For a Greener South Lebanon

Spanish peacekeepers planting pine trees in Ibel al-Saqi natural reserve.

Jouzour Loubnan (NGO)  member demonstrates to the Lebanese Armed Forces and UNIFIL how to plant the trees in the town of Ibel al-Saqi.

A Lebanese Armed Forces soldier and a Spanish peacekeeper work together to plant a seedling during the reforestation campaign in Ibel al-Saqi.

Joint effort by Lebanese Armed Forces soldiers, and Italian, French and Spanish peacekeepers during the reforestation campaign launched by Jouzour Loubnan NGO in Ibel al-Saqi.

United for a greener South Lebanon.

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29 Jan 2014

For a Greener South Lebanon

The 2000 pine trees planted in the southern town of Ibel al-Saqi are meant to be the seeds for a future dream of a "natural reserve" and the realization of a plan set in motion by the Lebanese non-governmental environmental organization Jouzour Loubnan in cooperation with UNIFIL.

This green initiative kicked off in 2010 by Jouzour Loubnan in cooperation with the French, Italian, and Spanish battalions operating in the framework of UNIFIL to green areas south of the Litani River. So far the venture has succeeded in planting approximately 22,000 trees in six towns in South Lebanon.

The town of Ibel al-Saqi received a total of 6000 pine, oak and carob trees, which were planted in two stages: 4000 trees were planted in 2013; and 2000 were planted on 26 January 2014. Both stages were implemented in cooperation with UNIFIL, the Lebanese Armed Forces, and Jouzour Loubnan.

120 soldiers and peacekeepers from the Lebanese Armed Forces and UNIFIL worked shoulder-to-shoulder to manually plant seedlings on 850,000 m2 of land in Ibel al-Saqi.

Speaking about the importance of the project, Ibel al-Saqi's Mayor George Rahhal indicated that this forest will restore Ibel al-Saqi's place on the map of natural sites in Lebanon. "Planting 2000 trees today has been a symbolic act for the town and Lebanon, as it is happening amid the crucial developments the region is undergoing," said Rahhal, lauding the role UNIFIL is playing in its area of operations south of the Litani river.

"UNIFIL cares for supporting the Lebanese people in South Lebanon by providing better living conditions and greening more spots for better environmental conditions," said Chief of Sector East Civilian and Military Cooperation Office (CIMIC), Lt. Colonel Oscar Castro.

Jouzour Loubnan has reforested the southern towns of Meis Al Jabal, Ainatha, Markaba, Ibel al-Saqi, Shaqra and Majdal Silim as a result of the initiative launched with UNIFIL in 2010. "After years, this land will become a forest and our children will enjoy its shade" said the director of Jouzour, Raoul Nehme, who recalled the Greek proverb "a society is civilized when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they will never sit."



Article: Hiba Monzer
Video Editor: Mohamad Hamze
Video Camera: Mohamad Hamze
Photo: Pascual Gorriz Marcos