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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 268-279

Patronage, Contextual Flexibility, and Organisational Innovation in Lebanese Protected Areas Management

Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway

Correspondence Address:
Mads Solberg
Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen, Bergen
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.145138

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Date of Web Publication20-Nov-2014


The Lebanese Shouf Biosphere Reserve (SBR) counts among the most successful Middle Eastern conservation projects today. This article describes the evolution and contemporary management of conservation in Shouf. Using SBR as the empirical foci it argues that mobilisation of customary political hierarchies to secure environmental protection is not bound to impede conservation agendas as suggested by Kingston (2001), but rather provided the SBR with managerial flexibility under a weak state. The case study shows how new environmental agendas articulated with traditional political regimes in building novel, stable institutions. From these emerged contextually flexible solutions for mediating resources and negotiating nature. The Shouf's particular clientelist political structure gave rise to networks simultaneously civic and part of the Lebanese state. Explaining the apparent stability of conservation practice in Shouf requires shifting analytical frames away from polarised debates either for or against the roles of state, civil society, and patronage in conservation.

Keywords: protected areas, decentralisation, clientelism, patronage, conservation, civil society, Lebanon

How to cite this article:
Solberg M. Patronage, Contextual Flexibility, and Organisational Innovation in Lebanese Protected Areas Management . Conservat Soc 2014;12:268-79

How to cite this URL:
Solberg M. Patronage, Contextual Flexibility, and Organisational Innovation in Lebanese Protected Areas Management . Conservat Soc [serial online] 2014 [cited 2020 Jul 7];12:268-79. Available from: http://www.conservationandsociety.org/text.asp?2014/12/3/268/145138

   Introduction Top

Upon receiving the 2006 'Forest for Kyoto Prize' from the Italian Ministry of Environment for her conservation efforts, Noura Jumblatt duly credited her husband, patron of Shouf Biosphere Reserve, president of the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) and former warlord of the Lebanese Druze minority 1 :

To be honest, the prize should be made out to Walid Jumblatt, who has dedicated a lot of time and effort to the preservation of the Cedar Reserve. […] I was only his partner in this, whereas it was all his idea to preserve this region, with him protecting the area during the Civil War 2 .

Although inconspicuous at first glance, this historical event suggests a complex entanglement of actors crosscutting the domains of patronage, state, and civil society within the Lebanese conservation field. By offering a localised, ethnographic analysis of the underlying micro-processes perpetuating the Shouf Biosphere Reserve (SBR), a park evidently hailed as a model for regional conservation, this article contributes to the critically deficient literature on protected areas from the Middle East. By rectifying former assumptions and received wisdom about the role of civil society (global and local) and the state in contexts of patronage, the paper enables a better understanding of empirical realities in protected areas governance characterised by patron-client dynamics.

The Shouf Biosphere Reserve, like other contemporary Protected Areas (land formally set aside by states for biodiversity management), is embedded in global networks crosscutting state, civic organisation and for-profit enterprises (Igoe and Brockington 2007; Brockington, Duffy, and Igoe 2008). Meanwhile, new practices and frictions arising from the export of alleged universally valid conservation regimes to 'local communities' have been scrutinised in fine-grained analyses of conservation practices (Brosius, Tsing, and Zerner 1998; Anderson and Berglund, 2003; West, Igoe, and Brockington 2006). Subsequently, calls for closer attention to the roles of 'local communities' in making or breaking conservation projects have spilled into policy and decision-making. As a response to these critiques, funding agencies have during the past decades channelled more resources into projects aimed at decentralisation and participation, revealed through programmatic buzzwords like 'community-based conservation', 'local knowledge' and 'participatory project management', terms resonating with the broader development discourse (Berkes 2004). These policies build on implicit assumptions about non-state actors' abilities to form coalitions representing 'civil society', and to build collectives fostering democratic, sustainable resource governance. Hence, 'the local' is considered to contribute with knowledge and interests of a kind that states or transnational development-donors lack (Hobart 1993; Agrawal 1995; Lewis and Mosse 2006).

But the 'community-turn' is precarious. Agrawal and Gibson (1999) questioned common applications and unwarranted assumptions embodied in the concept of 'community' within both the practice and study of development and conservation. Arguing that spatial demarcation, shared norms, and uniform social structure do not by default characterise 'local communities', and that capacities for sustainable resource management within various corporate social groups cannot be inferred solely on the basis of such attributes, Agrawal and Gibson echo the critiques of assumptions about the "organic, social wholes" that anthropology initially took as its object of study (Netting 2008). By relying on veiled, simplified assumptions about 'local communities' or 'traditions', scholars and policymakers alike risk reifying the dynamics of participatory conservation schemes (see Fay 2007). Although spatial distribution, shared norms and traditional socio-political structures indeed influence resource management (see Atran et al. 2002), the role such attributes play in protected areas management needs subjection to empirical inquiry and cannot be ascertained a priori (Hayes and Ostrom 2005).

