Lebanon has been a part of many regional projects aimed at conserving biodiversity. Examples of such projects include:
1. Conservation of Wetlands and Coastal Zones in the Mediterranean
(March 2002-March 2006, MoE/FFEM/UNDP)
Lebanon is part of the MedWet Coast project which is a Mediterranean initiative under the Ramsar Convention. It is a regional project that includes along with Lebanon, Albania, Tunisia, Morocco, and the Palestinian Authority. The regional component is managed and coordinated by the Regional Facilitation Unit (RFU) based in the Tour du Valat in France.
The MedWet Coast Lebanon project’s overall development objective is to conserve globally endangered species and their habitats recognizing nature conservation as an integral part of sustainable human development while improving the capacity of governmental and non-governmental agencies to address Biodiversity conservation issues in two main sites: The Tyre Coast Nature Reserve and the Wetland of Aamiq. The project in Lebanon is funded by the FFEM (Fonds Francais pour l’Environment Mondial). The national executing agency for the project is the Ministry of Environment, and the project is managed by UNDP.
2. Integrated Management of Cedar Forests In Lebanon in Cooperation with other Mediterranean Countries (Tannourine Project)
This is a three-year project started in July of 2004 and funded by the Global Environment Facility, implemented by UNEP, executed by the MOE and managed by the American University of Beirut. The aim was to develop an action plan for integrated sustainable management of the Tannourine cedar forest, and address the serious threat of invasive insects arising in Tannourine–Haddath El-Jebbeh forest, affecting 70% of one of the 12 surviving stands of Cedar forests in Lebanon. so the largest.. The objectives of the project are:
a. Develop a sustainable management plan that addresses possible threats to the ecosystem of cedar forests and means of removal of these threats. The management plan will include the following secondary objectives:
i) Understand the causes of Cephalcia outbreak in Tannourine and assess the possible threats of similar outbreaks in cedar forests in the Mediterranean region.
ii) Develop a pest management plan applied to the Tannourine forest and adapt this plan to other cedar forests in the region through dissemination of knowledge and best practice.
b. Increased institutional and community knowledge exchange, networking, education and capacity building for the management of cedar forests.
3. Conservation and Sustainable Use of Dryland Agrobiodiversity in the Near East” (Agrobiodiversity project)
With grant funding from the GEF, Lebanon was part of a regional project (Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria) on the “Conservation and Sustainable Use of Dryland Agrobiodiversity in the Near East”. This five-year project (1999-2004) was implemented by the Lebanese Agriculture Research Institute (LARI) and UNDP and brought together several international organizations. Implementing partners included several local academic and research institutions and NGOs. Many experts were involved in this project to characterize the floristic richness and study the genetic diversity and potential uses of selected species. The project aimed at promoting the conservation and preservation of important wild relatives and landraces of agricultural species by introducing and testing in-situ and on-farm mechanisms and techniques of conservation and sustainable use of agro-biodiversity in three pilot sites located in mountainous areas in Lebanon.
Project sites were selected following certain criteria and a farm socio-economic survey and botanical surveys were completed. Several approaches were followed by the project in order to achieve short-term training for technical staff and farmers, and integrating the project activities with activities conducted by other institutions and other projects working in the same area. One fruit tree nursery was established in cooperation with Aarsal Rural Development Society and another nursery is planned to be established in Ham. Water-harvesting interventions were implemented at two project sites representing two agro-ecologies. Several training courses on water harvesting were conducted with participation of technical staff and farmers. Three ex-situ field gene-banks were established at LARI, the implementing institution. Legislation related to agro-biodiversity was reviewed but focused more on the adaptation of local laws to international conventions (mainly CBD) than on the preparation of the ground for domestic policies that would allow the better use and management of natural resources by local populations. In the area of public awareness, many workshops introducing the project have been held. An agro-biodiversity training program for school teachers has been prepared. Numerous newspaper articles and leaflets have been issued. Hundreds of hats, T-shirts and calendars have been distributed. Four potential additional sources of income to the target communities were investigated: apiculture, local food processing, processing of fruits from wild species and eco-tourism.
4. Strategic Action Plan for the Conservation of biological diversity in the Mediterranean Region (SAP-BIO)
This project is for the preparation of a Strategic Action Plan for the Conservation of biological diversity in the Mediterranean Region. The SAP BIO project was implemented in 2002 by RAC/SPA within the framework of the UNEP/MAP. It aims at developing a Strategic Action Plan for the Conservation of marine and biological diversity in the Mediterranean Region. For that purpose, each Mediterranean country has developed a national report about marine and coastal biodiversity and national action plans for its conservation. Lebanon through the Ministry of Environment has developed its national report in 2002 and prepared five priority action plans in this regards and submitted them to RAC-SPA.