In the mountains of Lebanon, at an altitude of 1,380 metres, you can still feel the breeze from the Mediterranean Sea. Here, in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Jabal Moussa and the legendary Adonis Valley, biodiversity and cultural heritage coexist.
Listen to the podcast to discover more about biodiversity conservation and archeology in this biosphere reserve.
Limestone geology combined with up to 1,500 mm of rain a year have shaped Jabal Moussa’s wondrous gorges and karstic outcrops, making it the perfect habitat for the rock hyrax (Procavia capensis), the mascot of the biosphere reserve.
species of flora have been recorded here, 26 of which are endemic to Lebanon and six to Jabal Moussa. The evergreen scrubland, olive groves, oak and sycamore forests are characteristic of the sun-drenched maritime Mediterranean biome.
The mountain bears witness to a Phoenician god, Roman roadwork, Imperial carvings, an Ottoman farm, a Byzantine church and a modern-day cross at its summit. The ‘Mount of Moses’ is an important site to Christian pilgrims.
Only 40 km to the north-east of Beirut, the biosphere reserve is three times as large as the city. Together with the Shouf and Jabal Rihane biosphere reserves, the Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve forms an ecological corridor running along Lebanon’s mountainous backbone.