USAID, Ministry of Agriculture and Nature Conservation Center at AUB Launch the “National Guidelines for Native Nursery Management: Trees & Shrubs”
The Lebanon Reforestation Initiative (LRI), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by the United States Forest Service and the Nature Conservation Center at the American University of Beirut (AUB–NCC), launched the “National Guidelines for Native Nursery Management: Trees & Shrubs.” These guidelines were developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and set standards for native tree seedling production and forestry management. The guidelines capture more than eight years of experience under the USAID LRI project and its partners, as well as nearly 20 years of research by NAC-AUB.
The launch event was attended by representative of the Ministry of Agriculture Dr. Dahej Al Mokdad, Chief of Service of Forest and Nature Resources at the MoA, Dr. William Butterfield, USAID/Lebanon Economic Office Growth Director, Dr. Zaher Dawy, Associate Provost at AUB representing AUB President, and Dr. Rabi Mohtar, Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences at AUB. Members from the Cooperative of Native Tree producers of Lebanon, Ministry of Agriculture, international donors and various reforestation stakeholders in the country were also in attendance.
Dr. Butterfield highlighted the United States Government commitment to improving Lebanon’s landscape restoration, stating that this initiative will unify expertise on the national level regarding the production of native trees and shrubs seedlings. “They (the guidelines) are a great model of the results that universities, private, and public sector actors can achieve when they work together. These guidelines and best practices will reach every governmental and non-governmental stakeholder to improve seedling quality nationwide.”
Dr. Dawy highlighted the successful collaboration between AUB as an Academic Institution and the LRI project in developing the guidelines. He said, “Today we witness one best example of how the culmination of several years of research and experimentation at AUB-NCC is simplified in an illustrative manual and shared openly with local stakeholders and the public.”
Dr. Mohtar in his remarks affirmed “AUB NCC reforestation program seeks to enable villages to lead their own tree planting campaigns by providing knowledge and know-how about native Lebanese trees, their protection and conservation, as well as their production, planting, and maintenance.”
Dr. Dahej announced the adoption of these practices that are highlighted in the guidelines. He said, “For the pressing challenges plan, it was necessary to approach the subject in a serious manner and with full commitment, and to mobilize efforts, not only on the public institutions’ level, because everyone is concerned with supporting the government in conserving a healthy biosphere, and the efforts you made are the best example of the close collaboration between the relevant ministries and the research centers.”
For more details, please contact:
LRI, Ms. Jana Al Jawhari: 05-951521-6 / 70-072 063