Shouf

The Shouf Biosphere Reserve covers about 5% of the overall area of Lebanon and extends along the ridge of the western chain of Mount Lebanon from Dahr-el Baidar in the north to Jezzine in the south and overlooks both the Bekaa valley to the east and the Shouf valley to the west. The mostly treeless summit of the Al-Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve forms the skyline of a large part of southern Lebanon.


Declaration Date: 2005
Surface Area: 29,540 ha
Administrative Division: Chouf Region - Lebanon 

Human Activities

  • 70,000 people living around the SBR, whose territoryis shared by 24 different municipalities belonging to 3 different Districts.
  • Rural Development: 70 different products made by members of the local community (mainly women) using traditional methods.  Recipes are available on sale in the visitors centres managed by the Reserve.
  • Ecotourism Management: Interpreter/guiding, visitorsafety, eco-tourism activities, guest houses- Environmental education

Ecological Characteristics

  • Some of the highest mountains in the Middle East, providing a full wealth of ecosystem services including wildgenes pool, freshwater storage, climate mitigation, hydro-geologic balance, andaesthetic/leisure value.
  • The largest stands of Lebanese Cedars, one of the World’s great tree icons.
  • Rich flora and plenty of medicinal plants with high potential economic value.
  • Interesting wildlife with a good potential for restoration through the reintroduction of charismatic species such as Ibex, Gazelle, Vultures etc
  • A crossroads for bird migration, strategically located on the routes between Europe, Africa, and West Asia.
  • 50,000 hectares of surface, which make SBR on of the largest protected areas in the Middle East and the East Mediterranean
  • 620 hectares of Cedar forest
  • the largest expanse of this species in Lebanon and 25% of the remaining cedar forests in the country.
  • 520 species of plants, 25 internationally and nationally threatened species, and 48 plants endemic to Lebanon
  • Over 250 bird species recorded in the Biosphere Reserve, many of which are recorded from the Ammiq wetland.

Protection Classifications

At national level, the area was declared as a nature Reserve in 1996.

The Al-Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve is core zone of Shouf Biosphere Reserve


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                                                                 Last updated : August 2011

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