Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Petition to mobilise the authorities for fighting fishing with dynamite.

Lebanese Mediterranean Environment: Petition to mobilise the authorities for fighting fishing with dynamite.

Ecology, biodiversity, communities support..

For the ojective to mobilize the authorities to fight fishing with dynamite, 100.000 polls to save the aquatic biodiversity in Lebanon are needed.
It's a petition to allert the public authorities against the fishing with dynamite plague which destroys all our aquatic eco system, and to urge them to commision patrolmen to oversee the area
Over exploitation, pollution and fishing with dynamite have devastated the whole coastal shores of the Lebanese Meditarrean Sea depriving 8000 fishermen from the seaside city Tyr of their living princinple resource.

" In the 1960's, 70's and 80's the sea overflowed with fish and the financial condition of the fishermen was enviable".
Some 2000 families from Tyr earned their living from fishing.
The experts assert that some fish species such as the mullet, the grouper and the small baracudas are extinguishing for the main reason of fishing unskillfully and illegally. " We're destroying our sea" 
The illegal practice of fishing with dynamite is an irreversible destruction to our marine eco system.
There is also the problem of sewage water which contains factories heavy metals such as Copper, zinc and vanadium.
Besides some real estate promoters invaded the coastal areas unconcerned about the effect of their projects on the aqua system.
" the situation in which the Mediterranean Sea has become is deplorable and things aren't growing any better."
Our petition has an objective: the one to alert the Lebanese Authorities to designate patrolmen, for a Lebanese civil protection, whose duty is not only to fight dynamite fishing but also to reinforce a thouroughly control of the coastal environment , and then to establish a decentralised corporation to bring traineeship or to finance the patrolmen.

The Lebanese aquatic depths are rich. You can meet a multitude of little fish (Castagnols, Bugs, Sparillons and seabreams) and lot of rays ( Stingrays and eagle Rays) moray eels, octopus, jellyfish. Other fish less common in the Mediterranen, as Trigger fish and the flute fish emerged; probably coming from the Red Sea.
The population of groupers is increasing in number and size and you can even get very close to sharks. Many wrecks are found in the neighbourhood and some oasises have grown with numerous little fish as well as other sea species which come back to the South Lebanese Seaside. All this diversity and wealth remain frail since the fauna is constantly threatened.

All types of physical degaradations are already in great number in Saida, Borj Hammoud, Sour and tripoli dumps. With the embankment of the shores, the illegal occupation of the coastal areas, the sand extraction due to the massive building following the war destruction and now with the intensive fishing and the use of explosives, our sea and its biodiversity do no longer tolerate being exploited as a dustbin.

The biological diversity of the Lebanese Aquatic environment undergoes more and more important pressures which are generally from anthropical origin engendering degradation and a decrease in the mentioned species in the coastal areas.
The threats over the animal species are several and left without control. 
The spread of the dynamite fishing on the Lebanese coast speeds up a frightful ecological unbalance on the one side; and on the other a disappearance of a great deal of aquatic fauna and flora. 

Added to this dangerous aquatic pollution, we have the discharge of sewage and chemical water, concrete wastes ( plastic bags ) and the tanks cleaning out.. the Lebanese Sea is definitely considered as a dustbin.
Turtles in dangers.
They are threatened on a worldwide scale and particularly in the Meditennean Sea owing to the worsening of their areas of nidification , their intentional or accidental catching and also because of pollution ( the turtles often swallow ther plastic bags taking them for the Jelly fish)

A research has allowed the identication of 19 sites , real and potential, of egg laying on the costal areas in Lebanon. Two turtle species, Caretta caretta and Chelonia mydas regularly frequent these sandy beaches ( the Palmier Island int the north , Abbassieh and Yahoudieh in the South) to lay their eggs between July and August . Tyr area would be very important for the nidification and the feeding of the marine turtles.

The Lebanese coast constitutes a major place for the turtles reproduction. The year 1998 has witnessed their return on the South Lebanon shores. Two among the 5 Mediterranean turtle species ; Caouanne, Caretta caretta , green turltles and Chelonia mydas visit the Lebanese shores. The turtles are fundamental for ecological balance of the coasts. They eat jelly fish . This special diet ususally leads them to swallow plastic bags that they take for jelly fish. the sand on our costal line is decreasing year after year that's why it's high time that we protected these egg laying spaces.

