We have it on our flag, we are proud of it. The Cedar, the great tree of Lebanon, yet the true verdure of our country is almost lost, we live in a grey capital.
There is today 0,8m2 of green space per citizen in Beirut, the World Health Organization suggests 40m2 for each citizen. We are far below this number.
I have never heard an “important” statement from any of the deputies that belong to powerful political parties. It seems that the problem isn’t interesting.
Horsh Beirut, is quite a big park for Beirut area, and it accounts for 72% of Beirut green space, though it is closed to the public, only foreigners and “Wasta-People” can get it. Our city municipality thinks that public access could destroy the park. Most people, even in Beirut, haven’t heard of it, closed since 1990, Horsh Beirut has evaporated from our memory.
Nahnoo is an organization that called for the reopening of Horsh Beirut. Nahnoo ( that means “us” in Arabic ) have found out that the Municipality of Beirut does not own Horsh Beirut, so closing it is illegal and a violation of the Lebanese citizens rights.
Good news, Horsh Beirut might reopen this year. But it’s too little, too late.
Beirut Green Project is awesome too, it created a map, the Beirut Green Guide. You can discovery the very few green spaces of Beirut, with information about them, like the number of benches and if it has WiFi or not. You can also add a space that you discovered. In their blog you can find a lot of tips, events and initiatives that help the citizen to get “greener”.
NGO’s do a lot of effort, it compensates the lack of interest of the government. And it’s very dangerous of them. By not speaking about the environmental causes, the citizen forgets about it. He forgets that it is one of his basic rights. The citizen will think of Syria, Hezbollah weapons, presidential vote, etc. They are important, but having enough green spaces for everyone is very important too.
The government does not look into them, yet I’ve just discovered on the internet that a green party does exist in Lebanon ! It’s the Green Party of Lebanon. It is not present in the government nor in the parliament. It will at least plan (and plant) green spaces.
The government and the main political parties must themselves respect the nature and give example. Gebran Tawk, a former Lebanese deputy, destroyed a big area in Bcharee ancient cedar forrest for his wedding son. The government has arrested the project, but it was too late, Cedar trees will take dozens of year to grow back. Oh and the land was part of the World heritage site…
Get greener, put some flowers in your balconies, the grey Beirut needs to be green again.