Through the dedication, forceful lobbying and influential works of Dr. Ricardus Haber, the founding father of Friends of Nature, FON contributed the establishment of the first nature reserves by concept and practice legally, communally and effectively to set the national precedence and the prototype.

·      Ehden Forest Nature Reserve – the First Cedar Forest declared a Nature Reserve

o    6 years of fieldwork researching the biodiversity at the nature forest of Ehden proved the significance of the natural system at maintaining its assets under the immense threats.

o    FON launched an awareness campaign targeting various components of the social structure: teachers, students, elders, youth, university students, farmers, herdsmen, politicians, etc.

o    In parallel, activities safeguarding the forest and reducing anthropogenic pressures were executed with local volunteers.


·      Palm Island Nature Reserve – The first Marine Protected Area

o    In collaboration with the Environment Protection Committee NGO in Tripoli, FON worked on uncovering the biodiversity riches of the Palm Islands archipelago comprising 3 Islands: Sannani, Nakhel & Ramkeen.

o    Field research revealed the importance of the islands as the last resort to many of the coastal floral species and the struggle of these species for survival under intense pressures.

o    FON conducted an awareness campaign directed to local community of Mina-Tripoli, similar to Ehden

o    A series of activities were implemented to reduce the pressures off the islands


·      First Law of Conservation of Nature Sites in the Republic of Lebanon

o    FON drafted a conservation law and prepared a portfolio for each of Ehden and Palm Islands including biodiversity assessment, state of threats, significance of ecosystems, and landmarks as national assets.

o    The portfolio was presented to the Ministry of Justice for processing.

o    FON lobbied for the passing of the law for a year and a half, first with through the government, followed by the parliament

o    The law was passed without major change and ratified by the Lebanese parliament to be the first law of conservation of a nature site in the Republic of Lebanon. Law 121, March 1992 achieved the precedence for nature conservation.


·      International Platform - Rio Biodiversity Convention

o    Lebanon was one of rare developing countries that achieved nature conservation before to the Biodiversity Convention.

o    Owing to the efforts of FON, Lebanon went to Rio having accomplished a prototype of local and legal conservation.

o    Owing to the efforts of FON, Lebanon and the Ministry of Environment acquired huge funds for the conservation of biodiversity.








Wednesday, 02 August 2017 14:03

Agroforestry - Sustainable Agriculture

The Friends of Nature (FON) NGO is coordinating the project AGROF-MM “Capacity Building on Agroforestry” for Lebanon. The project is EU funded through Erasmus+, and steered by AGROSUP DIJON as lead organization; it is originally designed for European partners who include: France, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Hungary, Turkey, Greece, and England. FON is the only partner from outside Europe assisted by our connections with the EC.


In their quest to improve water quality and quantity, the Ministry of Water in France requested from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Agricultural sector to contribute their role because they are directly impacting both factors quality and quantity. Agroforestry was proposed as the best solution, even by the Ministry of Water. Thus, efforts were undertaken to expand the Agroforestry systems and practices even across Europe, of which is the current project.

Project Objective

The main objective of the project is to popularize the application of the Agroforestry systems and practices for their valuable economic, ecological and social benefits. This is to be accomplished through capacity building of various stakeholders, mainly:

  • ·     extant farmers through direct training of farmer groups, syndicates, etc.
  • ·      future farmers through the education programs at technical level and higher education levels

Objectives for Lebanon

Capacity building on Agroforestry will in this phase be dedicated to training of trainers in higher education, the trainers are hoped to deliver the notion on Agroforestry to future farmers (students) as well as general public.


A.   FON has designed suggested course material in Agroforestry in addition to other links and resources tailored to Lebanon’s students and background.

a.     a full course to be taught in the Faculties of Agriculture. Some may be offering such a course; we may enhance the basics.

b.     a short intervention of 3-4 credit hours in existing courses of ecology, environmental science and introductory agriculture courses. Agroforestry is proven to be a valid solution for some of the ecological, environmental and agricultural problems; it is important to show the students that solutions exist and are being globally supported for implementation.

B.    FON has trained trainers (professors) from 9 universities of Lebanon in the faculties of sciences and agriculture to deliver the information package and train students on Agroforestry

C.    FON has availed the educational material to the trainers.

D.   The University of Holy Spirit of Kaslik has responded by opening an elective full course in Agroforestry in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences. 24 students were already trained in Spring 2017.

E.    The project is still in progress throughout 2018 with more missions to be accomplished. 


At the level of universities, FON has trained professor from the following universities

·      Beirut Arab University (BAU)

·      Lebanese American University (LAU)

·      Lebanese International University (LIU)

·      Lebanese University (LU)

·      Notre Dame University (NDU)

·      Saint Joseph University (USJ)

·      University of Balamand (UoB)

·      University of Holy Spirit of Kaslik (USEK)

At the levels of ministries, FON has also trained representatives from 

·      The Department of Rural Development and the Department of training at the Ministry of Agriculture,

·      The Department of Biodiversity at the Ministry of Environment.

And NGOs  : Lebanese Reforestation Initiative. 


Training of Trainers Workshop - Lebanon













Sunday, 30 July 2017 09:53

School Program for Biodiversity

 The Friends of Nature has launched its program “Connecting Children with Biodiversity” in 2016.

The program is educational dedicated to schoolchildren to come to our natural premises, and learn closely about the living beings, their role and value, with hands-on experiences and a lot of leisure.

The objective of the program is to re-establish the link between our youngsters and the natural surrounding in order to install in them the appreciation to living beings and their virtues to our better survival, as well as the consciousness to our responsibility for the preservation of nature and its beings.

We receive the children in a spacious natural surrounding on the shoulder of the Adonis valley. The children follow 4 workshops on the subjects of

  1. plants,
  2. insects and animals,
  3. natural cycles and their role in conservation, in addition to the cultural value of the Adonis valley,
  4. fossils to shed light on the natural history of Lebanon

The program attained remarkable success as attested by the children and their accompanying teachers. We received over 1350 students, and 70 teachers from a diversity of schools coming from a broad geographical range. We had schools from Saida, to Amchit and up to Qlaiat. The age of the students ranged from 6-7 year olds to 15-16 year-old adolescents.

We have established a collaboration with the UNESCO Lebanese National Commission and their network of associated schools and environment clubs.

FON has a team of  10 well-qualified coaches to carry out the program. The team was trained to address different ages with a wealth of comprehensible information attractive to the particular age group.

Our carrying capacity can reach up to 100 students per day with the ability to care for all of them.










Published in CHILDREN & NATURE