We have been warned after the discovery of dead turltles on the beaches about the practises of the dynamite fishing. That's why we launched this petition.
Despite the inefficiency of this type of citizenship mobilisation in Lebanon, we believe that commissionning patrolmen can radically change the situation. Besides if the government doesn't react rapidly, we can on the name of our organisation establish a Mediterranen project with the corporation of the area of Paca and others so as to quickly equip the Lebanese marine headquarters.

In order to convince the deciding sides and reinforce my request, I have fixed an objective to collect 100.000 signatures since we share the same sea and the same turtles which are on the way of extinction .

For that purpose I urge every one among you to sign this petition and to share it with you contacts by the way of Emails, twitter or facebook.
Our Lebanese tutles cross the world to come back and lay their eggs in our shores and all we do is to welcome them with explosives !!!

Moreover there is the impact of the different types of fishing which destroys the Marine Mediterranean environment in Lebanon. Some fishermen pour the cyanide to knock down the fish. They also use fishing nets with deriving links. Or they explode dynamites under water .

 All this leads to the extinguishing of the aquatic fauna and the flora. When we use the dynamite fishing we not only kill fish but also eggs, corals, algs, planktons and the aquatic plants and living organisms. The explosion and the vibrations caused by the impact of the fishing with dynamite damage the auditive system of many marine mammals .

 The dynamite speeds up the coast erosion and destroys the corals , the reefs, submarine grass sheds such as the Posidony . These meadows form paves and egg laying areas for a great number of animal species as well as a feeding resource for herbivore species.

Translated by  Soundous Azzi

Sunday, January 22, 2012


(all the content available by clicking on this link)


My friends, I do need your support.

Since 2007, I have been undertaking several field operations aiming at protecting our environmental heritage and, since the end of the 2006 war, I have supported projects led by relief agencies and operations of bomb disposal, drinkable water delivery, power generators and wires set up, etc. I managed all this strictly relying on my personal resources – only for bomb disposal and power generators set up was I supported by Finul in Lebanon.

I am currently preparing projects that will be led by Mawassem Khair (Bluegreen in Lebanon) and that aim at raising funds for our bomb spotting and disposal in Lebanese villages as well as planting olive trees, cedar trees and other trees that are specific to the Lebanese ecosystem.

Other projects are dedicated to: air quality in Bayreuth and bringing nature back in town; creating a protected marine area to preserve our seacoast biodiversity; help municipal departments for waste and wastewater disposal.

I attended and took part in several seminars and forums about ecology and how to protect the environment, and I must say these projects require a large amount of time.

As for wildfires, they represent tragic issues that need to be addressed. As I just obtained 3 firetrucks, I call on the Lebanese community active on Facebook and other social networks to raise funds as fast as possible to have these firetrucks shipped to Lebanon.

Help us in our bomb disposal and tree planting actions. Help us fight against wildfires caused by unconscious persons.

For every 10-dollars gift, I will plant a pine.

For every 20-dollars gift, I will plant an olive tree and will send you its oil after 2 years. If you are located in Lebanon, transportation will be free of charge.

For every -25 dollars gift, I will plant a cedar tree. You will receive its picture and, if you wish, the GPS code with which you will be able to follow its growth on Google Earth.

I need 10,000 Euros to ship the 3 firetrucks.

Click on “Donation” on this page and bring us your support.
For those who wish to make a donation by check or bank transfer, please contact Ibrahim El Ali directly (+33 (0) 6 59 76 33 54 - For our supporters located in Lenanon, bank transfer on a Lebanese bank account is possible; in this case, please contact me.

To those of you who are interested but who can’t afford a donation now, I kindly ask them to spread and share this message through their network. This is valuable help too.

Members of Mawassem Khair (Bluegreen Liban)

Ibrahim El Ali, Chairman, Expert in ecology and sustainable development.

Hala Waked, General Secretary, Attorney in Bayreuth.

Maroun Aziz, Vice-Chairman, Civil defence Captain.

Aziz Sbeir, Engineer specialized in chemicals contamination.

Zeina Daher, PhD in Biochemistry, Winner of the l’Oréal-Unesco Prize for Young Female Scientists.

Accram Al Hadi, Expert in waste disposal.

Chady Hage Ali, under doctoral degree in international relations.

Christine Ohanian, Marine Biodiversity Manager, under doctoral degree at CNRS.

Ninou Chelala, Expert in eco-village and organic agriculture.

Samuel Moussali, Expert in eco-village and organic agriculture.

