Kick-off of The Biodiversity Group

Covid-Program: Kick-off Event of the Biodiversity Working Group


Kick-off Event of the Biodiversity and Environmental Protection Working Group


Thematic focus and objectives of the kick-off event


The kickoff event aims at introducing the participants to the thematic working group ‘Biodiversity and Environmental Protection, as well as presenting two examples on best practices from Germany and Lebanon on the deployment of early warning systems for forest fires. There is an ever-growing need to strengthen decentralised cooperation between the MENA region and Germany on the dissemination of good practices peer advisory in this thematic field.

At a regional level, the land resources of the MENA region suffer from three main challenges: aridity, recurrent drought, and desertification. Major causes of land degradation are forest fire, deforestation, inappropriate agricultural techniques, etc.  Land degradation in MENA is due to wildfire especially that forest management is weak, and that residential developments are spreading to mountainous and vegetated areas. Wildfires are often originated due to human carelessness, to the lack of their consideration to the environment and the climate change.

This event is an opportunity to showcase the progress achieved by local disaster management offices as well as promoting peer learning for additional improvement of the local and national capacities. Sharing practice-oriented experience facilitates transferring, sustaining and innovating effective applied solutions. The event’s objectives are as follows:

  • Initiate a practice–oriented knowledge exchange between urban practitioners in the field of biodiversity and environmental protection.
  • Facilitate peer learning on state-of-the-art technology to increase resilience and improve disaster preparedness related to forest fires.
  • Foster development of concrete projects ideas related to forest fires prevention.
  • Raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity and the value of ecosystem protection, risk factors, and the protection and preparedness tools.


The Agenda

Time (CEST)




Signing in



Technical check-in

Connective Cities- Tech Host


Welcome remarks & introduction:

  • Words of welcome
  • Introduction of the biodiversity working group
  • Introduction of participants

Ms. Hanane Haber

Dr. Muna Shalan

Connective Cities network coordinator for the MENA region



Good practice presentation 1:

SBR experience in forest fires prevention in Shouf Biosphere Reserve

(followed by Q & A session)



Mr. Nizar Hani

Director of Shouf Biosphere Reserve – Lebanon




Good practice presentation 2:

Early warning system of forest fires in Lower Saxony

(followed by Q & A session)

Mr. Helmut Beuke

Forest and Environment Division

Lower Saxony State Forests - Germany


Way forward and support by Connective Cities

Closing remarks

Hanane Haber


Muna Shalan