Forest and Land Use

Forest and Land Use

Greenhouse Gas Emissions:

Land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) in Lebanon act as a sink to carbon dioxide emissions. In 2012, 3,200 Gg of CO2eq have been removed by forests while 1.26 Gg have been emitted resulting in a net CO2 removal from the sector, which was 12% less compared to year 1994. The main sources of emissions are logging, fuelwood extraction, biomass burning and clear cutting which emanates mainly from natural and man-made forest fires. More details available in the Second National Communication report and the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Mitigation Analysis for the LULUCF.

Mitigation Measures:

Cedrus Libani, Juniperus Excels, Abies Cilicia are the most susceptible species to climate change
In order to reduce emissions from land use change and forest fires and increase removals from forests, different mitigation scenarios were developed under the Second National Communication (SNC). Maintaining and conserving existing forest carbon sinks would bring the total CO2 uptake increment to 1.273 Gg. Other measures include afforestation and reforestation and the substitution of fossil fuels by forest-based biofuels. More information is available in the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Mitigation Analysis for the LULUCF.

Impacts of Climate Change on Forests:

Forests in Lebanon will be adversely affected by climate change, especially that forest stands suffer from fragmentation, pest outbreaks, forest fires and unsuitable practices that is challenging the sector’s capacity to survive and develop. Temperature increase is an important factor affecting forest growth and survival. Water availability resulting from rainfall, snowfall in mountains and the soil's capacity to store water are the essential relevant parameters to this sector.

Forest fires constitute a serious threat to the vegetation cover and influence the decline of Lebanese forests. The most prone areas in Lebanon are usually near urban complexes and below 1,200m altitude and include the three main forest types broadleaved forest, P.Pinea and P.Brutia pine forests.

Increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere will increase in the C/N balance of plant tissues, which in turn results in a lower food quality for many defoliating insects which sometimes respond by increasing the level of leaf consumption, damaging trees and causing a pest attack.

Adaptation measures are targeted to assist the natural resilience of forests, anticipate future changes and promote landscape scale and include: 1) strengthening the legal and institutional framework to integrate climate change needs, 2) integrating landscape levels planning in local/regional development plans, 3) strengthening awareness, education and support research, 4) and developing forest management plans for most vulnerable ecosystems. More details available in the Second National Communication report.