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














In 2005, BIG JUMP ( started a movement to appreciate local rivers and recognize their significance through dedicating a day for activities with rivers especially jumping into them. They carry out this activity annually on global scale broadening and enlarging ever since.

This year, FON registered with BIG JUMP as local participant and organizer.

On 9 July 2017, we celebrated healthy clean beautiful rivers for Lebanon, on the same day as millions celebrated around the globe. We walked by the river side under the shade of water loving trees to reach the upper ponds and dipped in the waters of Ayoun el Samak, Dannieh paying respect.

This was the first time that Lebanon joined this movement, our participation featured on BIG JUMP website in a welcome note and the posting of our activity (

FON will continue every year, insisting on giving respect to our rivers, voicing their importance and advocating the preservation of these habitats for biodiversity protected from pollution and degradation. We will plan a bigger and far-reaching participation for 2018 and thereafter.



Published in ECOTOURISM