A Lebanese scientist who specializes in the preservation of his country’s environment has been honored with a knighthood by the Italian Republic.
Nizar Hani, the general manager of the Shouf Biosphere Reserve, the largest of Lebanon’s nature reserves, was awarded the Order of the Star of Italy by Italian Ambassador to Beirut Nicoletta Bombardiere during a ceremony at the ambassador’s residence in Naccache on Friday.
This distinction, Italy’s second-highest civilian honor, is given by order of the Italian president to Italians or foreigners who have acquired special merit in the promotion of friendly relations and cooperation between the republic and other countries.
The Shouf Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO-recognized site that is blanketed with oak and juniper forests, stretches from Dahr Al-Baidar in the north to the mountains of Niha in the south.
The reserve’s most famous attractions are its three magnificent cedar forests of Maasser Al-Shouf, Barouk and Ain Zhalta-Bmohary, which account for a quarter of the remaining cedar forests in Lebanon. Some of its trees are estimated to be 2,000 years old.—Agencies