Old abandoned terraces surveying and restoration as a contribution to the adaptive forest landscape restoration in Lebanon

The Shouf Biosphere Reserve (SBR), with a surface of 50,000 ha is located in Mount Lebanon, Lebanon. SBR harbors a rich flora with about 1,100 species, many of them with edible, aromatic and medicinal properties. The landscape includes a mosaic of agro-silvo-pastoral systems, characterized by pastures, forests – including the largest expanse of Cedrus libani forests in Lebanon – and traditional agriculture terraces (olives, fruit trees). Landscape in the SBR is the result of: i) overuse of habitats and wild plant species; ii) inadequate policies on land use planning; iii) rural abandonment resulting in soil erosion, agro-biodiversity loss, and the conversion of agricultural land into chaotic urbanization; iv) agriculture intensification, pollution. Climate change trends in the region are already exacerbating environmental risks (forest fires, water scarcity). Building resilience in the SBR through forest landscape restoration entails interventions to strengthen the adaptive capacity of the social and ecological politics in the region. The project developed protocols for the production and sustainable use of high quality plant material of more than 40 native plant species. An advanced method for monitoring and large scale detailed mapping was used to improve the investigation of terraces. More than 12 ha of degraded terraces were restored and planted with native fruit tree species and shrubs. Sustainable farming in the restored terraces implied combined actions on: i) biodiversity conservation – both the diversification of planted species and cultivars, and the conservation and management of marginal habitats linked to farming system; ii) organic food production; and iii) the management of agriculture waste to reduce environmental risks while generating new revenues. © 2021 International Society for Horticultural Science. All rights reserved.

Hani N.1 , Regato P.2 , Pagliani M.2 , Khaddazh M. 3 , Vernyuk Y.I. 3 , Sarkis L.1 , BuHussein R.1 , Buwadi M.1 , Dokukin P. 3
International Society for Horticultural Science
  • 1 Shouf Biosphere Reserve Manager and Scientific Team, Park House, Village Square, Maaser, Lebanon
  • 2 International consultants, San Gerardo 8, Madrid, 28035, Spain
  • 3 Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University), Miklukho-Maklaya 6, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation
Agriculture terraces; Biodiversity conservation; Climate change adaptation; Forest landscape restoration; High quality plant material; Socio-economic development
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