Snow is a serious matter for Lebanon. So serious, in fact, that the white part of the Lebanese flag represents the country’s snowy mountains. Snow also plays an important economic role, since Lebanon’s six ski resorts draw tourists from nearby countries. Most significant of all, however, is the fact that the mountain soil absorbs the slowly melting snow, replenishing Lebanon’s mountain aquifers. Especially considering the highly alarming drought conditions throughout the region, snow is “crucial for the survival of Lebanese.”
So it’s not surprising that over 95 activists gathered in Faraya, Lebanon on Sunday to take a stand against climate change (although it is certainly exciting!). Participants, organized by the Leage of Independent Activists (IndyACT), drew a symbolic line across the snow to demand goverments “draw the line” on snow cover loss, a major consequence of climate change.
In an official statement issued yesterday, Executive Director of IndyACT and Arab Climate Alliance coordinator Wael Hmaidan said, “If we do not take climate change seriously enough, we will reach a point where we will need to remove the white color from our flag, and start importing water for our survival.”
The event was part of the global 350 campaign, which draws attention to the scientific targets of climate change prevention. Climate scientists say we need to reduce the atmospheric concentration of CO2 from the current 385 parts per million (ppm) to 350 ppm by the year 2050 to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change. Activists called on Arab governments to memorize this number.
They also urged individuals and organizations aross the Arab world to mobilize around this target, especially in regards to the December 2009 global climate talks in Copenhagen, Denmark, where the international community is set to finalize the next global climate regime. “This treaty is considered by many as our last chance to save the planet. Citizens of the world need to know that if the most important number, 350, is not there then our governments have failed us,” stated Hmaidan.
For more information about IndyAct’s climate campaign, visit their website.
Image courtesy of IndyAct
For more on climate change in the Middle East:
Kuwait Perspective of How To Take Stock of Climate Change
Can the Cedars of Lebanon Survive Climate Change?
Arab Climate Alliance Perspective on Poznan Climate Talks