The Embassy of India in Beirut marked World Environment Day on June 5, 2022, at the Shouf Biosphere Reserve as part of ongoing activities under the Azadi ka Amirt Mahotsav. The Shouf Biosphere Reserve is Lebanon’s largest Cedar reserve, covering nearly 5% of the country’s total land area.
The event was attended by Mr. Charles Nojaim, President of Shouf Biosphere Reserve, Mr. Amine Thebiane, Director General of Ministry of Tourism, Mr Walid Zeineddine, Director General of Ministry of Education, Dr. Nasser Zeidan, President of Mrusti Municipality and Mr. Neeraj Singh, Representatives of United Nations in Lebanon, Mr Nizar Hani, senior official of the Biospehre Reserve and other local dignitaries and guests.
On this occasion, Ambassador Dr Suhel Ajaz Khan inaugurated ‘India-Lebanon Friendship Trails’ at Al Mrusti and Maasser sites at the Biosphere Reserve. These are afforestation sites where 800 saplings/plants of Cedars and other varieties have been planted by the Embassy as part of Quick Impact Project supporting the conservation efforts of the Reserve. Ambassador Dr. Khan also inaugurated Multipurpose Reception Cabin at Maasser site in the Reserve. The Cabin is named as ‘India-Lebanon Friendship Cabin’. These projects have been undertaken with the generous donation of the Government of India through Embassy of India, Beirut.
Mr. Charles Nojaim, President of Shouf Biosphere Reserve thanked the Government of India for the generous support to revive the environment in the protected area of Shouf. These projects will be testimony of India-Lebanon long term friendship.
Mr Nizar Hani, senior official of the Biospehre Reserve gave an overview of the projects and also informed that very soon the Reserve is going to start new activities like Bicycle track and paragliding at the Maasser site and that the as ‘India-Lebanon Friendship Cabin’ will become the focal points for these activities.
These Projects are also part of India’s commitments towards environment protection and fighting Climate Change. Visitors may visit the Shouf Biosphere Reserve and enjoy the beauty of the place.