Karma Bouazza, Mark Vander Meer
In Lebanon, as in other countries worldwide, riparian ecosystems are more susceptible to declines in biodiversity than other terrestrial ecosystems (Sala et al, 2000). Riparian forests cover a surface area of 58 hectares, representing 0.04% of the total forest cover (MoA/FAO, 2005). Considering the existing number of permanent and seasonal streams and rivers in Lebanon, this percentage can be described as low. The ecological status of riparian habitats in Lebanon has drastically changed, mainly due to land use changes. The privatization of lands adjacent to riverbanks has led to the noticeable land cover changes in riparian areas. Major areas have turned into intensive agricultural and industrial activities, with a lack of urban planning regulation on important buffer zones and impacting natural resources and functions of riparian areas . In addition, as a result of the continuing political conflicts in the region, refugee settlements near rivers have added pressure on riparian ecosystems, hindering the proper implementation of rehabilitation/restoration measures. With current management still failing at enabling a proper ecological functioning of these areas (González, et al. 2017), appropriate rehabilitation/restoration practices are needed considering a multi-scale approach. The following webinar will cover how to accurately plan riparian rehabilitation projects and develop customized rehabilitation plans targeting fauna and flora conservation and re-establishing riparian functions, in areas with limited resources, while taking into considerations the social norms and other political and economic limitations.
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program