Climate Change Closes In On Lebanon’s Iconic Cedar Trees

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A cedar tree that burned in a recent wildfire, in the Mishmish forest, Akkar, Lebanon.

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Khaled Taleb, 29, a conservationist who is the director and founder of Akkar Trail, and his brother Ali Taleb, 22, a botanist, look out over a valley from the site of a recent wildfire which burned a number of cedar trees, in the Mishmish forest. Left: A scorched juniper tree that was burned in a recent wildfire which also burned a number of cedar trees. Right: Khaled Taleb

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Cedar trees in the Tannourine Cedars Forest Nature Reserve, in Tannourine.

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Fly paper covered with the bodies of Cephalcia Tannourinensis, an endemic species of Sawfly that has been damaging trees at the Tannourine Cedars Forest Nature Reserve.

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Doctor Nabil Nemer, 48, Associate Dean of Doctoral Studies for Science and Technology at The Holy Spirit of Kaslik University at the Tannourine Cedars Forest Nature Reserve.

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Cedar trees stand in the Cedars of God nature reserve in Bisharre, Lebanon. The reserve contains some of Lebanon’s oldest cedar trees.

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Clouds envelope the Cedars of God Reserve in Bisharre.

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Ali Moussa, 60, teaches a fire-fighting course to a room full of volunteers in the town of Mishmish.

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A pick-up truck that’s been modified to be used for fighting wildfires is parked amid cedar and juniper trees that were burned in a recent wildfire, in the Mishmish forest.

Sam Tarling for NPR


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A pick-up truck that’s been modified to be used for fighting wildfires is parked amid cedar and juniper trees that were burned in a recent wildfire, in the Mishmish forest.

Sam Tarling for NPR

«It feels amazing,» he says. «We’ve gone from being forced to stand by and watch trees burn to being able to save an entire woodland.»

Taleb knows it won’t be enough to stop all the damage caused by climate change. But little by little, he hopes, Lebanese citizens will work to protect their beloved cedar forests, as best they can.

  • Mediterranean climate change
  • Middle East climate change
  • cedar
  • forest fires
  • Forest conservation
  • juniper
  • mediterranean
  • global warming
  • Lebanon
  • climate change

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