As conservation is contingent on complex translocal dynamics, any analysis needs to move beyond universal claims either for or against community by investigating generative processes at play in specific contexts (Berkes 2004; Brockington et al. 2008; on development see Olivier de Sardan 2005; Mosse and Lewis 2006). Local empowerment offers no guarantees for achieving transnational biodiversity goals, especially when these do not resonate with other values and modes of organisation (Berkes 2004). So although the lingo of participation has undoubtedly spawned new policies and generated valuable empirical insights questioning top-down approaches, current 'populist' jargon does not always reflect coherent analytical categories with stabile meanings (Blaikie 2000; Olivier de Sardan 2005). Consequences from policy changes brought about by the dissemination of this populist jargon, is not fully transparent or predictable either. The lesson from these critiques therefore suggests closer attention to specific processes, institutions, and networks emerging from interactions and mediations between actors with diverging interests on various scales.

Lebanese conservation: state, civil society, and patronage

Drawing on ethnographic data from Shouf, this paper examines, now an over decade old proposition; that Lebanese terrestrial conservation was a product of political patrons opportunistically securing developmental riches to their constituencies, and that these processes are antagonistic to civil conservation agendas (Kingston 2001). By examining SBR's contemporary managerial practices, I argue for a re-appreciation of how civic environmentalists, patrons, and the state negotiated conservation in Lebanon. Crucially, I claim that conservation in Shouf is best understood as a form of organisational innovation performed by agents heavily constrained by contemporary Lebanese political realities. Patronage is a widely accepted theory and practice of political life in Lebanon, but framing the issue of domestic conservation as a "façade of civil society" hiding a "deep-rooted patron-client reality" (Kingston 2001: 67) becomes analytical unhelpful if our goal is to understand how patronage and conservation in areas like Shouf is reproduced.

To understand the emergence of novel human-environment relations, we should avoid attributing explanatory primacy to certain political factors a priori (Vayda and Walters 1999). Rather, I suggest, patronage offers conservationists and their critics, faced with a weak state unable to secure viable working conditions, multiple decision-making opportunities pertaining to legal frameworks, economic support, and access to relevant political networks. These networks provide "contextual flexibility" in resource management by being adaptable to new circumstances while remaining within the confines of "acceptable social behaviour and political procedure" (Hviding 1998: 225). Such a perspective suggests that any normative postulate of a pure state/civil society-binary which patronage supposedly disrupt, is misguided in explaining the reproduction of contemporary conservation regimes in Shouf. SBR emerged from the complex interplay between patrons and clients operating both locally and globally. These cut across a range of analytical boundaries and are not reducible to the opportunism of political elites. The case therefore encourages a rethinking of assumed state and non-state dynamics in biodiversity management in postwar Lebanon.

The paper is structured as follows. After outlining the study area and methods employed, I describe characteristic Lebanese political dynamics and critically examine Paul Kingston's account of Lebanese forest conservation (Kingston 2001). I then look at state and non-state interaction in the early Protected Areas Project. Circumstances surrounding the genesis of this enterprise are found insufficient to explain the SBR's subsequent evolution and apparent stability. I therefore examine the resources that contemporary SBR-affiliates draw on to adapt under a state considered incapable of achieving satisfactory conservation. I end by discussing how we can better frame such processes analytically.

Methods and area of study

The ethnographic data for the article was gathered during six months of anthropological fieldwork in Shouf [Figure 1], June-December 2010. The study relied on a combination of participant observations, participatory mapping of cultural landscapes (Strang 2010), informal and formal field interviews, examination of written documents, as well as historical sources chronicling park developments. Through residency in an undisclosed central park village, the author primarily followed the management team responsible for SBR in daily affairs, and interacted with residents, donors, various NGOs, state and private sector partners in Shouf villages and in Beirut. Interlocutors were primarily selected through chain-referral (snowball sampling). Conversations were conducted in English or Arabic (at times via an interpreter).
Figure 1: Shouf Biosphere Reserve with transition, buffer, and core zones

