Wild Plants for Well Being


To celebrate the International Day of Biodiversity 2018, the Shouf Biosphere Reserve in collaboration with many of its notable partners (Jablna Association, Municipality of Maasser, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of agriculture ….) organized an environmental awareness raising event in Maasser El-Chouf Village on May 20, 2018 under the title “Wild Plants for Well Being”. This event aimed to raise public awareness about native wild plants biodiversity with purpose of broadening their understanding of the several uses of plants in daily life. Around 1,000 people attended this event and participated in the activities

The program of this day was rich and diverse in terms of topics and activities that targeted children and adults
 Plant experts from different universities and associations were present all day; several lectures and conferences were held to explain about native wild plants, such as gundelia, tea, rosemary etc, their health benefits and uses in local communities. The list of presenters who provided the relevant knowledge about the wild plants follows

Ms. Zeina Tamim
Dr.Al Rabih
Ms. Rabiha Sfeir

Mr. Mohammad S. Al-Zein
Mr. Shebli Abou Assi 
Dr. Marc El-Beyrouthy 

Mrs. Maya Melhem on behalf of Dr. Selma Talhouk

Takreem: Dr. Georges , Pr. Henriette Tohme,& Dr. Mouein Hamza

Dr. Krikor Sahakian
Dr.Charles Abou Samra

Mr. Wael Zeidan
Dr. Jean Stephan
Mr. Nazih Baz

Interactive workshops were designed to create successful learning experiences for all participants, namely, the soap workshop, the gardening workshop, the cosmetic workshop, the compost workshop, the compost boxes workshop, cooking sessions, tea workshops and essential oil workshop. All of the mentioned workshops stimulated collaborative work

At the soap workshop: the process of making bar soaps from wild plants was explained from start to finish by Mr. Nabil Sarieddine. Participants were involved in this hands-on activity


At the compost boxes workshop: Shouf Biosphere team guided the participants on how to build backyard composting units using the necessary tools and equipment

The botanical garden: The mobile botanical garden founded by the “Green Hand” association attracted the visitors who had the opportunity to see and know about the native plants of the region

At the tea workshop: People were engaged in the making and tasting of different tea types and introduced to several types of tea herbs by Dr. Marc El-Beyrouthy

At the essential oil workshop: Dr. Marc El-Beyrouthy explained the importance of essential oils made from wild plants such as lavender, lemon, mint, laurel etc

At the gardening workshop: the expert Mr. Nabil Sarieddine cooperatively demonstrated how to start planting a vegetable garden around ones house or apartment using environmental-friendly methods and how to extend the life of the plants. Children also planted Origanum Syriacum and were introduced to its uses and benefits

At the cosmetic workshop: Using native wild plants such as thyme, lavender etc.…..as the main ingredients, the expert Ms. Marie Mouzaya made different natural-cosmetic products and elaborated on their uses

The botanical trail: during the day several groups walked at different timings through the established trail and were guided and directed to find and identify the wild plants along the trail by the experts Mr. Khaleed Sleem, Dr. Mhammad S. Al-Zein, and Dr. Jean Stephan


At the cooking workshop: A variety of edible native wild plants that are nutritious and tasty such as thyme, mint, lavender, rosemary, fennel etc.…. were used during the cooking sessions that were carried out by Mrs. Nada Fattouh, Chef Houssein Abdel Sater, Chef Hanna Tawil, Mrs. Nassab El Rabih, and members of Couara restaurant


At the compost workshop: the process of converting yard waste and kitchen scraps into rich organic fertilizer was demonstrated by Mr. Khaleed Sleem. Participants were engaged in making compost with worm or mixing it with soil

Engagement of the local community and Shouf Biosphere Reserve volunteers was a vital part of the event, for instance, many local traditional products and food (following the theme of the event) were available and the volunteers assisted in the different activities that were taking place. Moreover, people visited Maasser Cedar Forest to see the oldest and most impressive cedar trees of the Shouf Biosphere Reserve

For more information:
Park house: Al Shouf – Lebanon
Maasser El Shouf – Village square – Facing public garden
Phone/Fax: +961 5 350250/150