Animals and Plants
What is growing in Lebanon?
The most famous plant in Lebanon is the Lebanon cedar, which you can also find on the country’s flag. It is now under nature protection and can mainly be discovered in the mountains of the country. In the past, large cedar forests covered the country, but only a small part of the country – around 8 percent – is now covered with forest. Many forests have been cut down.
Lebanon is a country with a lot of water, as the meltwater from the mountains allows many plants to grow. Pine, oak, pine and cypress trees thrive, as do olive trees in the country’s valleys. Fig trees and vines also feel good. Nature reserves offer a home to many plants and tree species. Plants that only exist in Lebanon, such as the pink orchid from Fairuz, also grow here. Otherwise many forests have been replaced by bushes.
Which animals live in Lebanon?
You can find many species of birds of prey in the mountains. In addition to buzzards, eagles and hawks also fly here. Bears are given retreats in the lonely mountain regions, as are jackals and foxes.
Many animals are found mainly in the country’s nature reserves. Endangered species live here, of which there are many in Lebanon such as squirrels, hedgehogs, martens and many butterflies and amphibians. There are also species of birds and mammals such as wolves or lynxes and other wild cats.
The fauna on the coast is made up of flamingos, pelicans, cormorants and several reptile species. Otherwise, many domestic animals such as sheep and goats live in Lebanon. And there are many species of fish in the sea. Sea turtles can also be seen, but only in the south of Lebanon.
How is Lebanon doing financially?
For a long time, until the civil war broke out in Lebanon in 1975, Lebanon was an important economic center in the region and set a positive example for the entire Middle East. Lebanon connected Europe and the states on the Gulf.
But many good approaches were lost during the war. The war destroyed the country and there was a lack of money to rebuild everything. So the state had to go into debt to build schools, hospitals and roads. The government borrowed money over and over again, which led to high national debt. In 2006 another war broke out, which continued to cause considerable damage. Money from abroad could help, but the country still has high debts and at the same time great difficulties in paying them back.
What is grown, processed and promoted in Lebanon?
The fertile plains on the coast of Lebanon allow crops, fruits and vegetables to flourish. In addition there is the breeding of sheep, goats and cattle. Nevertheless, food has to be imported into Lebanon because people cannot live from their own products alone. Industry has been largely destroyed by the civil war. There are only a few factories left that process food, make clothes and paper. Lebanon does not have too many
raw materials to offer. There is a little oil, iron ore, limestone, copper and phosphate. There is hope of finding more oil or even natural gas. However, large parts of the natural gas and oil are probably off the coast of the country. Here a dispute between the neighboring countries seems to be in sight again because it is not entirely clear where the states’ sea borders run exactly.
No tourism in a country where there is war
Banks played an important role in Lebanon before the civil war, and the country was an important financial center in the region. For a long time tourism was an important source of income in Lebanon. The beautiful landscape and the mild climate attracted tourists and business people from the region, but also from Europe. But here too there was a turning point with the civil war, as many hotels were destroyed and no one likes to travel to a country where war is raging. At the same time, large parts of the landscape were destroyed and many animals were exterminated. Tourism only slowly began to recover and it was mainly tourists from the neighboring Gulf States who brought money back into the country.
Consequences of the war in Syria
But then the war in neighboring Syria intensified, which brought with it an unstable situation again. The governments of many countries have issued travel warnings for their citizens. They warned against traveling to Lebanon because it was dangerous here. This has caused further damage to tourism.
Many Lebanese fled abroad during the wars and send money into the country from there. This is very important for the people who live there. On the other hand, many well-educated Lebanese have had to leave their country and are missing there.
The Lebanese economy is doing very badly. Imports such as grain or gasoline became more and more expensive. The large number of Syrian refugees who still live in Lebanon and who have to support the small country are also a problem. In addition, there was a terrible explosion that destroyed half of the city in the port of Beirut at the beginning of August 2020 and left many dead and injured. (see also history and politics). The country has not recovered from this and is also suffering severely from the corona crisis.