Ecological Sciences for Sustainable Development

The Jabal Al Rihane Biosphere Reserve is a true mosaic of ecological systems broadly representing the “evergreen sclerophylic broussailles and forests” biogeographic region within a Mediterranean biome. A dominant feature of this biosphere reserve is the existence of many mountain peaks such as Jabal Safi, Jabal Sujud, Jabal Bir Kallab, and Jabal Bourqab that culminate at 1300, 1200, 1360 and 1300 meters respectively.

This mountainous relief gives rise to a number of eco-zones. From a more aesthetic point of view, such a landscape, dominated by peaks and basins, offers wonderful limitless views. Stands of old oak trees (more than 500 years old) are recognized as outstanding scenic landscapes.

Protected Areas are our threatened national living museums reminding us of Earth’s bounty and beauty. They represent invaluable scientific treasure and economic security. Above all, they are a share of a heritage we ought to keep for future generations to enjoy. 

Berj Hatjian    Ph.D.
Director General
Ministry of Environment

Declaration Date: 2007
Surface Area: 18,430 ha
Administrative Division: Ministry of Environment


Human Activities

Generally, Jabal Al Rihane is a low populated (c.23476 individuals) biosphere reserve.

In winter, this number drops down to about 12000 as the professional men and women, move to Beirut and its suburbs where jobs, better schools, and warmer weather are available.

Ecological Characteristics

The Jabal Al Rihane Biosphere Reserve (Latitude 33º 27’01.17” N; Longitude 35º 33’ 47.17”E) coversan area of 18430 ha. at an altitude ranging between 270 meters in the south, wherethe Litani River constitutes a natural boundary, and 1500 meters to the north, at Mzairaa south to the Jezzine and Niha villages; and extends along the ridge of the southern Mount Lebanon Chain overlooking both the Beqaa Valley (Rift Valley) to the east and the Mediterranean sea to thewest.

The Jabal Al Rihane Biosphere Reserve is a true mosaic of ecological systems broadly representing the“evergreen sclerophylic broussailles and forests” bio geographic region within a Mediterranean biome. A dominant feature of this biosphere reserve is the existence of many mountain peaks such as Jabal Safi, Jabal Sujud, Jabal BirKallab, and Jabal Bourqab that culminate at 1300, 1200, 1360 and 1300 meters respectively.

This mountainous relief gives rise to a number of eco-zones. From a more aesthetic point of view, such a landscape, dominated by peak sand basins, offers wonderful limitless views. Stands of oldoak trees (more than 500 years old) are recognized as outstanding scenic landscapes.

The Jabal Al Rihane Biosphere Reserve (Latitude 33º 27’01.17” N; Longitude 35º 33’ 47.17”E) coversan area of 18430 ha. at an altitude ranging between 270 meters in the south, wherethe Litani River constitutes a natural boundary, and 1500 meters to the north, at Mzairaa south to the Jezzine and Niha villages; and extends along the ridge of the southern Mount Lebanon Chain overlooking both the Beqaa Valley (Rift Valley) to the east and the Mediterranean sea to thewest.

This mountainous relief gives rise to a number of eco-zones. From a more aesthetic point of view, such a landscape, dominated by peak sand basins, offers wonderful limitless views. Stands of oldoak trees (more than 500 years old) are recognized as outstanding scenic landscapes.

Read the UNESCO report

The World Network is governed by the Statutory Framework adopted by the UNESCO General Conference in 1995 which presents the definition, objectives, criteria and the designation procedure for biosphere reserves.