And many others…

Fighting against wildfires

Over 20% of grassland and forest lanscape were lost in flammes over the last three summers

Bomb disposal

Over 4,000 cluster bombs and over 100 bombs removed, some of which weighed up to 600 kilos (around 1300 pounds)

Over 20,000 trees replanted across Lebanon; our ambition is to replant 1 million additional trees with acorns

Clearing forests

Several awareness campains and cleaning operations for forests, beaches and rivers

Lebanon is not a trash can!

Waste disposal and recycling

Several support actions in favor of waste disposal projects. Municipalities dreadfully need support as the sale of recycled items barely covers 20% of operating costs.

BLUEGREEN France is a non-governmental organization whose main mission is to take action for the protection of the environment as well as to promote biodiversity over the Southern seacoasts of the Mediterranean Sea, the Sub-Saharan Africa’s shores, and in a general manner in all our planet’s regions struck by environmental crisis and disasters that require urgent, realistic and sustainable solutions.

BLUEGREEN France aims at strengthening its actions in the fields of reforestation, wastewater and fumes treatment, easier access to drinkable water, waste management, food self-sufficiency (through the promotion of organic agriculture and wild plants) and the protection of endangered species. To achieve these goals, the organization plans to bring assistance to municipal departments, which are usually in search of resources and expertise, in order to deploy these projects.

Our projects in 2012

« 1001 Jardins de l’espoir » (“1001 Hope Gardens”) - Development of domestic gardens in Africa designed for destitute families.

« 1001 fontaines de l’espoir » (“1001 Hope Fountains”) - Developement of drinkable water fountain.

Thank you for your support

International conferences

Bluegreen France et Mawassem Khair  (Bluegreen in Lebanon) regularly take part in international conferences fo inform and raise awareness about, and participate to the Mediterranean Union Project. We have been very active in denouncing the cedar island project in Lebanon (see on our blog).

Raising awareness among politicians

In the press and TV

Members of Bluegreen France

Ibrahim El Ali, Chairman, Expert in ecology and sustainable development.
Honor members
Bernie le Van Xieu, former UN policy counsel of Koffi Annan.

François Couplan, Lecturer, ethnobotanist.

Dominique Peter, Agronomist Engineer.

Koly Keita, Treasurer, Expert in development and innovative projects. Former Accenture employee.

Nadera Chaber, General Secretary, LADFI MBA in International Logistics.

Patrick Bremaud, public accountant

Aicha Adhari, Master 2 Degree in Risk Intelligence, DEA Degree in Geopolitics.

Khanssa Lagdami, under doctoral degree in Maritime law.

Victoria Hernandez, Master Degree in Environmental Management.

Irene Bogicevic, Master 2 Degree in Political sciences, Sustainable development teacher specialized in climate refugees.

Aziz Sbeir, Engineer specialized in chemicals contamination.

Chady Hage Ali, PhD in international relations.

Zeina Daher, PhD in Biochemistry, Winner of the l’Oréal-Unesco Prize for Young Female Scientists.

Hassatou Baldé, PhD in International law.

And many others…

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Lebanon, The Cedar Land ?


Nowin the eleventh year, in the third month, on the first day of the month, theword of the Lord came to me, saying,
Sonof man, say to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and to his people; Whom are you like inyour great power?
See,a pine-tree with beautiful branches and thick growth, giving shade and verytall; and its top was among the clouds.

Itgot strength from the waters and the deep made it tall: its streams went roundabout its planted land and it sent out its waterways to all the trees of thefield.
Inthis way it became taller than all the trees of the field; and its brancheswere increased and its arms became long because of the great waters.

Inits branches all the birds of heaven came to rest, and under its arms all thebeasts of the field gave birth to their young, and great nations were living inits shade.

Lebanon, The Cedar Land,

In 2011, the forests all over the world have been in the spotlight. Yet according to the FAO report we are going to lose more than 13 million hectares. The forests, our life insurance, are so vital to living on earth that the international community must act to preserve them. Lebanon story with the forest is not something new, it emerged at the antiquity period since it was the emblem of the Middle East biodiversity with its confer and cedar forests besides the flourishing fauna and flora over its mountains. However the disturbance caused by the over-exploitation of the forests goes back to 2000 years ago

What is the situationof the forest today ?

Lebanon bears two types of vegetation. the first is Mediterranean and covers the humid areas where we find oaks, pines and the firs of Clicice, the junipers of Tauride and of course the cedars of Lebanon which dominate the Lebanese Mounts.

