RICARDUS HABER , the inborn lover of nature and natural surrounding, when a science student at the American University of Beirut, he transmitted his nature passion to a circle of friends. A member of the Sierra Nevada Club, Ricardus decided to give his devotion to spreading awareness to the value of the nature of Lebanon an institutional module emulating the Sierra Nevada’s.
With his friends and supporting students from the American University of Beirut, Ricardus planned the announcement to be glamorous, outreaching and engaging with a big show spanning a day. The show-day took place at the main gate of AUB; it expressed the message of this group toward the importance of nature and natural assets, as well as, their ideas and views at addressing the nature of Lebanon. They presented sketches, speeches and short performances delivering their vision, and a music band played all day. In the afternoon, Ricardus took the stage and announced the birth of “the Friends of Nature”. Convinced and committed audience was called to sign up to become the first members.
This is how the first NGO dedicated to defending nature and protecting the natural assets of Lebanon established its first nucleus.
When the Friends of Nature presented their papers and preambles to the Lebanese government – Ministry of Interior, there was not yet any framework or form of acknowledgment for NGO activity in the Republic of Lebanon. Institutionalizing NGO activity came later in 1983, and the Friends of Nature was one of the first to be decreed.