On September 3rd, Minister of Environment Fadi Jreissati launched the National Campaign to Protect Forestry from Fires, in cooperation with the Lebanon Reforestation Initiative and Association for Forests, Development and Conservation – AFDC, during a conference held at the Palace of Conventions in Dbayeh in the presence of numerous officials and public figures.
During the conference Minister Jreissati explained that the conference is about taking “positive initiative and quick steps that starts next Sunday, 8th of September, which is a date for all Lebanese who are keen on the remaining of green areas to help 120 municipalities at risk of fire… .”
He went on explaining, “This work will be completed from September 15 to April 15 to clean up the forests and cut away the dead branches, while the longer-term plan will extend from April to September as the real fire season to begin.”
The National Campaign to Prevent Forest Fires kicked off on Sunday, September 8th, in the village of Sohmar – West Bekaa. The ceremony was organized by the municipality of Sohmar under the patronage of Minister Jreissati and in the presence of numerous officials as well as environmental and scout associations and a crowd of people.
On this day, Minister Jreissati initiated this campaign in his own way by participating in cleaning up the forest from weeds to prevent fire hazards in the future.
Last month, the Lebanon Reforestation Initiative (LRI) and the Association for Forest Development and Conservation (AFDC) launched as well a campaign titled “Don’t Risk It” to educate municipalities and local community members, through social networking sites, on several actions that can help prevent forest fires in Lebanon.
It is worth bringing to your attention that Lebanon loses an average of 1,500 hectares of its woodland each year due to forest fires.
The director of the Land and Natural Resources Program at Balamand University, George Mitri, stated that around 34 percent of the country’s territory is at moderate to high risk of fires this year, based on a 2019 study he prepared in coordination with the Environment Ministry.