On World Environment Day, Acting UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Visits Chouf Biosphere Reserve
On the occasion of World Environment Day, Acting United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Pernille Dahler Kardel today visited the Chouf Biosphere Reserve in Mount Lebanon and examined local reforestation projects being undertaken in coordination with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
“It is an inspiration to see the strong engagement of the local communities to preserve their precious natural resources and their commitment to pave the way for a more peaceful and sustainable future,” the Special Coordinator said. Reforestation efforts are improving environmental conditions in Lebanon and enabling a fuller implementation of the country’s international environmental obligations.
Ms. Kardel planted a tree in the Maaser El-Chouf forest and visited reforestation projects in Niha, Baadaran and Masser El-Chouf that are taking place in coordination between the Ministry of Agriculture, local authorities, the Chouf Biosphere Reserve and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization to support the Government’s 40 million tree program that aims to increase the forest cover throughout Lebanon from the current 13 percent to 20 percent by 2030. She also visited women artisans and agro-food processors who make local products from the upper Chouf area.
This year’s global theme for World Environment Day is “beating plastic pollution.” The Special Coordinator hoped Lebanon would join the global effort to reduce and eventually eradicate plastic pollution, including in the sea. In a statement for the occasion, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that “our world is swamped by harmful plastic waste. Every year, more than 8 million tonnes end up in the oceans. Microplastics in the seas now outnumber stars in our galaxy.” He added, “On World Environment Day, the message is simple: reject single-use plastic. Refuse what you can’t re-use.”