Tag Archive: reforestation


Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. If you watch the news regularly, then you’re probably aware of the new housing complex called “BeitMisk” in the  Metn region of Lebanon. I will not go into details about the housing complex itself; I am not writing this post as an endorsement or rejection of this project. I am, however, interested in one of its advertisements. The management at BeitMisk states that for every tree they uproot, they will plant ten in its place in order to help restore Lebanon to its former beauty.

I sincerely hope there’s truth behind that statement. Given that Lebanon was once 30% forest and is now 13%, it would certainly help! Aside from being beautiful, trees yield to a cleaner, cooler, and more oxygenated environment. It is definitely wise to plant them. Hopefully BeitMisk will follow through on this. One of the key things I’d like to point out about this initiative is that it is private and citizen-based. I’m not suggesting that it is altruistic or non-profitable; it is done in the spirit of advertising, and we all recognize that. Still, it is an effort that leads to environmental improvement. What I think we can take away from this is that we as private citizens have the ability to improve our environment in any way we can.

By “inserting” environmental initiatives wherever we can, we would end up improving our environment a lot. Some companies could follow suit and advertise on environmental levels. Yet others can use education as a vehicle for environmental improvement.  As an undergraduate, one of my former professors would give us additional credit on our tests if we planted ten trees (we had to show him pictures for proof).  ALL of us chose to do it. As such, in one semester and in one class, that was 300 trees. Imagine how much that could extend over time, and how much assistance that lends to the environment! Imagine how much this assists our health, improves our air, and more?

I have been posting about different environmental initiatives (LRI, BankMed, Byblos Bank, Tripoli Youth, and more) not only to praise them, but to lend ideas to others. Let us make environmental concerns a part of our daily lives.  If you are able to slip in an environmental initiative in a program that you participate in, then you will be doing yourself, your environment, and your country a great service. So let’s do it, Lebanon. Let’s take the time and effort to improve the country that we live in. We can do it, Lebanon!!!

Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. The season of Christmas is upon us! Typically, Christmas is a time to give. Let us take this one step further and give not only to each other, but also to the environment…for free!

Recently, Byblos Bank launched a Green Christmas Campaign in which cardholders redeem 33,000 loyalty points for a natural tree to be delivered by Exotica to their homes. After enjoying the tree over the holidays, the Association for Forest Development and Conservation picks it up from the house and plants it in one of Lebanon’s forests. Should you choose to participate in this campaign, not only do you get to enjoy the tree, but you get to contribute to the improvement and beautification of our nation. That’s awesome.

Lebanon, it is important for us take advantage of any possible environmental initiative that we possibly can and help our country. We can do it, Lebanon!  

Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. Have you all heard of the reforestation project going on in Lebanon? The  National Forest Program is a plan designed by various NGOs and the Ministry of Agriculture to bring our forested land up to 20% from its current 13%. In numbers, this means adding two  million new trees each year. Fortunately, they aren’t at it alone.

A new NGO, the Lebanese Reforestation Initiative (LRI) was created for this purpose. Funded by USAID, the LRI started planting in five sites around the country in November. Armed with 120,000 seedlings that  include cedar,  pine, wild almond, juniper, fir and oak, this NGO is going to help reforest Lebanon. Most importantly, they plan to ensure that these plants survive once they have been planted,  which entails monitoring these seedlings for a minimum of three years.

Also, the LRI is working with local communities on a grassroots approach  to reforestation. Over the last year, in the run up to the launch of this  season’s first planting season, the NGO has been working with nine native tree  nurseries in Lebanon to help them modernize their methods and promote better  practices in terms of how seedlings are planted. As part of the LRI’s policy of engaging with the local community, the NGO is  aiming to hire 25 people in each of the five sites in which they are reforesting, be it as  full-time guards, part-time planters, or seasonal workers.

Aside from teaching new methods and employment, the LRI is also working with  local schools and communities to boost awareness of reforestation efforts, and  the benefits that forests provide. The NGO is also working to highlight the dangers  of forest fires. My fellow Lebanese, I think this group’s initiative is awesome.

However, the LRI has funding for only four years. After that it will become an independent entity. Hopefully by then it will be able to secure funding from private donors to survive and continue working to restore our once glorious forests. However, that depends on us. My fellow Lebanese, I ask that we all support the LRI in this initiative that will give us cleaner and healthier air, a more beautiful country, and more. This is the country we know and love and its up to us to protect it. Let us do it in any way we can, be it by fundraising, participating in such initiatives, spreading awareness, and more. Let us work together for the improvement of our nation. We can do it, Lebanon!!!

Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. You know we complain about how hot (above 30 Celsius!) it gets during the summer, and because of our generators and poor electricity we can’t always put on the A/C, so we swelter? It turns out that there is an easy way to combat this: planting trees and plants. Did you know that the net cooling effect of a SINGLE young healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-sized air conditioners operating 20 hours a day?

Awesome. 

Best of all, planting trees gives us other benefits, too. 

By virtue of how they function, trees and other plants absorb heat-trapping gases and release oxygen. They also trap particulates that are found in these gaseous emissions. As such, they reduce the effects of the emissions from cars, trucks, and other machinery that produce fuel emissions.  Given that the trees absorb these heat-trapping (and often harmful) gases and give us clean oxygen instead, we get both cleaner and cooler air if we plant trees.

Nor is this the only additional benefit. Trees also act as a barrier in terms of noise pollution, something we desperately need. In addition, by virtue of their roots, trees prevent soil erosion, and prevent run-off rainwater because their roots absorb it. We know how the water floods down the streets when it rains; we get muddy water and need to jump from sidewalk to sidewalk to avoid getting our pants and shoes dirty. Planting some trees could really a make a difference not only in terms of temperature, but in terms of water control and soil erosion as well. Lastly, nature has a naturally soothing impact on people; it makes them calmer, happier, and more relaxed.   

My fellow Lebanese, preserving our green and reforesting where we can clearly has several benefits. Our beautiful mountains once earned us the name “Lebanon the Green.” Today they are being eaten up by concrete. Do you like sweltering heat or muddy rainwater? Do you like breathing dirty air, knowing that planting trees and other plants could mitigate that effect? Do you like looking at your beautiful country knowing that it is being ruined by the over-expansion of buildings with little thought to urban planning? This country is ours, and its future is up to us.

So let’s do it. Let’s participate in reforestation projects. Let’s plant some green on our balconies. Let us avoid building illegally and illegal rock quarrying. Let us advocate for stricter guidelines regarding building licenses, and for more urban planning. Let us advocate for green spaces in Beirut. Let us advocate for what is best for us and for our nation. We can do it, Lebanon!!!