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The Friends of Trees Society

In 1936, Charles Corm kick-started Lebanon's first environmental NGO. In his founding charter he wrote, "To be friends of trees is also to be friends of water, water sources and birds; in other words - life."

The title “Friends of Trees Society» is in itself a call to action. To be friends of trees is to also be friends of water, water sources... in other words - life. It also means being a friend of Lebanon, once famed for its forests, its cedars, its pine trees, its magnificent fauna, its water and water cascades glorified in the Bible. Trees and water are inseparable. No trees, no water and no water, no trees. We must protect the little forests we still have. We need to reforest what can still be and protect it from its enemies, the most formidable of which is the goat. We need to create national parks."

These few lines were written in 1934 by Charles Corm in the founding charter of the first Lebanese environmental NGO. Not much has changed since then!

To get things started, Corm joined forces with some of the movers and shakers of his time including Moustapha Abou Ezzeddine, Émile Eddé and Evelyne Bustros. Together, they started a national tree day, set the stage for agroforestry in Lebanon and called for the creation of national parks.

Painting: Stone Pinw Trees by Blanche Ammoun

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