The 12,000 residents in Rmeich live alongside one of the last remaining forests in Lebanon’s far south, the Al Waara. But every year, wildfires rage with increasing intensity and frequency while local civil defense and firefighting capacities continually decrease due to the deteriorating economic situation. Litter and solid waste dumping in the forest are furthering the wildfire threat and degrading the forest ecosystem. Regular fires present a threat to human life, to the local economy, to the forest’s sensitive ecosystem, and to the many untrained and vulnerable youth who put their lives at risk to protect their village during fire outbreaks.
haracterizing the breadth and depth of a 30 year old open dump in the forest, conceptualizing pathways to appropriately dispose of the dump’s multiple types of waste, conducting participatory development of a forest management plan, consulting with the larger community to survey desired features for a green space (potentialities include a trail, an open space for classroom learning, benches...), and supporting the community’s revival of its historically healthy and mutually-beneficial relationship with the forest.