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With a territory of roughly 10,450 sq. km, Lebanon saw rampant environmental destruction during its civil war (1975-1990) and subsequent interims of unrest. Formerly known as 'the Switzerland of the Middle East', Lebanese postwar reconstruction follows laizzes-faire principles, with an economy founded on tertiary sectors catering to international trade and lucrative (peace time) tourism. During the mid-1990s the Lebanese state demarcated protected areas as part of its environmental policy; hoping to conserve wildlife and tap into opportunities offered by the growing industry of nature-based tourism, to which (despite a history of violence) it can offer scenic mountain forests and cultural attractions. The Shouf Biosphere Reserve, established in 1996 as 'Al-Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve' under law no. 532, proved the most viable initiative. In 2005, it was designated an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve through the MAB-program, becoming involved in three primary agendas: conservation, economic/social development, and logistic support (monitoring, awareness education etc.). Current park territory borders the Beirut-Damascus highway in north and Jezzine in south, running parallel along Mount Lebanon's southern continuation. Bounded by 28 villages/municipalities, the park is 500 sq. km (elevation ranging between 1100 to roughly 2000 meters). According to official figures its 50,000 hectares of mountainous temperate to semi-arid deciduous, coniferous forests and garrigue (ca. 5% of the Lebanese landmass) boast a variety of different species (an estimated 520 plant species, 250 different birds, 26 kinds of reptiles and 32 mammalian species). Approximately 70,000 residents (primarily Druze and Christian) live within its perimeters. In 2010, 17 individuals received direct salaries from the reserve, and around 40 families, mainly Druze, were enrolled in their rural development program 3 .

Although standard metrics of objectively assessing park performance are contested (Brockington et al. 2008: 64-72), the SBR is considered a highly accomplished venture by commentators, politicians, and donors 4 . Researchers have hailed it as a promising site for participatory conservation (Shackley 2004; Sattout et al. 2007). Implementing a project portfolio of above 2 million USD in the past decade, welcoming 50,000 visitors in 2011, the park received international media acclaim and was endowed with several awards 5 . Proponents depict the project within a win-win framework; a source for sustainable economic growth through 'ecotourism' in a precarious postwar economy. The park counts the cedrus libani-old-growth cedar forests-as a main attraction (Mikesell 1969; Chaney and Basbous 1978). Forest use in Mount Lebanon dates back at least 4600 years, when Cedrus was a luxury commodity exploited by ancient Mediterranean empires. Roman emperor Hadrian (117-138 A.D.) set aside cedar forests as an imperial domain, leading one scholar to conclude that Cedrus was understood as "threatened, or at least an exhaustible resource" (Mikesell 1969: 19). Settlements adopted geointensive agricultural systems in Mount Lebanon's steep hillsides and trees were gradually depleted while herding and grazing diminished seedlings, leaving only Mediterranean garrigue. As various empires, from the Egyptian and Mamluk to the Ottoman and British taxed Mount Lebanon's forests, its geography was radically altered and by mid-twentieth century the Cedrus forests, were considered gravely threatened.

Today's forests lend imagery to a range of metaphorical articulations. Lebanese sectarian groups are said to unite around Cedrus-which is found on Lebanese currency, the Lebanese flag, and other public symbols-as a token of common heritage despite past conflicts. It has been observed that a key to mobilise commitment to nature protection lies in providing frames for identification with that which must be conserved: "certain flagship species bear the burden of public sympathy" (Milton 2002: 118). The charismatic imagery of Cedrus libani with its millennia long lifespan is discursively framed as a token of Lebanon's cultural history and perseverance among Levantine civilisations, and a metonym for threatened national biodiversity 6 . But although Cedrus' symbolic saliency as a collective non-instrumental valuable commodity facilitates public support for conservation (Sattout et al. 2007), this alone is insufficient to explain the SBR's success. Particularly as other parks with similar attractions have had considerable difficulty in building viable institutional capacities.

   Patronage, Civil Society, and Conservation Top

In a seminal review of Lebanese environmental politics Paul Kingston argued that terrestrial conservation emerged from interactions between three players: environmental NGOs representing civil society, the state, and patron-client networks (Kingston 2001). Clientelism, patronage, or patron-client relations are synonyms for a resilient socio-political dynamic (Eisenstadt and Roniger 1980; Johnson 2001). It is a principal form of political organisation in developing countries, and less common as centralised power becomes more effective (Gellner and Waterbury 1977: 4). Important structural commonalities appear between various expressions of patronage relations globally. Ubiquitous in Lebanon, it designates an asymmetrical political exchange where unequal dyads within the social hierarchy interact with uneven stakes and goals. Patrons are usually politically and economically superior to clients. Clients seek access to limited goods controlled by patrons, who bestow resources in return for political support (votes).

