Thanks to Kalam-el-Nas episode tonight on LBC, I knew that Lebanon won the Michel Batisse Award for Biosphere Reserve Management for the project in the Chouf Biosphere Reserve. I was very surprised not to know about that, especially that Barouk village, where the largest part of the Cedars reserve resides, is my hometown. I’m really sad that in Lebanon media would rather focus on shameful political news than on such great achievements.
The Michel Batisse Award for Biosphere Reserve Management is given every 2 years, since 2005, in memory of Dr Michel Batisse and rewards efforts to manage biosphere reserves in line with internationally recognized standards. The deadline of submission was in January 2011. Case studies, from 106 countries, were examined by the International Advisory Committee for Biosphere Reserves. Finalists were from Madagascar, Indonesia, Mexico, Argentina, Bulgaria, Belgium, Russian Federation, Costa Rica, Thailand, Colombia, Korea and Lebanon.
The Michel Batisse Award, announced this month, went to Nizar Hani (Lebanon) for his case study on “Creative and innovative approaches to fighting poverty, improving subsistence resources and ensuring sustainability in the Chouf Biosphere Reserve”.
Chouf Cedar Nature Reserve
Great work is being done in Chouf Cedar Reserve. I go there on regular basis and I’m seeing improvements each time. The Chouf Cedar Nature Reserve, the largest of Lebanon nature reserves, hosts 32 species of wild mammals, 200 species of birds, and 500 species of plants. These Cedar forests account for a quarter of the remaining cedar forest in Lebanon, and some trees are estimated to be more than 2,000 years old. You can read all about it on Wikipedia. You can also check the official website here.
If you haven’t been there yet, I really advise you to go ASAP. There is a lot to see and there are many available activities such as hiking and trekking, bird watching, mountain biking and snow shoeing.