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We do not live in isolation. This is probably one of the most profound realizations in the age of communication. This realization has brought the global environmental cause into perspective, and we are beginning to understand how the whole network of environmental change is linked together, and consequently, how it is affecting our lives, in a direct way. It also has triggered our responsibility to respond to the critical cry of the environment. We have to do something.

In 2009, the green areas in Lebanon have decreased dramatically and the level of pollution has increased dramatically in an opposing polarity. The effects of this change on the health of the population alone are a reason to react. From the increasing amount of illnesses, and other health related issues to the evolving trends of allergies that are triggered by pollutants, causes a great amount of worry and begs the question on how to resolve the problems at hand.

On a national level, the desert formation due to deforestation is increasing at an alarming rate. the largest amount of the Lebanese population lives in the strip located between the west mountain range and the sea. The amount of pollution that is sandwiched between these two areas is creating a variety of diseases and health problems that has become impossible to ignore.

On a regional level, Lebanon is one of the rare occurrences of tree habitats in the Middle East. The vast amounts of deserts around it do not play any vital role in the absorption and the recycling of the Carbon Dioxide emitted by various pollutants such as factories, cars, etc…, which are produced in the surrounding countries. The fact that Lebanon’s nature and mountainous geography provides the conditions for trees and forests to grow and develop makes it the lung of the Middle East. This lung is being systematically depleted.

On an international level, we have to realize that global warming is on the rise, and this will eventually affect the economy, since every year, the farmers crops get hit by unusual frosts, or unconventional heat, and the periods of these unusual waves is affecting the planting cycle and fruit development, and causing immense losses on the national economy. The fight against global warming in Lebanon has been modest so far. If we do not get into the global program, this will have dire consequences on our economy on various levels.

These realizations are only a sample of the issues at hand. The need to react has become necessary. Governmental programs to address these problems remain humble at best, and it is only through the engagement of the public that the environmental problem could be tackled, and won. We have to start thinking about our environment, and include it in our busy schedule.

From this realization, GreenLebanon.org was born. Since the environmental issue is not merely a problem of deforestation that could be solved by reforestation GreenLebanon.org has identified the various fronts in which we have to act:

1- Prevention: The first step is to preserve what we have left from the green spaces in Lebanon, and this includes a strategy that is divided into various levels, some of which are the cleaning of the existing forests from elements that could trigger forest fires, and expanding this strategy to surgical fires, that include the burning of portions of forests to prevent large fires from forming in the first place, and to create monitoring and response crews that react in case of fires as a first line of defense. so, if you are intersted in starting a prevention group in your area, or interested helping in the prevention program, please contact us by checking the contact us page, and we will hook you up with professional individuals in your area where available who are willing to assist you with your project.

2- Reforestation: Developing a strategy to replenish existing forests with the needed amount of trees to sustain a healthy growth. The reforestation program aims to identify the areas that have the potential for tree sustenance and develop a strategy in collaboration with environmental and agricultural engineers to identify the tree species best adapted to the soil and the moisture of the areas in question. If you are an agricultural engineer and would like to assist in this project, please refer to the contact us page.

3- Aforestation: To reclaim areas that have been deforested and ignored for an extended period of time though working with local municipalities, and grass roots groups. The strategy for aforestation consists of municipal and local forces in collaboration with the ministry of agriculture, identifying these damaged area, and organizing plans for reforestation that replenish the land with the same species of trees that were once growing in these areas. If you live in or near one of these areas, and are interested in helping, you can contact us so that we can identify and map the areas in question, and develop a proper strategy of aforestation.

4- Urban Pockets: Every Major city in the world has public parks and green pockets that are considered the lung of the city. The Urban Pockets initiative depends heavily on municipal participation, because public parks can only be developed on public properties. If you are a municipality who is willing to develop a public park, and need assistance and resources, contact us so that we can develop a project outline for your site, and hook you up with designers and engineers who are willing to assist in this initiative.

5- The three trees project: The three trees project is a personal initiative. It is something that any person can contribute to, without committing to long terms projects. Please visit 3treesproject.com for more information.

6- Coordinate and link the various green organizations that are operating in Lebanon, and develop a network of communication that could foster collaboration.

7- Finally, it is you, the person reading all this, that will make a difference.  Help, and reach out. Make the environmental cause part of your daily routine. Recycle where you can, spread awareness when you can, and help, when you can. Every little step counts. Register for greenlebanon.org if you are interested in helping out, and provide the location where you live. We believe that change happens at the level of local communities.

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