Publications of Diane A. Matar

Application of modified threat reduction assessments in Lebanon

Worldwide efforts have concentrated on developing monitoring methods that would enhance the assessment of progress toward achieving the 2010 conservation objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Threat reduction assessment is one such method. It provides an indirect measure of the effects of a conservation project by evaluating changes in human-induced direct threats to protected areas. We applied modified threat reduction assessments and the 2008 International Union for Conservation of Nature standardized lexicon for classification of threats to Horsh Ehden and Al-Shouf Cedar nature reserves in Lebanon. Our goal was in part to test the suitability of this tool for improving monitoring and management effectiveness of protected forests in Lebanon. In Horsh Ehden, composite threats decreased by 24% from 1997 to2002, and then increased from 2002 to 2009 by 78% in the core area of the reserve and by 118% in the reserve’s buffer zone (surrounds core area, conservation and recreational activities allowed). In Al-Shouf Cedar reserve threats decreased by 51% from 2006 to 2009. Management teams from both reserves have integrated the use of this method to prioritize actions for new management plans. We believe that in Lebanon and other countries with limited resources and weak monitoring programs or that are experiencing political instability threat reduction assessments could be used to improve the effectiveness of protected areas management.