In Lebanon, programmes are underway to conserve and restore the country’s forests, with two cedar forests at Horsh Ehden and Al Shouf now designated as nature reserves (4) (5) (7). Since the Al Shouf Nature Reserve has been protected from grazing, there has been an increase in the regeneration of the cedar of Lebanon (7). A number of other sites are also protected by ministerial decrees, although few are managed as nature reserves (4) (7).
As it is the national tree, there is strong support within Lebanon for reforestation programmes involving the cedar of Lebanon, although these can be complicated by a lack of effective management and law enforcement (4) (7).
In Turkey, the more inaccessible nature of the terrain has helped to largely protect the forests in which the cedar of Lebanon occurs (4). This species is found in a number of protected areas within Turkey (4) (11) (14), and extensive replanting projects have taken place both inside and outside of the cedar of Lebanon’s natural range (4) (5) (11).
Other conservation efforts for the cedar of Lebanon have included the cultivation of seedlings in nurseries, which are then being planted across Lebanon (4), as well as investigations into preserving selected genetic types in the lab (15). However, some nurseries also grow closely related Cedrus species, which can be difficult to tell apart, and there has been little monitoring of what is being planted where (4).
Further measures recommended for the conservation of the cedar of Lebanon include surveying and assessing remaining cedar forests, improving forest management and law enforcement, and expanding protected areas (4). It will also be important to include local communities in conservation strategies, and to take into account the vital economic value of cedar forests to local people (7).
The natural forests of the cedar of Lebanon are considered to be important national and cultural treasures (11), and the conservation of this iconic tree will also be important to many other threatened species which rely on the vital habitat it provides (4) (7).