Conservation of the coniferous forests of Lebanon: Past, present and future prospects

​​​Talhouk, SN., Zurayk, R., Khuri, S., "Conservation of the coniferous forests of Lebanon: Past, present and future prospects", ORYX 2001 35 (3):206-215.


Coniferous forests are an important component of the Lebanese landscape. Ten species of conifers in five genera are found as wild populations in Lebanon: Cilician fir Abies cilicica, cedar of Lebanon Cedrus libani, Mediterranean cyprus Cupressus sempervirens, Syrian juniper Juniperus drupacea, Grecian juniper J. excelsa, willdenow J. foetidissima, prickly juniper J. oxycedrus, Calabrian pine (or Turkish Red Pine) Pinus brutia, Aleppo pine P. halepensis and stone pine P. pinea. Although none of these species are seriously threatened in a global context, they exist in Lebanon mostly as fragmented and degraded populations, and their habitats are under great pressure from urbanization and associated development. Conservation efforts in Lebanon have concentrated mainly on the cedar of Lebanon, with two cedar of Lebanon forests protected as Nature Reserves. Large areas of forest, coniferous and otherwise, remain unprotected. In this review, the need for an integrated approach to conservation of the coniferous landscape of Lebanon and the importance of the participation of local communities in this process are emphasized.