Lebanon's Famous Cedar Trees are Dying from Climate Change

Published November 29th, 2018 - 08:29 GMT

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The cedar tree, with its majestic horizontal branches, graces the nation's flag and its bank notes. What if the national flag became the only place you can find a green cedar in Lebanon?

High up in Lebanon's mountains, the lifeless grey trunks of dead cedar trees stand stark in the deep green forest, witnesses to the climate change that has ravaged them.

Lebanon's iconic cedar trees, ravaged by climate change in a region where future warming is "expected to exceed global rates by 25 percent," scientists say. Continue reading below »

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An activist from Lebanese NGO Jouzour Loubnan ('Roots of Lebanon') holds in his hand young a cedar to be planted on the slopes of the Jaj Cedar Reserve Forest in the Lebanon mountains.
JOSEPH EID / AFP
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Image 1 of 10:  1 / 10An activist from Lebanese NGO Jouzour Loubnan ("Roots of Lebanon") holds in his hand young a cedar to be planted on the slopes of the Jaj Cedar Reserve Forest in the Lebanon mountains. JOSEPH EID / AFP

Enlarge
Nabil Nemer, a Lebanese entomologist and ecologist, holds in his palm Cephalcia tannourinensis wood wasps, which attack and chew on cedar spring buds leaving them a burned reddish-brown, at the Cedars Reserve Forest of Tannourine, in the Lebanon mountains. 
JOSEPH EID / AFP
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Image 2 of 10:  2 / 10Nabil Nemer, a Lebanese entomologist and ecologist, holds in his palm Cephalcia tannourinensis wood wasps, which attack and chew on cedar spring buds leaving them a burned reddish-brown, at the Cedars Reserve Forest of Tannourine, in the Lebanon mountains. JOSEPH EID / AFP

Enlarge
Nabil Nemer, a Lebanese entomologist and ecologist, holds in his palm Cephalcia tannourinensis wood wasps, which attack and chew on cedar spring buds leaving them a burned reddish-brown, at the Cedars Reserve Forest of Tannourine, in the Lebanon mountains. 
JOSEPH EID / AFP
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Image 3 of 10:  3 / 10Nabil Nemer, a Lebanese entomologist and ecologist, holds in his palm Cephalcia tannourinensis wood wasps, which attack and chew on cedar spring buds leaving them a burned reddish-brown, at the Cedars Reserve Forest of Tannourine, in the Lebanon mountains. JOSEPH EID / AFP

Enlarge
An activist from Lebanese NGO Jouzour Loubnan ('Roots of Lebanon') holds in his hand young a cedar to be planted on the slopes of the Jaj Cedar Reserve Forest in the Lebanon mountains.
JOSEPH EID / AFP
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Image 4 of 10:  4 / 10An activist from Lebanese NGO Jouzour Loubnan ("Roots of Lebanon") holds in his hand young a cedar to be planted on the slopes of the Jaj Cedar Reserve Forest in the Lebanon mountains. JOSEPH EID / AFP

Enlarge
An activist from Lebanese NGO Jouzour Loubnan ('Roots of Lebanon') holds in his hand young a cedar to be planted on the slopes of the Jaj Cedar Reserve Forest in the Lebanon mountains.
JOSEPH EID / AFP
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Image 5 of 10:  5 / 10An activist from Lebanese NGO Jouzour Loubnan ("Roots of Lebanon") holds in his hand young a cedar to be planted on the slopes of the Jaj Cedar Reserve Forest in the Lebanon mountains. JOSEPH EID / AFP

Enlarge
An activist from Lebanese NGO Jouzour Loubnan ('Roots of Lebanon') holds in his hand young a cedar to be planted on the slopes of the Jaj Cedar Reserve Forest in the Lebanon mountains.
JOSEPH EID / AFP
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Image 6 of 10:  6 / 10An activist from Lebanese NGO Jouzour Loubnan ("Roots of Lebanon") holds in his hand young a cedar to be planted on the slopes of the Jaj Cedar Reserve Forest in the Lebanon mountains. JOSEPH EID / AFP

Enlarge
An activist from Lebanese NGO Jouzour Loubnan ('Roots of Lebanon') holds in his hand young a cedar to be planted on the slopes of the Jaj Cedar Reserve Forest in the Lebanon mountains.
JOSEPH EID / AFP
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Image 7 of 10:  7 / 10An activist from Lebanese NGO Jouzour Loubnan ("Roots of Lebanon") holds in his hand young a cedar to be planted on the slopes of the Jaj Cedar Reserve Forest in the Lebanon mountains. JOSEPH EID / AFP

Enlarge
This picture shows a young cedar laid in a cage and surrounded by stones for protection from snow and animals, freshly planted during an initiative by Lebanese NGO Jouzour Loubnan ('Roots of Lebanon') 
JOSEPH EID / AFP
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Image 8 of 10:  8 / 10This picture shows a young cedar laid in a cage and surrounded by stones for protection from snow and animals, freshly planted during an initiative by Lebanese NGO Jouzour Loubnan ("Roots of Lebanon") JOSEPH EID / AFP

Enlarge
Nabil Nemer, a Lebanese entomologist and ecologist, holds up a burned reddish-brown cedar branch chewed-up by Cephalcia tannourinensis wood wasps, at the Cedars Reserve Forest of Tannourine.
JOSEPH EID / AFP
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Image 9 of 10:  9 / 10Nabil Nemer, a Lebanese entomologist and ecologist, holds up a burned reddish-brown cedar branch chewed-up by Cephalcia tannourinensis wood wasps, at the Cedars Reserve Forest of Tannourine. JOSEPH EID / AFP

