The project, which is about to be implemented with the support of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, aims to strengthen the engagement of civil society to support the conservation of plants that are critically endangered or have highly restricted ranges. LINK intends to involve civil society and technical units of public sector, namely the Directorate General of Antiquities, in plant conservation partly through citizen science intended for collecting data in real-time on recruitment and distribution of species of conservation interest while monitoring effectiveness of vegetation management of problem species and protection of an endemic plant with a highly restricted range.
On September 21, 2019, students of AUB's AROL235Z class visited Byblos UNESCO World Heritage Centre and Centre de Recherche et de Conservation du Patrimoine au Liban in Jbeil district, Lebanon. They were accompanied by Archaeobotanist Dr. Claire Joanna Malleson of the Department of History and Archaeology, Mr. Moustapha Itani of the Nature Conservation Center of AUB, Ms. Abir Daher, archaeologist, and Mr. Youssef Mansour, site guard, of the Directorate General of Antiquities.
Students were tasked with brainstorming narratives on plants and ancient civilizations that can be made relevant to potential thematic botanic gardens to be established on designated areas in the world heritage site of Byblos.
An ArcGIS Operations Dashboard having the name of the project as its title has been created to allow citizen scientists participating in the project and the public to engage with the results of this task.