Photo by Antoine Faisal... Qobayyat

The other type is pre-steppic . It spreads over the rest of the areas except the zone from Jabal El Cheikh to Jabal Barouk.

Vegetation of southern Lebanon, the forests have disappeared here yet we are 700 meters down atitude .. you see the village of Shaqra, the same as you see below reforested.

Nevertheless, statistics show that the forest cover does not go beyond 7.4% of the country's whole area (74000 hec) whereas it exceeded more than 36% of it in 1996. If we compare this to France, we find out that the 1/3 of the French territory is covered by forests. Nonetheless Lebanon can boast off its possession of many primary forests, an authentic biodiversity treasure while similar ones have vanished in Europe.

How can we manage the Lebanese forest ?

The alarm bell has been heard by the environment ministry which has revealed its awareness, interest and concern about the necessity to save the country's forest wealth. Therefore it took measures to supervise this. To start with, it has already elaborated a project of preserving natural reservations in addition to the project of setting up a regional reservation as pine forest of Jezzine. The development plan of the territory deals with 6 potential sites Qachisha, Jaquz, Ibrahim, Ras El Metn, Barouk-Bisri and Naqoura. But beforehand there is a need to an inventory work about the richness of the present fauna and flora to measure the progress achieved afterwards.

An interesting suggestion is over the importance of creating cedar alleys with a programme of refforestation. This is described as vital to protect the Tallis Hardwood which plays an important role in conserving the seedlings from the sun heat and from pasture. A forest is an amalgam of numerous plant species and a great variety of trees.
A primary oak forest Wadi Hjeir on the road from Nabatiyeh to Hula ...

The arbatus , the junifers , the cedars, and a wide variety of oaks, highly endangered species because its wood is preferred for coal mining ... 

For me, coal mining should be simply prohibited throughout Lebanon ...

An extremely rich and diversified ecosystem prevents the soil from erosion , from heat, and at the same time conserves the primary forests which most of them expand along the water streams, maintaining humidity and resisting blaze. Whereas forests composed only of resinous pines constitute real fire torches.

What would the roleof ONG and local collectivities be?

Pine forests of Bkassine-Jezzine: despite a very good management, this forest suffers from the unconsciousness of campers .. Each year fires threaten .. However, the City of Bkassine leads an excellent management of the forest .. and plans to turn it into a protected natural park ...
The Lebanese associations have too much focused on the protection of the national cedar whereas the interest should be on the ecosystems with a circular multi level actions. In other words communities can play a fundamental role by collecting the dead wood, vegetal debris and fragments following the technic of Wood, Branches, fragments ( WBF) which will lead to the revitalising of all hills and arid zones,and then getting back the excess of glands and immature vegetation to be planted again.

Indeed a lot villages of the south have already started to treat domestic waste to produce an excellent fertilizer to revive the desert mountains.

Here I retrieve the chicken waste consisting of organic waste and wood chips ... 

That I pour back in the ground to enrich it in natural compost before plowing and replanting trees ... On these lands, reforestation will be during the month of February ...

Yet why all these efforts if we don't master and acknowledge the control of forest blaze which represents a real calamity. More than 3000 hec have been devastated by fire in less than 3 summers period. Our call today is: let's reinforce the civil defence with sufficient materials and rangers. Let's ban coal making and all sorts of picnics with hookah in the forests.

It's so common for young people to come to picnic in the pine forests, with their hubble-bubbles and furnaces ...
Afterwards let's establish a clear forest cadastre to precise the potential construction zones, refforestation zones and reservation zones then let's set up a policy to bring nature to cities .
You may have noticed that villages are more wooded than the neighbouring arid hills.

Planting olive trees, oaks and fruit trees, carob trees ... is a green belt from village to village ... the success comes from the fact that these trees belong to someone who always takes care ... while the municipalities have a very low success rate of reforestation. Immediately outside the village the mountains seems to be deserts again .. see photo above ... 

The natural regeneration is hard to fulfill because of the destruction of the seedlings and the pastures. Individual reforestation programmes where the associations have to join the local collectivities to organize campaigns for massive and progressive reforestation. They can also collect the excess of glands to plant them in areas already strengthened by compost and wild vegetation.
we can thereby ban the burning of wood all over Lebanon except when used for heating in certain homes.

Several reforestation campaigns that I conducted in different regions of Lebanon 

Translate by Soundous Azzi