TREECON

 
Building a Local Network of Living Trees Platforms for the Conservation of Natural Resources in Jabal Moussa Region (TREECON) funded by UNOPS
 
 
Background:
 
The Jabal Moussa Forest and Biosphere Reserve (JM BR) area is exposed to natural resource exploitation and threatened by destructive human activities such as quarries and road construction. The creation of a network of local nurseries would bring a conservation structure that will help preserve the native species of the region.

 
Goal and objectives:

The TREECON project aims at mitigating the effects of land loss and preserving the biodiversity and landscapes of the area, through local community education and participation.
Objectives include:
  1. Conservation of native tree species through the installation of tree nurseries for the propagation of native seeds collected from Jabal Moussa forest, and stored until the time of planting.
  2.  Development of local farmers’ capacities by involving them in the collection and planting of seeds, tree nurseries’ installation and maintenance.
  3.   Awareness and education by promoting the conservation efforts of APJM through visits to the nurseries and to the kiosk (at the entrance of the JM BR) where awareness activities take place, and germinated seedlings are marketed.
Outcomes:
  1. Three tree nurseries, where fourteen native tree species are planted, have been installed in important regions of Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve: (1) Yahchouch, (2) Mchati, and (3) Qehmez. 
  2. The local forest guards and guides, and farmers from which the lands where rented for the installation of nurseries were trained about seed collection and nursery maintenance. 
  3. A small premise/kiosk has been installed at the Qehmez entrance of the JM BR and is being prepared for environmental education and promotional activities (ecotourism, local products etc.)
 
Opportunities created by TREECON:

1.   APJM identified the importance of proper pre-germination treatments through the tree nurseries and time will be spent in the future to improve germination rates.   
2.   A reforestation program will be developed in the future which will depend on the nurseries for the seedlings.


Latest collaboration: Lebanon Reforestation Initiative 

The latest collaboration with the Lebanon Reforestation Initiative enabled APJM to greatly enhance its Mchati nursery productivity.
This was done through LRI’s introduction of modern planting containers that help grow more robust seedlings with enhanced root structures, the installation of a protective greenhouse and a more effective irrigation system, following up on advanced growing protocols, and providing ongoing technical advice and support..

In addition, LRI/USFS/USAID recently contributed a generator to ensure water is pumped regularly through the newly installed irrigation system. Seedling production has more than tripled in quantity and improved in quality.
 
The increased capacity of APJM’s Mchati nursery production can outlast this particular project and provide for years to come high-quality seedlings from the known provenance of Jabal Moussa for ongoing reforestation efforts such as the Jouzour Lubnan program.