Because protected areas enable the procurement of development funds and infrastructure, Kingston argued that Lebanese power brokers attempted to consolidate postwar political power through regional development-through-conservation schemes. He therefore suggested approaching Lebanese environmental politics through the prism of patron-client relationships, rather than the more common civil society/state framework (Kingston 2001: 56). Through this analytical lens he describes how patrons in the 1990s co-opted Lebanese environmental politics to 'green' their networks. For Kingston, the Lebanese conservation landscape must be understood in geopolitical, opportunistic terms, suggesting that the entanglement of conservation and patronage resulted in undemocratic, uncivic impediments to Lebanese conservation (Kingston 2001: 67, 70, 71, passim).

However, although any study of environmental politics in Lebanon inevitably faces the concept of 'civil society', its analytical application on Middle Eastern societies requires qualification (Antoun 2000). Comparative studies indicate that 'civil society' forms a family resemblance category with fuzzy boundaries, and normative residues from Western political philosophy like 'liberal', 'secular', and 'voluntary' (Hann and Dunn 1996; Lewis 2002), which limits its application value in empirical exegesis. The contemporary Middle East, instead of presenting neat divisions between state and civil society, rather presents "a complex web of social institutions which sustain order when central governments are ineffective or oppressive" (Eickelman 1996: x). Appreciating the region's institutional breadth regarding civic organisation should therefore guide inquiry to a range of non-state "institutions of cooperation and trust" (Antoun 2000: 44-45). Suggestively, although Kingston's novel account illuminates the political origins of Lebanese protected areas, any explanation of contemporary complexities requires moving beyond origin stories toward analysis of current practice, and beyond assertions that a conservation "regime of compliance" was effectuated (Kingston 2001: 63). Generative processes of contemporary conservation-under-patronage in Shouf are not understandable through a priori framings of antagonistic disjunctions between patronage, civil society, and the Lebanese state. Such frames lead to implicit predictions about the potential of civic conservation that are not supported by ethnographic data; SBR's historical trajectory cannot be reduced to the agency of patronage opportunism.

The persistence of patronage

Understanding how patronage became embedded in Lebanese protected areas management requires briefly surveying national politics. A parliamentary democracy, Lebanon is consociationalist, dividing power between 18 sects since the 1943 National Pact 7 . "Civic myths" of sectarian pluralism (ta'ifiya) and extended kinship undergird the national social order and serve to legitimise power-distribution (Joseph 2000: 108). Lebanese confessional organisations provide healthcare, education, and other social services the state cannot 8 . Suggestively the state is weak precisely because it is kept in check "by an unusually strong civil society" embodied by these confessional organisations (Longva, forthcoming: 11), hence a "less fierce" state emerged than in adjacent Islamic countries. At the apex of Lebanon's political hierarchy, 'political bosses' (Ar. pl. zu'ama) marshal power from across confessional groups (Hamzeh 2001: 170). These patrons lead political parties, not primarily on basis of ideological programs, but in virtue of their capacities to provide services for clients in return for electoral support. A strong 'confessional' civil society arguably undermines state power, but simultaneously it also prevents diffusion of power to individual Lebanese citizens (Johnson 2001: 237-249). A za'im (Ar. sing.) maintains power primarily in two ways: a) by getting re-elected to public office so that he (predominantly male) may influence public administration to provide clients with state services, and b) by being a successful businessman with commercial and governmental contacts facilitating work, contracts and capital (Johnson 1977: 208-210). Power brokerage through 'connections' (wasta) is crucial to dispense such services. Family histories of clientelist exchange provide the frames of reference for evaluating trustworthy relations.

During the Lebanese civil war (1975-1990) confessions became warring states-within-the-state. In wartime, Shouf Walid beyk Jumblatt, through the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP), established the Civilian Administration of the Mountain to render communal civil services after massive Christian displacement 9 . The Jumblatts, a political dynasty of Kurdish origins, had consolidated power in post-independence Lebanon as de facto leaders of the Druze. Levying wartime taxes and dispensing public services to Druze, Jumblatt distributed from his own pocket between 400,000 to 500,000 USD monthly (Khuri 2004: 167). Through his "feudal-cum-clientelist party" and political clout, Jumblatt the dominant postwar patron in Shouf district, was elected as Member of Parliament, securing minister posts and political influence beyond what his 6% minority constituency would suggest (Knudsen 2005: 12). Confessionalism as a primary form of civic association and patronage is evidently so closely intertwined, that any postulates of sharp distinctions between civil society and patronage for analytical purposes become spurious at best.

   The genesis of lebanese protected areas Top

I now attend to the historical evolution of the Protected Areas Project (PAP), and how novel conservation regimes emerged from interactions between civic conservationists, state, and patrons. This provides the context for explicating SBR's contemporary management practices (section 4).

