As Lebanon loses more than 40% of its forests, the environmental Lebanese NGO Jouzour Loubnan (Roots of Lebanon) has just initiated its 2021’s reforestation season in Lebanon.
The main goal is to restore degraded forest ecosystems, especially after Lebanon’s devastating wildfires in 2019.
Jouzour Loubnan also raises awareness about the importance of biodiversity and promotes sustainable reforestation.
Stephanie Al-Ahmar, the NGO’s communication manager, told 961, “We mainly plant native Cedar trees. We planted more than 400,000 trees across Lebanon. In 2021, until now, we planted 200 trees in partnership with Allianz on November 5th, and 340 trees with CMA-CGM on November 6th.”
Jouzour Loubnan reaches out to companies and NGOs throughout the year for donations. “We plan for this season during the year because we can’t plant in the summer when the soil is dry. After the first rainy days, the planting season officially starts until it snows,” Al-Ahmar explained.
She also pointed out that the NGO doesn’t only plant trees. It waters them, protects their roots, and ensures that they’re healthy until they can nourish on their own.
Al-Ahmad told us that the NGO chooses its sites “in collaboration with municipalities or religious institutions.”
Lebanon has many religious endowment lands, which the Jouzour Loubnan considers for planting native tree species.
The environmental organization now has around 15 plantation sites, including religious endowment lands and public properties, across the country, in Bekaa, North, South, and Mount Lebanon.
In 2009, Jouzour Loubnan created its Seed Bank at Saint Joseph University (USJ). Seeds are stocked based on international standards, conserving Lebanon’s threatened species and developing germination in the future.
USJ provides scientific support and consultancy through the Faculty of Science’s expertise and the Laboratory of Seed Conservation and Germination (LSCG).
Now internationally recognized, the bank has more than 1.5 million stocked seeds.
The NGO also collaborates with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Rotary Club, Discovery Beyond Borders, Beirut Cedars, the German Embassy, and the LebaneseArmy.
Planting towards sustainable forests and engaging Lebanese in reforestation, Jouzour Loubnan contributes to a greener Lebanon.