Lebanon NGO Plants Ancient Species to Reclaim Arid Land

1500-year-old Lebanese oak treeThis Lebanese oak tree has survived for 1500 years, but many others were destroyed in recent forest fires.

Sawdust from Lebanese cedars has been found in ancient Egyptian tombs, and the Bible recounts how the trees were brought to Jerusalem for the building of Solomon’s Temple.  The cedar even appears on the Lebanese flag. But with climate change and the devastation caused by forest fires, Lebanon can’t take these great trees for granted.

Fortunately, the local NGO Jouzour Loubnan has stepped into the breach and begun planting three ancient species— cedars, almonds and carob. Carob and almond provide fruit, while planting native trees ensures that the ecosystem can sustain them.

The NGO is being assisted by the Lebanese Armed Forces and the United  Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. Jouzour Loubnan co-founder Hiba Aboushosn said, “Our system has proved very successful and our tree survival rate is around 90 percent. . . . For every one of our trees that die we make sure we plant another one . . . but our main focus is not reforestation and we largely work on [reclaiming] land.”

The trees will be watched carefully during the first three years to protect them from livestock and disease. Most trees will be planted strategically in high, arid places where they will have the most effect on the environment and encourage biodiversity.

Jonzour Loubnan plans to plant 10,542 trees, one for every square mile of Lebanon.

“This initiative is illustrative of the spirit of conviviality that rules in the country of the Cedars, hopeful that the seedlings will be tokens of hope for the whole of Lebanon,” said French Embassy charge d’affaires Didier Chabert.
More green posts on Lebanon:

Beirut Politicizes The City’s Dirty, Dangerous Green Inch

TreeShirt Brings Graphic Tees and Tree Plantings to Lebanon

Source: Daily Star

Photo credit: Serge Melki

About Hannah Katsman

Hannah learned environmentalism from her mother, a conservationist before it was in style. Once a burglar tried to enter their home in Cincinnati after noticing the darkened windows (covered with blankets for insulation) and the snow-covered car in the driveway. Mom always set the thermostat for 62 degrees Fahrenheit (17 Celsius) — 3 degrees lower than recommended by President Nixon — because “the thermostat is in the dining room, but the stove’s pilot light keeps the kitchen warmer.”Her mother would still have preferred today’s gas-saving pilotless stoves.Hannah studied English in college and education in graduate school, and arrived in Petach Tikva in 1990 with her husband and oldest child. Her mother died suddenly six weeks after Hannah arrived and six weeks before the first Gulf War, and Hannah stayed anyway. She has taught English but her passion is parental education and support, especially breastfeeding.She recently began a new blog about energy- and time-efficient meal preparation called CookingManager.Com. You can find her thoughts on parenting, breastfeeding, Israeli living and women in Judaism at A Mother in Israel.Hannah can be reached at hannahk (at) greenprophet (dot) com.

One thought on “Lebanon NGO Plants Ancient Species to Reclaim Arid Land”

  1. it ‘s a pity that lebanese foresters cannot cooperate with their israeli collegues,who have huge experience(about 1000000 trees are planted each year in israel!) in a very similar environment and use smart and sustainable techniques(such as the contour line planting!)…

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