IOLR Prof. Buki Rinkevich addresses JNF Sustainability Summit

IOLR Prof. Buki Rinkevich addressed the first JNF Sustainability Summit held in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sunday, April 28, 2013.  He appeared on a panel entitled “Israeli Innovation That  Makes the World A Better Place” and talked about coral reef restoration.

Prof. Buki Rinkevich, IOLR

Prof. Buki Rinkevich, IOLR-NIO

Rinkevich and his team at IOLR’s National Institute of Oceanography have been working for many years to develop aquaculture techniques that can be applied to active restoration of dying coral reefs.

His methods, which were proven in successful experiments on Israel’s reefs in the Gulf of Eilat, have been adopted by leading international funders of environmental restoration projects. Pilot projects to replant coral reefs are under way in tropical seas around the world.

At the Sustainability Summit, Jewish National Fund (JNF) for the first time brought together Israeli innovators and young JNF leaders from around the US to discuss global sustainability initiatives.

On the same panel with Prof. Rinkevich were Michael Granoff of Better Place discussing Israeli innovation in electric car infrastructure, Naty Barak of Netafim, the world leader in drip irrigation, and Rachel Ishofsky of Innovation Africa, which brings Israeli solar electric and agritech technologies to rural African villages.

Other panels included “From Start-Up Nation to Partnership Nation,” featuring Patricia Mulroy, General Manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority who talked about modernizing the water infrastructure of southern Nevada; Booky Oren who presented on Israeli startups impacting the water infrastructure industry; Sharon Megdal, Director of the Water Resources Research Center at the University of Arizona, who cited Israeli and JNF water solutions that apply to the Colorado River watershed; and Prof. Alon Tal of the Arava Institute who talked about the role of regulation in sustainable water markets.

Rinkevich was well received. Summit participants were able to relate to the parallels between JNF forest planting and coral reef replanting. Both are active interventions to recreate sustainable ecological communities that enhance the natural world.

IOLR partners with JNF USA in coral reef restoration research projects.