New guidelines for reforestation in Lebanon

02 December 2011 | News story

An IUCN guide to the cultivation of 30 native tree species in Lebanon was launched on 30 November at the Lebanese University’s Department of Agronomy as part of a major reforestation effort in the country.

During recent years there has been increasing interest in restoring the forest landscapes of Lebanon. A number of initiatives supporting different reforestation activities are being developed in the country. Most initiatives, however, have been focusing on no more than three tree species, partly because of the lack of technical references for native species production.

The vision behind this publication is to provide a handbook that covers all the technical aspects of restoration, from seed collection, through seedling production in the nursery, to planting out in the field. This will hopefully help in the process of planning and design, which is essential for supporting the restoration of forest landscapes. The handbook is divided into four main sections: Chapter one describes the procedure for seed collection, processing and storage. The principles of nursery management are then examined, from bare-root production of forest species (chapter two) to production of seedlings in containers (chapter three). Finally, the principles of planting and sowing in the field are described in chapter four.

The second part of the manual  includes nearly 30 protocols for propagating native plants that are important for restoration purposes, including trees and shrubs. Together they should provide a solid foundation for Lebanon’s foresters and others interested in producing native plants. The selection of species described here is not exhaustive, but they have been chosen for their ability to support ecological restoration and provide goods and services in the long term. In time this list will need to be expanded to include other species and practices of interest.

This publication was made possible by the efforts of many institutions and was coordinated by the Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN–Med), thanks to financial support from the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Spanish International Development Cooperation Agency (AECID).

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This image shows the courtship behavior of Indian Bull frogs (Holobatrachus tigerinus). During the monsoon, the breeding males become bright yellow in color, while females remain dull. The prominent blue vocal sacs of male produce strong nasal mating call.