The President of Germany, Frank Walter Steinmeier, visited the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research (BIDR) along with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Friday, July 2, 2021. The two presidents were received by Professor Daniel Chamovitz, President of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and Professor Noam Weisbrod, Director of the Blaustein Institutes. They were given a tour of the Sede Boqer Campus.
The presidents were briefed by Prof. Weisbrod on numerous studies that BIDR researchers are conducting in desertification (the process by which fertile land becomes barren), water scarcity, desert agriculture, renewable energy, ecosystem dynamics, dryland sustainability, and climate change.
They also met with several researchers (Prof. Arnon, Prof. Visoly-Fischer, and Prof. Fait) and graduate students from Germany, Israel, and Gaza, who explained the energy conversion and water purification systems that could lead to more sustainable living, particularly in arid lands. After concluding their tour of the different laboratories, Presidents Rivlin and Steinmeier tasted wine made in an experimental vineyard located at the BIDR. They learned about the connections between climate change and the quality of the wine. They were told of how Israel has become a model for other countries suffering from climate change and its impact on food security.
Photographer: Shlomi Znati