, decided to embark on a wide-ranging joint operation to raise funds among both the American Jewish community and the thousands of American Evangelical Christian communities for the rehabilitation of the Carmel forest region, destroyed during the fire that has raged in recent days.

Fundraising campaigns aimed at forest restoration will begin this week in both communities with a view to planting trees to rehabilitate the Carmel forest area during Tu Bishvat, which falls next on January 20, 2011.

The Tourism Ministry and KKL-JNF USA have recently begun to cooperate promoting incoming environmental tourism and religious tourism – Jewish and Evangelical Christian, which includes the experience of planting trees throughout the country. In this framework, thousands of priests from large churches across North America, among others, have been recruited to participate in tree-planting campaigns.