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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   The Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve (Latitude 34º 03’ 43.93”N; Longitude 35º 46’ 09.84”E) covers an area of 6500 ha. at an altitude ranging between 350 meters in the west at Fatre and 1700 meters to the east, at Bhassis and Chouabi hamlets; and extends c.500 metres beyond Nahr (River) Ibrahim to the north and Nahr el Dahab to the south. The Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve which overlooks the Mediterranean sea to the west is a true mosaic of ecological systems broadly representing the “evergreen sclerophylic broussailles and forests” biogeographic region within a Mediterranean biome. A dominant feature of this biosphere reserve is its pristine world of steep, verdant mountainsides rising from a river lined with cool, aromatic sycamore trees to reach summits of statue-like karstic rocks. The mountainous relief gives rise to a number of
eco-zones, thus promoting diversity harbouring many species. The numerous valleys of Jabal Moussa generally run in a direction EN-WS. From a more aesthetic point of view, the various landscapes dominated by peaks and basins, offer wonderful limitless views that are not influenced by the geographical position alone but also by the variety of altitudes and the exposition of slopes in several directions. In the core area alone, it was possible to identify 14 phyto-ecologic groups
and two agricultural types. In addition, Jabal Moussa is unique because it has not yet been touched by the uncontrolled urbanism, dissemination of roads, and quarries that have devastated other similar mountains.
The core area of Jabal Moussa is limited to those public municipal and governmental lands mentioned as National Forest Reserve in the Decision 1/399/08, whereas the buffer zone
comprises lands that are cited by the same Decision or protected by the Forestry Law 558/96 and the Ministerial Decision 34/1. All other areas of villages and their immediate surrounding make the transition zone that is in majority made up of private lands.
The Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve lies along the main regional avian migratory flyway and hosts 83 bird species, of which 7 are regionally and/ or globally threatened. It is proposed an Important Bird Area to BirdLife International not only because of the proportion of its globallythreatened species but also because of the massive migration that occurs on its territories. Its
mammals ranging from bats to wolves and hyenas include 14 species. Of them 8 are regionally threatened, 6 are significantly declining, none is endemic but half of the Jabal Moussa mammals are formed of species that are wholly or partially limited to the Middle East region. In addition to the 12 endemic plant species (about 13% of the endemic species of Lebanon) many plants are of high genetic and economic values, including wild relatives; and a significant number is formed from plants that are at their biogeographic southern limit.
Generally, Jabal Moussa is a low populated (c.8279 individuals) biosphere reserve. In winter, this number drops down to about 4715 as the professional men and women, move to Beirut, Jounieh and itheir suburbs where jobs, better schools, and warmer weather are available.
The vision for the coming years for the Jabal Moussa biosphere reserve is that its communities are renowned for their creativity, innovation, vision and entrepreneurship which promote with pride
and passion social cohesion and community wellbeing; a strong sustainable economy; environmental excellence and sustainability; artistic, cultural diversity, heritage and excellence;
and are committed to sustainably manage the Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve.
  Major ecosystem type   “Evergreen sclerophylic broussailles and forests”: Mountainous peaks, Slopes of dense forests, Deep valleys dissected with rivers and streams, Water-catchments, Caves
  Major habitats & land cover types   Rocky karstic habitat with various oak trees, Grasslands, Rivers (wetlands), Riparian habitat, Statute-like barren rocky habitats, Agriculture land,
Abandoned agricultural lands, and Urban areas.
  Location   Central (Latitude 34º 03’ 43.93”N; Longitude 35º 46’ 09.84”E)
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   6,500
  Core area(s)   1250.00
  Buffer zone(s)   1700.00
  Transition area(s) when given   3550.00
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   350-1500 metres
  Year designated   2009
  Administrative authorities   - Ministry of Agriculture - Association for the Protection of Jabal Moussa (APJM) Le Portail Building, 2nd floor, suite 205 P.O. Box: 401 Jounieh, Lebanon Tel/Fax: + 961 (0)9 643464 Website: E-mail:
  Brief description   The Research and Monitoring activities of the Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve are a part of a Program ran by the APJM in cooperation with a number of national and international
universities and research institutions, especially within the framework of a project of support of reserves and natural sites that is financed by the “Agence Francaise de Developpement”. Whilst the declaration of Jabal Moussa a biosphere reserve will certainly attract researchers from all over the country or elsewhere and will lead to monitoring strategies and programs; continuous plant, mammal, bird, herpetofauna demographic,
socio-economic studies and surveys as well as monitoring continue to support ongoing ecosystem science information and management needs. Local communities are also undertaking studies, together with tour operators and scientists, on the potential impact of eco-tourism development on the economy and sustainable resources management practices of the Jabal Moussa Villages.
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Abiotic factors, climate, geology, geomorphology, groundwater, habitat, hydrology, indicators, meteorology, monitoring/methodologies, pollution, pollutants, soil, topography.
  Biodiversity   Afforestation/Reforestation, alien/invasive/exotic/introduced species, amphibians, biodiversity, birds, breeding/reproduction, conservation, degraded areas, ecosystem assessment, ecosystem functioning/ecosystem structure, ecotone, endemic species, fauna, fires/fire ecology, flora, freshwater/inland water, mammals, mediterranean type/scherophyll, migrating populations/migration, monitoring/methodologies, mountain and highland systems, natural medicinal products, natural resources, phenology, phytosociology/succession, plants, rare/endangered/threatened species, reintroduction, reptiles, restoration/rehabilitation/redevelopment, species inventorying/inventory, wildlife.
  Socio-economic   Capacity building, economically important species, forestry, human migration/population exodus, hunting, livestock and related impacts/overgrazing, local participation, monitoring methodologies, people-nature relations/man/nature, recreation, role of women/gender, stakeholders' interests, tourism.
  Integrated monitoring   Carrying capacity/Sustainability, conflict, education and public awareness, indicators, land use/land cover, planning and zoning measures/zonation, sustainable development/sustainable use, watershed studies/monitoring.
  Contact address   Mhanna Chadi
Ministry of Agriculture
Street or Bir Hassan Sector, face to Henri Chehab Caserne
  Telephone   +961-1-848447
  Fax   +961-1-849620
  Web site

Last updated: 01/03/2010

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