Rarely does one find a country so small with landscapes so varied as in Israel. In this tiny country of approximately 8,000 square miles (a little smaller than the state of New Jersey), it takes a few hours to drive from the snow-capped mountains in the north to arid desert expanses in the south. Triangular in shape, with the resort town of Eilat at its southern apex and Beer Sheva as its northern base, the Negev has an arid and semi-arid climate, defined according to average rainfall (2 - 6 inches), type of soil and natural vegetation.
Having such poor conditions, the Negev was largely undeveloped and sparsely populated during Israel's first five decades. In spite of this, Israel has succeeded in becoming a world leader in combating the desert and preventing desertification of fertile lands. Through responsible water and soil conservation programs, Israeli techniques have become models in sustainable land management, with worldwide implications. The Negev Foundation, wishing to follow in the footsteps of David Ben-Gurion, has recognized the potential of the Negev and actively promotes desert agricultural innovation in all its spheres, so that not only will the region become economically viable, but also be attractive for settlement.