Preliminary monitoring results

Natural and cultural heritage in the Shouf Biosphere Reserve

22 July 2020

Understanding the links between biodiversity and cultural values is key to preserving the ecological functionality and cultural heritage of the Shouf landscape, Lebanon. Preliminary results of ongoing monitoring activity focusing on the biodiversity of the farmlands in the buffer zone of the Reserve, particularly traditional stonewall terraces, are now available, and will contribute to the conservation and restoration of extensive agro-forestry habitats. Monitoring has been carried out for the past three years, with the technical assistance of Italian, Spanish and Lebanese specialists and teachers from Lebanese universities.

Research is also defining the baseline data to monitor the effectiveness of the Reserve’s restoration, sustainable management and governance activities. In a first phase, 30 sampling sites were identified in the core and buffer zones of the Reserve, including different land management types, with indicators being plants, insects, birds and herpetofauna; we recorded around 320 species of plants, 30 families of insects, 20 species of birds and 10 species of herps. The second phase of monitoring began in April 2020. Results so far show that sustainable agriculture practices (e.g. restored terraces) yield similar biodiversity data to abandoned agriculture lands that have been colonized by the original woodlands.

For more information: Marco Pagliani, Shouf Biosphere Reserve – mrcpagliani2@gmail.com

Photo: © Shouf Biosphere Reserve