Over the past three years, Al-Shouf Cedar Society has been engaged in forestation/restoration work in the Shouf Biosphere Reserve, mainly through the Mediterranean Mosaics (MM) project, which seeks to address the threat that socio-economic and climate changes pose to extensive semi-natural, biodiversity-rich landscapes and protected areas around the Mediterranean Basin.
Al-Shouf Cedar Society (ACS) was established in 1994 with the specific objective of leading the management of the Shouf Biosphere Reserve (SBR). The core mission of ACS is the conservation of the natural and cultural heritage of the Shouf Biosphere Reserve, in cooperation with the local institutions and communities, through the development and implementation of environmental, awareness and rural development activities. Since 2012, and in the framework of the Mediterranean Mosaics project, ACS developed a pilot Adaptation and Restoration Plan (ARP) that covers an ecological corridor connecting the Beqaa Valley and the Ammiq wetland in the east to the western slopes of the Shouf Mountains. So far, the pilot work has been implemented in seven sites along the corridor, with a mix of forestation and landscape restoration techniques, for a total of approximately 45 Hectares.
The project is implemented in two biodiversity hotspots of Lebanon and Italy, where the socio-economic crisis of the rural society and the impact of global warming and climate change are speeding up the loss and degradation of the traditional mosaic landscapes and extensive agro-forestry systems. During the three years of its first phase, the project will: (i) Foster the formulation of participated landscape visions and plans following the Landscape Design Statement approach developed in the UK; (ii) Design and implement pilot restoration plans to increase the connectivity and resilience of forest and river ecosystems, as a partnership between private sector, authorities, and the civil society; (iii) Improve the skills and knowledge management of local teams; (iv) Engage in fundraising to secure additional resources for project expansion.
The project addresses the need to build “disturbance-smart” socio-ecosystems at the landscape level, by engaging local societies and decision makers in the formulation and subsequent put in practice of a shared “landscape vision". In the meantime, the project addresses urgent needs to restore ecosystem connectivity and functionality, through the implementation of pilot fieldwork in priority sites.
The MM project took off in July 2012. ACS, with the support of international technical assistance, developed an Adaptation and Restoration Plan (ARP) and started full field implementation in autumn of 2012, with the agreement of the local authorities. The ARP implemented by ACS covers an ecological corridor connecting the Beqaa Valley and the Ammiq wetland in the east to the Dalboun Forest on western slopes of the Shouf Mountains, through the watershed line and the Cedar habitat. So far, the forestation/restoration work has been implemented in seven sites along the corridor, with a mix of techniques consisting of direct sowing, planting of seedlings, fenced planting, direct sowing and seedling planting, for a total of approx. 47 Hectares:
Size of Area ARP Intervention
Area 1 (4.28 Ha) Direct sowings at an altitude of 1,500-2,000 m
Area 2 (26 Ha) Plantations at an altitude of 1,500-2,000 m
Area 3 (7.5 Ha) Seedling planting in grazing areas (1,000-1,350 m)
Area 4 (4 Ha) Direct sowing & Seedling planting in Mrusti
Area 5 (2 Ha) Plantations at Ammiq Wetland
Area 6 (2 Ha) Plantations in abandoned agriculture terraces
Area 7 (1 Ha) Pruning activities in the Dalboun Forest
for more info, kindly contact our members at:
Mirna Riman - Environmental Awareness Coordinator