Lebanon — Forest fire management courses were launched at the Lebanese Universitys Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences Thursday in partnership with the Association for Forests, Development and Conservation (AFDC) and in collaboration with Tragsa and the University of Cordoba-Spain. The event took place at the facultys headquarters in Dekweneh on Thursday at 10 a.m.
The project comes within the framework of a Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID)-funded project entitled: Supporting a sustainable institutional mechanism for-forest fire control in Lebanon implemented by AFDC in partnership with Tragsa and the directorate of Civil Defense at the Interior Ministry. The courses launch took place after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on research and education, between the Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences and AFDC in July 2009.
Attending the event were representatives of various agencies active in funding, developing and implementing projects that support efforts in forest-fire management in Lebanon.
The opening session comprised speeches by AFDCs director general Sawsan Bou Fakhreddine, Counselor at the Spanish Embassy in Beirut Rafael Reig, the dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences professor Tayssir Hamiyeh, and a presentation by professor George Mitri about the content of the course on forest-fire management.
Afterward, a lecture on forest-fire management was given by guest speaker professor Francisco Rodriguez y Silva from the University of Cordoba, Spain.
Every year thousands of hectares of Lebanons forests are consumed by fire, resulting in enormous economic losses due to destroyed timber, burnt housing, high fire-suppression costs, damage to environmental, recreational and amenity values as well as loss of lives and livelihoods.