As Lebanon’s crisis persists, dire need for energy is forcing people to turn to natural resources like fuel wood and the sale of ornamental young trees to cover their basic needs. Not only do tree felling and overgrazing pose a risk for the endangered shouh tree (Cicilian fir), but inflammatory armed disputes over timber (with two disputes occurring this year alone) and declining ecosystem health also threaten to disrupt Akkar’s social stability.

Current Activities

Conducting ecological surveys documenting species diversity in the forest and assessing forest health, counting and mapping seedlings and young trees of the endangered and regionally-endemic Cicilian fir tree, understanding forest land-use patterns and specifically the drawbacks and benefits of current grazing activities by interviewing shepherds, and developing possible sustainability initiatives (eg: plant nursery for ornamental young Cicilian fir-trees and creation of alternative heating fuel from forest debris) that would reduce risk to the forest while still allowing local inhabitants to derive economic value from the land.