The report deals with land tenure issues in Lebanon and analyzes major problems facing sustainable agriculture in view of natural setting, prevailing practices and existing legislation. Lebanon consists mainly of rugged mountainous regions with slopping and steep lands. The population of Lebanon in 2007 was 4 million with 407,362 residing in Beirut, the administrative capital of Lebanon. One of the main problems in land tenure and land management issues is the cadastre where a significant part of Lebanon is still outside the cadastre (North Bekaa, East Mountains). Based on rainfall amount and land occupation, Lebanon was divided into five large regions and twelve agro climatic zones. Lebanese agriculture is divided into seven agro-climatic regions with 40 homogeneous agricultural areas (Lebanese Agricultural Atlas, MoA, 2005). The land use map of Lebanon published by CDR (SDATL, 2003) showed that the major agricultural areas are located in the Bekaa followed by the Akkar plain and South Lebanon. Agricultural land use in Lebanon might be represented by three main cropping patterns, vegetables monoculture, wheat potato rotation and land under permanent crops – fruit trees or grape production. The total cultivated land area in Lebanon in 2007 was 277,000 ha (27 percent of the total land area), of which about 50 percent was irrigated. Irrigation water in the country is still primitively managed. According to national irrigation experts, the majority of watered lands in Lebanon (67%) are irrigated by gravity feed systems (furrows).
The report reviews state policy in the management of soil and water resources, challenges, responses and assess the constraints and interventions for sustainable land management highlighting the best practices. Specifically, the report reviews works on how to promote water saving using drip irrigation, disseminate good practices like conservation agriculture, integrated pest management and organic farming. It presents the important role the green plan is playing to help farmers in land reformation, road building, land cleaning, water reservoirs construction, and discuss the promulgation of laws that protect agricultural land and encourage the construction on rocky terrains. The report analyzes the chemical, physical and biological land degradation including water pollution and water scarcity, soil erosion, soil salinity, soil sealing and rangeland deterioration. It also discusses the direct and indirect causes of land degradation including the geomorphology of Lebanon, the mismanagement of fertilizer and water input in agriculture, current quarrying practices, deforestation, chaotic urban expansion on the account of productive soils, land use change, overgrazing. It also prospects the conservation practices and governmental control.Download