The national campaign to prevent forest fires, #DontRiskIt, was launched on July 12, 2019. This campaign is part of the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Livelihoods in Forestry (LiF) project. The campaign was launched by the Lebanon Reforestation Initiative (LRI) NGO and Association for Forest Development and Conservation (AFDC), in partnership with the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Environment, the Lebanese Armed Forces, the Civil Defense and the Disaster Risk Management Unit.
The campaign’s main objective is to educate municipalities and local community members via social media about a variety of actions that can help to prevent forest fires. The campaign also includes a “Prevention and Readiness” workshop on June 23 that will gather municipal representatives from villages with high risk of forest fires. The workshop will train participants on various procedures to reduce and prevent forest fires, to prepare and respond if forest fires occur, and to know how to restore forests after a fire incident.
On the community level, the campaign is also organizing forest clean-up days for volunteers in high-fire-risk villages to reduce and prevent fires. LRI and AFDC consider the most at-risk locations to be: Rachaiya, Hamat, Dahr Al Ahmar, Qaroun, and Rmadiyeh,
Lebanon loses an average of 1,500 hectares of its woodland each year due to forest fires, and in 2007 alone, Lebanon lost around 4,000 hectares of its forests. The #DontRiskIt campaign reminds us that we are individually responsible for taking actions to protect Lebanon’s forests from fires.