The National Guidelines on Nursery Management: Native Trees and Shrubs manual was launched November 14, the successful outcome of a joint effort between the AUB Nature Conservation Center (AUB-NCC), FAFS and the Lebanon Reforestation Initiative (LRI), funded by USAID Lebanon. FAFS Professor Salma Talhouk led its production, with the help of Agricultural Engineer Khaled Slim and Nursery Specialist Karma Bou Azza. The manual was adopted by the Ministry of Agriculture, allowing the knowledge compiled to be broadly shared with all Lebanese constituencies. The support of the ministry is a testament to the successful collaborations between the Lebanese government, universities, and non-governmental organizations.
FAFS Dean Rabi Mohtar participated in the launch, speaking of the monumental effort of AUB-NCC to conserve nature in AUB, Lebanon, and the region. He noted that NCC’s goals, especially the reforestation strategy, are aligned with the FAFS faculty goal of working toward restoration of a nature that is healthy and resilient, in keeping with its mission of achieving ‘healthy earth, healthy food, healthy people’. Noting that NCC established its forest nursery and conducted research for the production of this manual at the AREC center, Dean Mohtar pledged FAFS’ continued commitment and contribution to facilitate NCC’s goals. A short video presentation showcased the information in the manual, its benefits, and what it means to Lebanon to have a national manual aimed at supporting the country’s reforestation and tree rehabilitation. A light lunch was offered and the manual was distributed to the attendees.