The Lebanese state addressed countrywide deforestation through its Green Plan, a joint Ministry of Agriculture and FAO effort between 1960 and 1975, planting monocultures of Cedrus libani in high altitude areas of Mount Lebanon. Territory-based environmental schemes, then like today, required support from local strongmen. Kamal Jumblatt, socialist leader of the Druze in Shouf, wholeheartedly supported the initiative. Oral histories among interlocutors tended to celebrate the Jumblatt dynasty's resolve for conserving 'Druzeland's' nature. According to one event recalled during field interviews, some clients (ahali) had received an audience with Kamal beyk in 1975 10 . Being poor they asked for permission to cut trees to sell for cash. The beyk had reputedly answered in outrage: "He who will cut trees; I will cut his neck!" Timber extraction in Shouf nonetheless continued, when according to another popular story Kamal's heir Walid, the current PSP-leader and undisputed Shouf patron after his father's 1977 assassination, forbade lumbering, deployed mines, and ordered ditches dug around the forests. The intended lesson of these stories was that cedar forests still existed due to the Jumblatts legacy as pioneer conservationists.

The protected areas project

Conservation policies entered Middle Eastern politics through the United Nations Environmental Programme's regional advisors during the 70's, albeit with little success. Then during the spring in 1975, Lebanon's civil war unleashed unprecedented environmental damage. The Green Plan was of little interest as the state dissolved, but a small vanguard of environmental activists coalesced. This grassroots network established SPNL (Society for Protection of Nature in Lebanon), an NGO officially recognised in 1986 with by-laws stating a primary goal to establish protected areas and place environmental politics on the agenda. Stability after the Ta'if-agreement offered new opportunities, and smaller activist organisations along with SPNL formed the Lebanese Environmental Forum (LEF, an umbrella union for environmental protection) in 1993 11 . While some LEF-members advocated radical social action, the majority wanted to build permanent institutions through state cooperation.

During wartimes deforestation had escalated, except in places with local policing of resources like Shouf, and the MoE singled out forest management as a priority; likely due to the Cedrus' iconic status. Land-use planning and waste-management were arguably equally urgent, but hostility from developers with political ties (whose profits were jeopardised by environmental regulation), led the ministry to prioritise protected areas (Kingston 2001: 60). Although data on relations between rules and use-practices during the war is scant, consensus among conservationists was that communally enforced regulatory practices collapsed and were ameliorable only by top-down governance 12 . A decree from 1993, supplementing the 1949 forest law, banned felling of Cedrus and other trees nationwide 13 . State protection of natural sights was not unknown in Lebanon (Ministerial Decree no. 434 of 1942 designated Bsharri's Cedars of God a 'natural site') 14 , but nature reserves were conceptually novel because land-use became subject to international regulatory models embodying new values.

From the onset the new underfunded MoE depended on ENGO's for acquiring funding from international donor agencies and development bureaucracies. UNEP's advisor at the time (an individual later playing a significant role in the SBR) succinctly summarised these relations in an interview 15 :

The NGOs of Lebanon created the MoE. They say that everything is written under the "umbrella of the MoE", but in reality it's the NGOs that do the work. The only thing they cared about was "give us money, how much money can we get"?

An IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) mission had in the early 1990s already prospected opportunities of PAs after encouragement from players like SPNL. Although the conveners initially desired the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Site-designation, they quickly realised that national legislative frameworks for conservation were insufficient. Hence they settled with working towards demarcating protected areas through national law. Eventually, seed money for PAP-implementation was made available from the Global Environmental Facility's (GEF) Small Grants Program after IUCN-recommendations 16 . Subsequent transfers from the state, multilateral donors (WWF, UNDP), bilateral donors (Italian Cooperation, USAID, GIZ, AFD, SDC), commercial partners like HSBC and BankMed, and not least Walid beyk Jumblatt, provided vital support. Although protecting remnant Cedrus was prioritised, Lebanese biodiversity and its role as a major bird corridor for Eurasian migratory birds gave additional rationales 17 . These projects introduced new networks and understandings of environmental risks into the socio-political landscape of Lebanon, prescribing new human-environment regulations.

Decentralisation and patronage in conservation

Interviews with key conservationists in 2010 revealed that political elites became central in protected areas management for specific reasons. Civic environmentalists were initially reluctant to get entangled in the country's 'dirty politics'. But staying apolitical proved difficult, as environmental policies inevitably impinged on territories controlled by former warlords (see also Kingston 2001: 63). PAP regulated land-use and the project had to enlist zu'ama with huge interests invested in their postwar territories of control. As IUCN had begun advocating projects of 'community-based conservation', it recommended bestowing managerial roles to non-state actors, i.e., 'local' NGOs. Although state representatives wanted PAP subsumed under their administration, the state held little leverage against former warlords re-elected to establish anew the national political dialogue. UNEPs advisor at the time recalled the ensuing discord 18 :

At this time Lebanon was just coming out of the Civil War, and no one wanted strangers [state representatives] coming up to the top of their mountain, managing it. No, they wanted their own boys up there. "Yes, but under the umbrella of the government and we will appoint a committee to oversee them" [the ministry replied]. We said no; this money will be managed by the NGOs.

