Nature Reserves

 “Nature Reserves” is the most well-established, managed, and studied form of PAs in the country they are created for the purpose of protecting natural habitats as well as endemic and endangered species. Reserves are created through legislative texts defining their geographical borders, objectives, restricted and allowed activities within the reserves and within a 500-meter buffer zone, penalties, and management committees to be in charge of the reserves.

Nature Reserves occupy around 2.7% of the country’s area and incorporate rich biodiversity with about 370 different kinds of birds and 2,000 types of plants and wild flowers, many of which are endemic to Lebanon. The nature reserves also host 30 species of mammals, including the wolf, hyena, wildcat, porcupine and squirrel.

Nature Reserves have an important role in the protection and sustainable management of natural resources, especially biodiversity. They also constitute a crucial component in local and rural development, through the influx of visitor who contribute, via ecotourism, to the income of local communities living within the area of natural reserves. The reserves’ committees always work on enhancing the benefits of local communities without compromising the reserve’s status by involving locals in their activities. For example, visiting and trekking guides are trained locals in all reserves, visits to the Palm Islands are solely scheduled via local fishermen and boat owners, and Al-Shouf Cedar Reserve implemented a rural development project whereby visitors are introduced to local crafts and can purchase local products labelled as products of the reserve. Furthermore, Nature Reserves in Lebanon have a major awareness and educational role. Inventories of floral and faunal species are available for each reserve, research projects are on-going as part of the reserves’ activities, knowledge is transferred through the reserves’ websites, pamphlets, brochures, books, television interviews, magazines, newspapers, and educational activities.

We have 18 nature reserves in Lebanon.

 

Nature Reserves in Lebanon

Nature Reserve

Legal instrument

Date of creation

Approximate Surface Area (ha)

Elevation  Zone (m)

International Designations

Management Plan

Beit Leif Nature Reserve

Law 201

November 18, 2011

20

~550

None

No

Bentael Nature Reserve

Law 11

February 20, 1999

75.31

250 – 800

Important Bird Area

Yes

Debl Nature Reserve

Law 200

November 18, 2011

25

~600

None

No

Horsh Ehden Nature Reserve

Law 121

March 09, 1992

1,740

1,200 - 1,900

Important Bird Area

Yes

Jaj Cedars Nature Reserve

Law 257

April 15, 2014

20

~1,650

None

No

Kafra Nature Reserve

Law 198

November 18, 2011

40

~650

None

No

Karm Chbat Nature Reserve

Decision 14/1

October 06, 1995

520

1,400 - 1,900

None

No

Mashaa Chnaniir Nature Reserve

Law 122

July 29, 2010

27

500 – 530

None

No

Palm Island Nature Reserve

Law 121

March 09, 1992

417.73 (The three islands with 500m.

Of surrounding

water)

Sea level

Ramsar Site, Specially Protected Area, Specially Protected Area of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMI),

Important Bird Area

Yes

Ramya Nature Reserve

Law 199

November 18, 2011

20

~650

None

No

Al Shouf Cedars Nature Reserve

Law 532

July 24, 1996

15,647

900 - 2,000

Biosphere Reserve, Important Bird Area

Yes

Tannourine Cedar Forest Nature Reserve

Law 9

February 20, 1999

195.48

1,300 - 1,800

Important Bird Area

Yes

Tyre Coast Nature Reserve

Law 708

November 05, 1998

3,889.25 (Land: 176.32, Sand: 6.12, Water:

3,706.81)

Sea level

Ramsar Site, Specially Protected Area of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMI)

Yes

Wadi Al Houjeir Nature Reserve

Law 121

July 23, 2010

3,595

250 – 400

None

No

Yammouneh Nature Reserve

Law 10

February 20, 1999

2,100

1,400 - 2,000

None

No

Abbassieh Nature Reserve

Law 170

May 5, 2020

293.54

Sea level

None

No

Nmayrieh Nature Reserve

Law 169

May 5, 2020

10.21

320

None

No

Mount Haramoun Nature Reserve

Law 202

December, 12 2020

1260

~2800

None

No

 

 

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National Day for Nature Reserves

From nature, we eat, in nature we find shelter, and on nature depends our economy, progress and civilization…From nature, we learnt how to float, how to fly, how to build and how to change…

March 10 was declared a National day for Nature Reserves by the Council of Ministers Decision no. 47 of 13/3/2002.

This declaration designates national and governmental recognition of the importance of nature and the importance of its protection.

 

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