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PIONEER CONSERVATIONIST Print E-mail
In the late 80’s and after about 2 decades of environmental activism and awareness dissemination, Ricardus was confident that the movement he launched is growing a spirit of its own and progressing toward aim. The people he lectured to, people he supported in activities, his students and all the people he touched have grown to a considerable mass able to further environmental activism. In fact, years later, other NGOs and groups working on the ground have adopted activities that the FON conducted during the awareness building phase, like cleaning beaches and towns, taking hikes in nature, etc.

At this point, Ricardus decided to move to a new horizon toward establishing activities that are developmental and convey sustainability. Huge efforts would be required; however, the outcomes would surpass the passing of time and preserve witness of Lebanon’s natural heritage for all coming generations. He launched the line of activity for conservation of natural sites.

Of his words:
“WE DESERVE, WE PRESERVE”

His vision and perseverance donated Lebanon the first conservation of two nature sites classified as Nature Reserves with a legal mechanism and enforcing laws ratified by parliament. His accomplishments even predate the launching of the global movement for conservation of biodiversity initiated in 1992 at the Earth Summit congress through the declaration of the Biodiversity Convention. This is an attestation to the farsightedness of the conservationist ecologist. His works became archetypal examples to be replicated. With the activation of the implementation of the Biodiversity Convention (1997), his achievements were the milestones on which international funding addressed Lebanon. The start was a 2 million dollars project from the GEF for the management of originally three reserves, two of which resulted from the philanthropic dedication of Ricardus and his efforts. Nature reserves of Lebanon have grown to an attraction for tourism and international funding.
 
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