Given the state's fragility, donors (GEF) perceived decentralisation of power to representatives of 'civil society' as paramount. So despite MoE's reluctance, PAP in 1996 became the first national project placing public lands under direct administration of NGO's in three protected areas: the Al-Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve, Horsh Ehden Nature Reserve and Palm Islands Nature Reserve. The Arabic term mahmiat ('protected') was chosen to conform to categories I and II in the 1994 IUCN system (Brockington et al. 2008: 22). Interestingly, Kingston finds it unlikely that these foreign interlocutors realised the extent to which management bodies were being co-opted by political bosses eager to direct developmental funding into their constituencies (Kingston 2001: 63). But, as will be demonstrated in section 4, foreign donors were not oblivious to the significance of patronage.

Different political fields, novel outcomes

Political feuds within the new protected areas resulted in very different governance trajectories. In retrospect SBR and Ehden Reserve offer a comparative illustration. The Palm Islands Reserve outside of Tripoli (with former Prime Minister Omar Karami as patron) and Ehden Nature Reserve in Zghorta, had NGOs available for taking up park management. But in Shouf there were none, so prominent environmentalists enlisted Jumblatt (who was reputed for environmentalist sympathies) to establish the NGO 'Al-Shouf Cedar Society'. Jumblatt, dominating the Shouf's political field, was installed as chairman with his sympathisers as board members. In Zghorta, Maronite patron and Marada Movement leader Suleiman Franjieh Jr. attempted to control the NGO Friends of the Horsh Ehden. But while conservationists, Franjieh, and the less powerful Mouwad Clan wrestled for power over Horsh Ehden's developmental funds, thereby hampering the park's daily management, the Shouf saw no similar political competition. When a cabinet reshuffle appointed Jumblatt's political protégé Druze MP Akram Chehayeb as Minister of Environment from 1996 to 1998, the way was paved for even more local autonomy.

The fact that the state eventually negotiated the establishment of Appointed Protected Areas Committees in Shouf, whose committee board were to be approved by state representatives, remains absent from earlier accounts. This marks an important turn of events for understanding the state-civic interface in Shouf. Although initially blocked by Jumblatt in an attempt to achieve total autonomy (Kingston 2001: 63), the APAC came to play significant managerial roles, designating a management team responsible for daily affairs and running communications between state bodies as well and Shouf-based stakeholders. As a result, central state authorities claimed a supervisory role in a setting where the state and rural communities became asymmetric structures, enjoying different access to resources (Agrawal and Gibson 1999: 638). In these new emerging dynamics neither the state, the patrons nor the conservationist clients had the upper hand at all times.

   The Social Reproduction of Conservation-Under-Patronage Top

Brosius suggested that: "if ever there was a rich site of cultural production; it is in the domain of contemporary environmentalism" (Brosius 1999: 277). I now describe and analyse everyday practices of conservation-under-patronage, dynamics which enabled the social reproduction of conservation in Shouf. Through ethnographic explications of novel managerial practices, I argue that the project's custodians simultaneously worked through a state lacking omnipresent effectiveness, and a range of non-state bodies to solve management issues. As such, conservation-under-patronage constituted a range of practices allowing for contextually flexible adaptations to new situations and circumstances, while remaining within the confines of "acceptable social behaviour and political procedure" (Hviding 1998: 255). Accordingly, the Shouf project's development can be understood to display "contextual flexibility": a concept suitable for describing processes whereby resilient, customary, and authoritative local governance practices (here within the context of clientelism) foster organisational innovation when interfacing with external political-economic pressures and models (Hviding 1998). Patronage has proven resistant, adaptable, and is widely considered a valid principle of conduct, coexisting with other institutions in contemporary Lebanon. Patronage is 'customary' in virtue of having historical continuity across generations, involving dynasties with recognised claims to lead decision-making on behalf of sectarian constituencies. Note that 'indigenous knowledge' debates have largely been absent from the Middle East (Knudsen 2007), and the state does not explicitly embrace patronage as customary, as is the case for 'traditional' law such as Melanesian kastom or Indonesian adat19. Instead, patronage is 'authoritative' in virtue of uncodified family and personal exchange histories of goods and services for political loyalty. These exchanges interface with the public administration of Lebanese conservation.

