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Monday Talks > 2015 Spring
Monday 25 May 2015 (7 pm - Open to All)

Elsa Sattout:
Can we Raise Forests in our Cities?  
Rewilding Home Gardens and Public Spaces
Language: English

Summary of the Talk:
The talk will introduce the ecological value of the Eastern Mediterranean region. It will illustrate the region as a hub for high number of plant species and as the center of origin of wild relative species and many Asian animal species. It will present the importance of seeding “urban forest pocket” in man-made landscapes while using native trees and plant and the role they can play in fast growing cities in the region. It will shed the light on the need to promote the use of native plants in the built environment and reduce the introduction of exotic/invasive species to mitigate the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation.  It will illustrate examples of the ecological value of some native tree species, their social and economic values and conservation status.  In this context, the talk will end with a presentation indicating the different sections of the guidebook and its practical use. 
Title of the Book: “Native trees of Lebanon and Neighboring Countries: A Guidebook for Professionals and Amateurs”
By Elsa Sattout and Hala Zahreddine.
(See gallery of images from book below - Click Here)
The book provides a comprehensive study of the 68 tree species found in Lebanon and the eastern Mediterranean region. It is an important resource for biodiversity academics and enthusiasts alike. It encourages the protection and growth of native tree species, promoting their use in home gardens, parks, public gardens, streetscapes along with reforestation projects.
It discusses native trees and their importance in the Middle Eastern region. Along with rich color photographs, the book introduces forests and people in the eastern Mediterranean context. It compiles detailed information for each species including a botanical description, information on ecology including bird visitors, conservation status and actions, and traditional uses of trees and their cultural values in myths and old stories. It presents propagation methods along with the flowering and fruiting season for each tree.
A photos guide, especially for amateurs, is annexed to the book with a map displaying the distribution of the trees and Lebanese Nature Reserves as well as an infographic on the distribution of the tree species along the different vegetation zones defined in Lebanon. The latter shows the range of growth/plantation of the 68 tree species in Lebanon. In annexes also, the book includes a glossary of the technical and scientific terms used and a section displaying botanical illustrations of the key characteristics for identification of trees.
The Book also features a foreword from Vernon Heywood, Professor Emeritus, University of Reading and President of the International Association of Botanic Gardens.
Publisher: NDU Press (2014) - 352 pages.
Available in:
1. Library Antoine All branches -Lebanon. Online: Click Here
2. Library Al-Borj Al-Nahar building, Beirut - Lebanon. Online by sending an email to: 
3. Gebran's Lebanon Library - Old souk, Byblos-Jbeil.
4. Malik's - All Branches -Lebanon.
5. Virgin Megastore- All Branches -Lebanon.
6. Museum Library - National Museum of Beirut - Beirut, Lebanon.

Elsa Sattout
Elsa Sattout, an interdisciplinary professional and researcher, was awarded a Miriam Rothschild scholarship from the University of Cambridge in 2014. She is a PhD holder in Agricultural Botany from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom and a practical botanist with more than 17 years’ experience in Eastern Mediterranean ecosystems. During her PhD studies, she worked with leading taxonomists and conservation leaders at the University of Reading, the Royal Botanic Gardens - Kew, the World Conservation Union, and the Worldbank among many others. A passionate conservationist, scholar, teacher, and nature lover familiar with eastern Mediterranean forests, she built up her expertise since 1998 on their ecology, conservation, and ethnobotanical, and socio-economic values.
The idea of book dates back to 1997 when I was doing fieldwork for my MSc degree in Ehden forest Reserve with my supervisor Vernon Heywood. In 2005, I invited my colleague and friend Hala Zahreddine when she was visiting Lebanon.  My passion towards nature and love to trees fueled my will to write the book and the recognition of the need for a guidebook and comprehensive study addressed to a wide range of readers (from scientists to nature lover).
Acknowledging the importance of the protection of Eastern Mediterranean landscapes as well as the ornamental, social, ecological and economic values of native trees and their introduction in man-made landscapes.
Fostering innovative research programmes on new native tree species and highlighting new species (other than cedar, pine, and juniper) which can be included in national reforestation projects.

Hala Zahreddine
Hala Zahreddine, an independent researcher born in Beirut and living in Ohio State in the United States of America. She graduated from the American University of Beirut (AUB) with a BSc in Agriculture and a Diploma of Agricultural Engineering and an MSc in Plant Sciences. She obtained her PhD in Horticulture and Crop Sciences from the Ohio State University in the United States of America. A horticulturist and a skilled researcher familiar with the ecological understanding and cultivation practices of Lebanese native plants, she has worked for more than five years on the distribution and sexual / asexual propagation techniques of selected perennial plants and woody trees native to Lebanon. She has taught courses in biotechnology, plant propagation techniques, and landscape woody plant identification at the Ohio State University. She has worked with arborists, nursery producers, botanists, and academic institutions.

View Gallery of Images from Book
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