In the presence of His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, Mr. Gebran Bassil, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Dr. Anne Patterson, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants (MoFAE) organized a diaspora planting day on May 7. The event was organized in collaboration with the USAID funded-Lebanon Reforestation Initiative (LRI). Around 100 Lebanese Diaspora communities engaged in the planting day, in addition to representatives from MoFAE, Chatine municipality and neighboring municipalities.
The diaspora planting day marks the closing of the 4th edition of the Lebanese Diaspora Energy (LDE) conference which was held by the ministry in Beirut from May 4 to 6, 2017. This planting activity enabled attending Lebanese Diaspora communities to establish their roots by planting 150 cedar trees in the Chatine Diaspora Forest.
In the framework of the LDE, MoFAE initiated the Diaspora Cedar project to reconnect Lebanese diaspora communities to their Lebanese roots. Through this project, members of those communities were invited to adopt their own cedar trees, given that the cedar tree is the most sacred national symbol.
The diaspora planting day marks the beginning of a planned long-term partnership between the MoFAE and LRI to foster the commitment of diaspora communities to reforestation and forest conservation and expand the Chatine Diaspora Forest concept to other areas in Lebanon.