Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve joins Medforval
New Lebanese High Ecological Value Forest is the 19th M4V site
The Medforval network is expanding. Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve (Lebanon) has joined the network in February 2022 as the 19th member site.
Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve (JMBR) is located on the western slopes of Mount Lebanon, covering 6,500 hectares between 350 and 1,700 m asl. JMBR and surrounding villages became part of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB) program in 2009. As part of the MAB program, JMBR addresses human livelihood improvement and nature conservation through combining natural sciences with social sciences, economics and education. Jabal Moussa presents an exceptionally rich biodiversity, with at least 728 flora species, 25 mammal species, and more than 137 migratory and soaring birds species. Equally rich with cultural heritage, it portrays the interdependence of Man and Nature throughout history through various spiritual and historical sites dating back from the Phoenician, Roman, and Ottoman Periods.
The area is managed by the Association for the Protection of Jabal Moussa (APJM), established in 2007, when a group of nature lovers got together to stop an attempt to blast a road in the heart of the mountain. The Association was then founded to conserve the biodiversity and preserve the cultural heritage of Jabal Moussa mountain and surrounding villages.
Following the establishment of APJM, Jabal Moussa received several designations, most notably:
• UNESCO Biosphere Reserve under the Man and Biosphere Programme – 2009
• Global Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International – 2009
• Natural Site by the Ministry of Environment – 2012
• Protected Forest by the Ministry of Agriculture – 2008
• Important Plant Area and Key Biodiversity Area – Mediterranean Basin Ecosystem Profile for the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund – 2017
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