Lebanon is an Arab country, with an important geographical location bordered by the sea and mountains, and characterized by its picturesque nature and mild weather. This country was home to the oldest human civilizations, and the cradle of religions its rugged terrain and mountains were a breeding ground for some minorities who sought refuge in the mountains to hide in them.
The difficult economic situation that Lebanon is currently going through has negatively affected the environment and the forests. So, the worsening crisis pushed the Lebanese to the forests, to cut off the environmental wealth, to secure a warm environment for their families in light of the harsh winter that Lebanon passed through.
Were people aware of the seriousness of the new environmental crisis? In fact, yes, people were aware of the seriousness of the matter. In my conversation with some people and friends, the answer came as follows: "We are aware of the danger, but we do not have enough money to buy expensive fuel to secure warmth in our homes, just as we cannot provide medicine and pay the cost of hospitals if someone of the family member getting sick due to the cold weather. We have no solution but to cut down trees to keep warm!!"
Has the environment in Lebanon become threatened?
The environment in Lebanon is no longer only threatened, but is in a state of extinction, due to the lack of awareness, and because of the successive crises that afflicted the Lebanese. Lebanon has been distinguished since ancient times for its mild weather and picturesque environment, and it was a public tourist attraction visited by the East and West, boasting of its sea, and mountains. However, continuing to cut down trees from forests will inevitably lead to desertification, and thus the soil will be transformed from arable soil to eroded and degraded soil that is not suitable for cultivation. Thus, the continuation of cutting off the environmental wealth in Lebanon may lead to the transformation of Lebanon from a green oasis, to a desert full of thorns.
Here we can say that the responsibility lies not only on the citizen who resorted to cutting down trees to heat his house, but also on the government that was unable to secure heating materials for its people, and which has not been able to carry out serious economic reform until today.
The government must also bear its responsibility in punishing the merchants, as some of them deliberately raise the prices of commodities unnaturally, and others resort to the mountains and deliberately cut down trees and strip forests to trade in firewood and sell it to people at unreasonable and ill-conceived prices. For this reason, I turn to those concerned with the need to conduct awareness campaigns about the seriousness of the matter. Such campaigns can be held in schools, universities, municipalities, and villages. We are in dire need to protect our forests from desertification and disappearance, and we need all those trees to purify the air from dust, factory fumes, and the specter of technology.
So the environment is the most precious thing we have now in Lebanon. It is a great wealth that must be preserved and invested for the benefit of all the Lebanese. The environment is the permanent doctor for all our pains. From it, we take herbs to make medicines, and to it, we escape from the noise of life. Preserving our environment is the first way for us to preserve our health and survival.
'Protect your environment, win your family'
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