Lebanon hosts 98 protected areas, representing more than 20% of its area

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2023-03-16 | 12:09
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Lebanon hosts 98 protected areas, representing more than 20% of its area
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Lebanon hosts 98 protected areas, representing more than 20% of its area

Lebanon's Ministry of Environment, in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), launched the "Survey of Protected Areas in Lebanon," presenting, for the first time, the number and area of protected areas in Lebanon in addition to maps defining 98 protected sites that constitute more than 20 percent of Lebanon's area.   

The territories include different protected areas, such as nature reserves, natural sites, protected forests, biosphere reserves, and wetland sites.    

The area increases when adding the main biodiversity areas and calculating the planned natural sites and reserves. 

The survey will form an extensive database on all types of protected areas available through the Ministry of Environment to support future efforts in preserving and properly managing Lebanon's environment and nature.    

Additionally, the survey was launched with the framework of the STEP4Nature project funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation through the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation. 

Caretaker Environment Minister, Nasser Yassin, stressed the importance of protected areas in Lebanon, expressing "the interest of the Ministry of Environment to discuss innovative means to protect and manage protected areas with all concerned departments and the local community." 

He said those areas preserve the country's natural capital if adequately managed, and the local economic activity associated with protected areas, such as ecotourism, sustainable agriculture, and sustainable land use.   

Mohammed Salih, Deputy Resident Representative at UNDP, noted the importance of supporting nature conservation in a country "renowned for its rich biodiversity and natural heritage."   

The survey results drew attention to the crucial roles of protected areas in nature conservation and their contribution to national commitments under international conventions, namely the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, and the Convention on Biological Diversity.    

The survey also showed ways to monitor protected areas in Lebanon using several criteria and indicators.
 

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