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This picture shows a view of the cedars reserve forest of Jaj in Mount Lebanon, northeast of the Lebanese capital Beirut. 
JOSEPH EID / AFP
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Image 10 of 10:  10 / 10This picture shows a view of the cedars reserve forest of Jaj in Mount Lebanon, northeast of the Lebanese capital Beirut. JOSEPH EID / AFP

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1

An activist from Lebanese NGO Jouzour Loubnan ('Roots of Lebanon') holds in his hand young a cedar to be planted on the slopes of the Jaj Cedar Reserve Forest in the Lebanon mountains.
JOSEPH EID / AFP

Image 1 of 10An activist from Lebanese NGO Jouzour Loubnan ("Roots of Lebanon") holds in his hand young a cedar to be planted on the slopes of the Jaj Cedar Reserve Forest in the Lebanon mountains. JOSEPH EID / AFP

2

Nabil Nemer, a Lebanese entomologist and ecologist, holds in his palm Cephalcia tannourinensis wood wasps, which attack and chew on cedar spring buds leaving them a burned reddish-brown, at the Cedars Reserve Forest of Tannourine, in the Lebanon mountains. 
JOSEPH EID / AFP

Image 2 of 10Nabil Nemer, a Lebanese entomologist and ecologist, holds in his palm Cephalcia tannourinensis wood wasps, which attack and chew on cedar spring buds leaving them a burned reddish-brown, at the Cedars Reserve Forest of Tannourine, in the Lebanon mountains. JOSEPH EID / AFP

3

Nabil Nemer, a Lebanese entomologist and ecologist, holds in his palm Cephalcia tannourinensis wood wasps, which attack and chew on cedar spring buds leaving them a burned reddish-brown, at the Cedars Reserve Forest of Tannourine, in the Lebanon mountains. 
JOSEPH EID / AFP

Image 3 of 10Nabil Nemer, a Lebanese entomologist and ecologist, holds in his palm Cephalcia tannourinensis wood wasps, which attack and chew on cedar spring buds leaving them a burned reddish-brown, at the Cedars Reserve Forest of Tannourine, in the Lebanon mountains. JOSEPH EID / AFP

4

An activist from Lebanese NGO Jouzour Loubnan ('Roots of Lebanon') holds in his hand young a cedar to be planted on the slopes of the Jaj Cedar Reserve Forest in the Lebanon mountains.
JOSEPH EID / AFP

Image 4 of 10An activist from Lebanese NGO Jouzour Loubnan ("Roots of Lebanon") holds in his hand young a cedar to be planted on the slopes of the Jaj Cedar Reserve Forest in the Lebanon mountains. JOSEPH EID / AFP

5

An activist from Lebanese NGO Jouzour Loubnan ('Roots of Lebanon') holds in his hand young a cedar to be planted on the slopes of the Jaj Cedar Reserve Forest in the Lebanon mountains.
JOSEPH EID / AFP

Image 5 of 10An activist from Lebanese NGO Jouzour Loubnan ("Roots of Lebanon") holds in his hand young a cedar to be planted on the slopes of the Jaj Cedar Reserve Forest in the Lebanon mountains. JOSEPH EID / AFP

6

An activist from Lebanese NGO Jouzour Loubnan ('Roots of Lebanon') holds in his hand young a cedar to be planted on the slopes of the Jaj Cedar Reserve Forest in the Lebanon mountains.
JOSEPH EID / AFP

Image 6 of 10An activist from Lebanese NGO Jouzour Loubnan ("Roots of Lebanon") holds in his hand young a cedar to be planted on the slopes of the Jaj Cedar Reserve Forest in the Lebanon mountains. JOSEPH EID / AFP

7

An activist from Lebanese NGO Jouzour Loubnan ('Roots of Lebanon') holds in his hand young a cedar to be planted on the slopes of the Jaj Cedar Reserve Forest in the Lebanon mountains.
JOSEPH EID / AFP

Image 7 of 10An activist from Lebanese NGO Jouzour Loubnan ("Roots of Lebanon") holds in his hand young a cedar to be planted on the slopes of the Jaj Cedar Reserve Forest in the Lebanon mountains. JOSEPH EID / AFP

8

This picture shows a young cedar laid in a cage and surrounded by stones for protection from snow and animals, freshly planted during an initiative by Lebanese NGO Jouzour Loubnan ('Roots of Lebanon') 
JOSEPH EID / AFP

Image 8 of 10This picture shows a young cedar laid in a cage and surrounded by stones for protection from snow and animals, freshly planted during an initiative by Lebanese NGO Jouzour Loubnan ("Roots of Lebanon") JOSEPH EID / AFP

9

Nabil Nemer, a Lebanese entomologist and ecologist, holds up a burned reddish-brown cedar branch chewed-up by Cephalcia tannourinensis wood wasps, at the Cedars Reserve Forest of Tannourine.
JOSEPH EID / AFP

Image 9 of 10Nabil Nemer, a Lebanese entomologist and ecologist, holds up a burned reddish-brown cedar branch chewed-up by Cephalcia tannourinensis wood wasps, at the Cedars Reserve Forest of Tannourine. JOSEPH EID / AFP

10

This picture shows a view of the cedars reserve forest of Jaj in Mount Lebanon, northeast of the Lebanese capital Beirut. 
JOSEPH EID / AFP

Image 10 of 10This picture shows a view of the cedars reserve forest of Jaj in Mount Lebanon, northeast of the Lebanese capital Beirut. JOSEPH EID / AFP

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Often dubbed "Cedars of God", the tall evergreens hark back millenia and are a source of great pride and a national icon in the small Mediterranean country.

That's why activists from Lebanese NGO Jouzour Loubnan gather to plant young cedars on the slopes of the Jaj Cedar Reserve Forest in the Lebanon mountains, northeast of the capital Beirut in a joint initiative in partnernship with the Lebanese Army to mark the 75th anniversary of the country's independence.

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