Monday, May 11, 2009

Activists highlight climate threat to Lebanon's forests

Daily Star (Lebanon): More than 130 activists from the two environmental NGOs IndyACT and AFDC gathered in a cedar forest in the Chouf region to voice their concerns about climate change and to highlight its impact on Lebanon's forests. "IndyACT and AFDC demand that the future government and Parliament put climate change high on the agenda," a statement by IndyACT said on Monday.The activists formed a "human chain" in the Chouf Cedars Forest, the country's biggest Cedars forest, which could disappear in the future as a result of climate change.

According to the IndyACT statement, the projected increase in temperature will likely shift the many forest species to the north or to higher elevations, thus turning Lebanon into an arid desert. "Rapid climate change and accompanying extreme events, such as droughts and wind storms will lead to increased disease, insects and wildfires that could increase tree mortality and, in some cases, replace forests by grasslands," it added.

IndyACT explained that forests in protected areas will not be able to adapt to these climatic changes. "Lebanon is already suffering from increased forest fires year after year, but most Lebanese do not realize that climate change plays a role in these fires," the statement said.

Chouf mountains in Lebanon, shot by Heretiq, Wikimedia Commons,  under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 License

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