Contested conservation

The park's establishment was initially contested. Residents of Shouf expressed scepticism to outright hostility as lands became appropriated into a protective regime under Jumblatt's auspices. People owned private land and rented public municipal lands for agro-pastoral activities, which the reserve would restrict 20 . Additionally, plot boundaries were disputed. Park rangers and other staff recruited from surrounding villages recalled meeting considerable initial hostility as infrastructure became a subject of sabotage 21 . For conservationists, environmental protection would be unfeasible without locals embracing the project, thereby explicitly subscribing to the propositional "myth of local participation" (Brockington 2004). Economic development was a promised synergy from coupling conservation with the panacea of ecotourism, and the project was motivated by the alluring propositional scheme and policy model dubbed the "win-win discourse" on protected areas (Adams et al. 2004).

SBR's first manager (and cofounder of SPNL), explained that most people understandably considered Jumblatt and not the state as the sovereign responsible for land appropriation 22 . The beyk had, after all, initially resisted state attempts to provide municipal authorities with formal responsibilities of implementing legal protocols through the APAC (Kingston 2001: 63). But despite Kingston's claims to the contrary this state-sanctioned body came to play significant managerial roles and the conflict was ameliorated through memorandums of understanding between municipal councils in cooperative effort with civic conservationists, state representatives, and Jumblatt's agents. Although the project's legitimacy was questioned, a viable framework emerged under the political umbrella comprised of patronage, civic and state players. Comparatively other protected areas saw far meagre performances as contested political fields made managerial stability difficult.

Audit culture: balancing transparent and pragmatic management

The existence of APAC shows that a one-sided focus on Jumblatt's "regime of compliance" (Kingston 2001), underestimates how environmental politics in Shouf straddles the civic-state divide. According to managerial protocols, the SBR's daily operations were to be managed by staff supervised by the aforementioned APAC, whose purpose was safeguarding both "state and local interests", and achieve "strategic objectives" (SBR 2010) 23 . But managerial practice deviated considerably from such public representations. Although intended to balance Jumblatt's influence through the Al-Shouf Cedar Society, APAC-members significantly overlapped with the Society's governing board (with ministerial approval). In published materials like the Management Plan some of these relations were spelled out, while others remain unstated.

As a widely circulated account of park organisation, this public representation under-communicated entanglements between clientelist and state networks. The document thereby balanced pragmatic solutions with demands from the "audit culture" of bilateral conservation-development, which exchanges funding for transparency and accountability (Strathern 2000). We are told APAC members are volunteers representing "the local communities (municipalities, district commissions), university experts, environmental NGOs, or representatives of institutions (the MoE)" according to the "SISPAM protocol" 24 . APAC-members (local politicians and businessmen) participate voluntarily, with 4 out of 7 also found among the Cedar Society's 11 board members. Interestingly, the Cedar Society is mentioned only in passing as a "local stakeholder" with a "crucial role in management", remaining unspecified in other respects. The aforementioned UNEP-advisor (3.2) authoring the Management Plan in capacity as an environmental consultant, represented 'scientific' interests in both bodies as the "expert" (SBR 2010). The APAC-president was an influential lawyer politically allied with Jumblatt, recently elected to mayorship in a central park municipality. Besides Walid beyk as president, the Society's executive committee consisted of Shouf elites: Akram Chehayeb (Druze MP, former Minister of Environment) was vice president and Michelle Skaff (a significant landowner from a wealthy Christian family dynasty from Bekaa) was secretary general 25 . Noura Jumblatt, the beyk's wife, participated as an advisor. The text later reveals that a future challenge is in clarifying relationships between the Society, the APAC and the management team, without mentioning joint representation.

This organisational matrix was surprisingly transparent for donors with long experiences of park collaboration. Foreign technical consultants from the Italian Cooperation for instance, acting as "development brokers" augmenting local knowledge with foreign capital and expert knowledge (Lewis and Mosse 2006: 11), made clear that this mode of operation was primarily a political adaptation which they accepted to achieve conservation work on the ground 26 . Such agencies often interacted with the beyk or his confidants (like Noura Jumblatt), or through staff, Society or APAC representatives. The consensus was that Lebanese realpolitik obliged patronage as a necessary pragmatic modality. Without it conservation would be unimaginable. Besides, these developmental brokers, echoing Lebanese conservationists, made clear that the Shouf's patrons seldom intervened in everyday conservation practice in ways that disrupted overall goals. On the contrary, overlapping statuses enabled flexible, informal procedures and communications, thereby offering a framework for dealing with shifting circumstances on a wide range of matters. For instance: in case of forest fires, management could telephone the beyk or his wife to facilitate mobilisation of military helicopters with water carrying capacities. Such requisitions were judged as impossible without the patron's standing and network (wasta) with key army commanders. On matters of jurisprudence the lawyer/mayor/APAC-president could emerge as the network's most useful node. The highly profiled Noura Jumblatt, managing the renowned Beiteddine Festival, could facilitate attention to fundraising or events like tree-planting requiring the public eye, bilateral support or celebrity attendance, events which enabled access to the promises of "celebrity conservation" (Brockington 2008). The committee, running correspondences with foreign development agencies as the state appointed governing body, thereby reproduced resilient status-hierarchies (see Green 2003).

