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FOR ECONOMIC SUPPORT Print E-mail
Ricardus’ hard work and zeal to protect nature is not only dedicated to preserving Lebanon’s most important wealth, its natural heritage, it is also addressed to enhance its productive sectors from tourism to agriculture and industry and ultimately to improve its economy and the quality of life of the Lebanese. Every tree he saved is a tree that will bring more rain and avail more water for our needs. Every forest he preserved is a forest that moderates the climate and support agriculture. These are his beliefs that generated his overwhelming and absorbing capacity to proceed irrespective of obstacles.

Ricardus the naturalist and ecologist is also fully aware of the economic value of nature and its revenues. He has started ecotourism way before the concept took value on international scale; he has practiced acknowledgement and support for rural communities with the friends and the participants on his nature walks, camps, etc. He cherishes rural life, habits and knowledge, which in Lebanon is surely all based on agriculture - the main productive sector that allowed the countrymen security and independence in early times to subsequently permit the existence of a country.

The broad knowledge of Ricardus on plants and nature extends to agricultural practices and productions. He treats agriculture with the eye of an ecologist, so he is the distinguished eco-agronomist. Parallel to raising environmental awareness,
  • Ricardus has addressed the significance of agriculture and the obligate respect to farmers in all his lectures.
  • He organized agricultural camps in rural regions to teach the appreciation of agriculture and common practices to those who do not know.
  • He approached the farmers themselves and dedicated lectures and field days in many villages in Lebanon bringing to them knowledge and experience. His aim is to enhance their acknowledgement of the natural surrounding, to incite ecological approaches to farming which would be rewarding to the farmer by reducing his expenses and increasing the produce.
  • Practices from trimming to grafting, plowing, planting season, use of manure and fertilizer, spraying, etc. are frequent enquires that he taught and was consulted on in his lectures, in the fields and on the phone.
A farmer, who has attended a lecture sometime, would phone Ricardus asking: what should I do to my olives? How do I treat my apples? Etc…..

  • In 1985, Ricardus wrote a series titled: “Guide to the Farmer” dealing exhaustively with the various ecological problems that the Lebanese farmer faces. In collaboration with the Ministry of Habitations and Cooperatives and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Ricardus delivered a chain of audio-visual lectures on various aspects of agricultural ecology to agricultural cooperatives and farmers in all the provinces of Lebanon; the guide was distributed to aid them in their work.

  • Through the Lebanese Cooperative for the Advancement of Agriculture, Ricardus has taught the farmers of upper Kesrouan region how to manage their apple orchards and treat them properly. He helped them reduce their spraying of pesticides from 15 spraying rounds per season to only 4 rounds, thus minimizing their expenses and reducing pollution of food, air, soil and water.  

  • Ricardus has collaborated closely with the beekeepers. He has addressed them in audio-visual lectures and field visits through their cooperatives, non-governmental organizations and villages to help them benefit from the floral richness of Lebanon to produce honey, a competitive economic resource, and in turn assist at protecting the natural wealth.

  • Ricardus has also dealt with the ecological problems facing agriculture as vigorously as he has dealt with environmental problems. Backed by field investigations and knowledge, Ricardus wrote to officials, spoke to and through the media to expose or circumvent an unfolding problem like an outbreak of field mice due to the extensive bird hunting, or an incident of increased grasshopper populations thought to be an outbreak of locust that is endangering crops, and many other, or the excavation of red soil from the orchards of olives to be used in the production of cement thus eroding large areas of agricultural land, etc. etc. ………..

Each subject was a fight, and each topic required an intense struggle to amend or halt, and every issue required lobbying in the media, on site, with local community, policy makers, local and central authorities, and other. Can one just imagine the time and the dedication and the expenses all this requires, so why? Because his Lebanon deserves.

 

 
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