Interview with Nizar Hani: manager of the Shouf Biosphere Reserve

May 10, 2019 | Abertis Foundation

Nizar Hani, manager of the Shouf Biosphere Reserve, sets out four broad objectives of the reserve: to protect and preserve nature, to support the local community in a sustainable manner, to put the reserve on the map of the global reserves and to work on the capacity building of the team.

According to the manager, the most important values that the SBR pursue to protect are natural (mainly cedar forests) and cultural heritage sites, biodiversity (rich flora and fauna), water (groundwater), and landscapes; it also seeks sustainable economic development by reconciling the economic development with landscape preservation.

The main difficulties that have to go through the Biosphere Reserve are: the lack of a clear limitation of property boundaries and the lack of land use guidelines; the scarcity of soil, forest and farmland restoration and maintenance, the scarcity of some resources for the locals and water management. He also commented on the challenges that climate change may bring.

Despite adversity, the fruits of the work in the Reserve have been harvested on several occasions. A good example is the publication of “Forest and Landscape Restoration Guidelines”, a compilation of the work of six fruitful years, and also the IUCN Green List certificate, awarded in 2018 at COP14.

He also claims the Shouf Biosphere Reserve need to support the House of Biodiversity, to support the Urban Planning and to support the biodiversity monitoring thorough technical and financial assistance.

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