Legal Setup

To promote sustainable practices and ecotourism activities in the area of Dannieh, the Union of Dannieh Municipalities and the Lebanese NGO Mada submitted a project proposal to the Environment Fund for Lebanon in 2010 entilted "North Horizon Forest Trail". The Environment Fund for Lebanon Steering Committee approved the project and secured the required budget for the implementation of the project.

In 2011, the Environment Fund for Lebanon hired Mada to prepare a pre-feasibility study of "The North Horizon Forest Trail, a New Perspective for Conservation and Management of Dannieh Forests". The study was submitted in September 2011 and focused on the following:

  • Identification of three forest sites for protection: Sfireh Pine forest, Jairoun-Qemamine mixed forests, and Kfarbebnine mixed conifers forest.
  • Development of an integrated tourism concept for the study area.
  • Discussion of several protection and management alternatives for the study area.
  • Identification of technical and administrative constraints for all conservation suggestions.
  • Promotion of ecotourism by implementing 65 km² of hiking trails and related facilities (forest house).

To support the establishment of a protected area in Dannieh, the Environment Fund for Lebanon launched a follow-on study in 2012 entitled "The Elaboration of a Technical Report Leading to an Initial Management Plan for a Protected Area (PA) in Dannieh". The Environment Fund for Lebanon awarded the contract to ECODIT Liban for the provision of professional consulting services. The study, submitted in November 2012, facilitated in:

  • Delineating a proposed perimeter covering 23 km² using several criteria (biodiversity, conservation, topographic, landforms, land tenure, geographic and socio-economic).
  • Identifying the land tenure types in the proposed protected area
  • Listing the management objectives of the proposed PA
  • Analyzing the most significant threats to the proposed PA
  • Preparing baseline documents for submission to the Ministry of Environment (MOE) as part of the Application File for establishing the Lazzab Dannieh Nature Reserve.

The study provided the needed justification and procedures to compile the legal file for the establishment of the Protected Area under the Ministry of Environment's requirement. The Union of Dannieh Municipalities and ECODIT completed the required maps and other related documents and submitted the file to the Ministry of Environment in January 2013 under Registration No. 251/B/2013.

A draft law was prepared by the Service of Natural Resources at MOE on February 20, 2013. ECODIT helped the MOE in formulating the mandatory reasons in accordance with the law. The draft law approved by the MOE was submitted to the Council of Ministers (COM) on March 5, 2013. The file is still at the presidency of the COM and awaits approval by the COM.