Mr. Mohammad Sulayem a pioneer in biodiversity and nature conservation and protected areas management at KSA and WESCANA region visited Shouf Biosphere reserve Yesterday, which he visited with Mr. Assad Serhal SPNL Director General in 1996 when it was initiated as Nature Reserve with the kind direction of MP Walid Jumblat back then , and the newly established Ministry of Environment.
In addition to his visit to SPNL office in Beirut, Mr. Sulayem will be visiting several Himas from Ras El Metn Hima to Hima El Mabour El Abied upper Akkar/Hermel regions.
Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL) and Al Shouf Cedar Society (ACS) are working together on a symbolic and pilot sites in the Shouf Mountain and West Beqaa in Lebanon.
As part of the MAVA Foundation’s 2016-2022 strategy, 15 partners in the Mediterranean are collaborating to implement a 6-year programme aimed at conserving Mediterranean Cultural Landscapes (M6 partnership).
Shouf Mountain, is a biodiversity hotspot in terms of plant richness and endemism – it belongs to the major plant endemism areas in the Mediterranean region with >10% range-restricted endemics. The Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve is located at an altitudinal range of about 1000-1980 metres in the southern half of Mount Lebanon, which runs parallel to the Mediterranean coast. It was created in 1996, and includes the Aammiq Wetland in the Beqaa foothills and Qaraoun artificial lake, both designated as IBAs and KBAs. The transition area of the Shouf BR has a population of around 100,000 people living within 22 municipalities of the Shouf, Aley and West Beqaa Districts. The villages surrounding the reserve are characterised by sharp seasonal fluctuation in the number of inhabitants. The project will contribute to building ecological and socio-economic resilience to the impacts of anthropogenic and climate changes that are speeding up ecological degradation and biodiversity loss in the Shouf eco-cultural landscape.
One of the Strategies of the project is to improve scientific knowledge and gather data on biodiversity indicators related to the high value eco-cultural landscape of the Shouf, by designing and setting up monitoring systems and tools to periodically assess the evolution of the ecological functionality of agro-silvo-pastoral systems and wetlands, and the status of key species populations. The project will also tackle the green growth, economic diversification and infrastructures for biodiversity conservation and socio-economic development, building on the unique territorial identity of the Shouf and on the green growth opportunities offered by the production and marketing of agro-forestry products (e.g. medicinal and aromatic/edible plants; honey) and services (eco-tourism), with a special focus on the empowerment of women and youth. The project will also include activities that educate the new generations on the value of the eco-cultural landscape of the Shouf, through building a new generation of environmentally aware and conscious citizens through formal and informal educational actions in the Shouf landscape with the establishment of Homat Al-Hima (HH) place at WBCC, Local Conservation Groups identified and trained and Youth Conservation Clubs (Homat Al-Hima) initiated and supported.