Job security and patronage

The precarious domain of economic management, funding, and job security also shows how conservation-under-patronage offered contextual flexibility under constraints. Conservationists, as the majority of Lebanese, lacked trust in the state's capacity to perform mandated tasks (see Joseph 2000: 120; Haddad 2002). This led them to opportunistically work both within and outside the auspices of state bureaucracies. Annual state subsidies, transferred to the SBR via its APAC under ministerial auspices, only amounted to 30% of core costs (42,000 USD) in 2010. Although a proposed draft law would amend this, pay-outs only proceeded through common practice and could cease if the Ministry of Finance desired. To cope with economic risk and unpredictability, the park's administrative unit tried to save state allocations. By not relying on these for expenditures, they increased resilience to the state's volatile conditions. Consequently funds for running costs were predominantly acquired through donor support and entrance fees. Staff administration was formally the MoE's responsibility, but de facto accomplished locally, through the APAC and Society with ad hoc ministerial approval. This resulted in a paradoxical situation: the state neither capably offered staff economic security, nor was legally responsible for them. This task was taken up by Jumblatt's Cedar Society, which provided the organisation with economic stability in years of deficit. The beyk furthermore personally covered expenditures in periods of dire need, practically making the park a redistributive tool for Druze civil welfare initiatives, financing both staff salaries and park maintenance costs. As the park manager explained 27 :

The committee, which is the body which should manage the reserve, cannot register employees at the social security [pay pension instalments]. Because, it's a committee! It's an interior way of managing the protected areas between the ministry and the protected areas. It's not an NGO, it's not a governmental body, and it is not the private sector. So the Cedar Society registers the employees at the social security [thereby providing welfare rights] 28 . And by law the team should belong to the committee, and not the Society! This is why I say it's still unsustainable. In our case, it's a special case; because we have a good relationship between the society and the committee, and it plays a key role in the management. This is not the case in the other protected areas. In Ehden for example, they didn't get their salaries for thirteen, fourteen months because there was a problem [see 3.3].

From the managerial perspective the ministry neither paid the bills, nor had capacities to run the reserve adequately. SBR staff was aware of this situation, but focused on working as best they could within the constraints of the system to protect nature. Again, the park manager says:

Right now, not 100% [of all our management procedures] are acceptable to the Ministry of Environment. Because they are saying: "ahh, you are doing whatever you want, […] and you don't come back to us".

One more aspect of conservation-under-patronage needs mentioning. Mobilisation of wasta ('connections') with political elites for state employment is common in Lebanon. In this context patronage offered both opportunities and dilemmas for conservationists. When one long-term employee resigned, my interlocutors explained how hiring new staff needed to be done discreetly. The communities in the park's vicinity had expectations from the project. So when positions opened it was not unusual for family heads to contact park leaders, its board or even the beyk to utilise wasta in order to secure salaried positions for kin, appealing to past familial relations or demanding an otherwise fairer distribution of park benefits. Since employing unqualified candidates due to external pressure could expose images of nepotism, management had to vigilantly balance the expectations from transnational conservation bodies with the domestic politics of patronage. Whereas other parks had experienced schisms, leading the state to freeze allocations, such skillful balancing allowed conservation in Shouf to become an international display-case.

The legislative context

The deficient judicial regulations outlined above made patronage salient for environmentalists on one additional matter. Mount Lebanon was subject to a variety of land tenure systems from the Islamic period to national independence (Hamadeh 2005). The contemporary Land Code, building on Ottoman and pre-Ottoman practices, operates with two primary land categories: mulk (private) and mashah (public). The subdivisions of mashah lands are waqf (religious trust endowments), miri (state ownership with individual usufruct rights), matruka (public purpose land) and mawwat lands (barren/unclaimed state land). Mashah is either republican/state land with rights benefitting villagers (managed on a municipal level), or solely for state. Since no generic law regulated protected areas, the individual state issued laws from 1996 partly bypassed old use rights. When SBR became a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2005, its legislative context remained unchanged because the MAB program is only implemented within existing environmental law in each sovereign state. The SBR adopted MAB's three-tiered zoning system: a strict regulated core zone, circumscribed by a buffer zone, merging into a transitional zone. Usually there was zero tolerance for hunting (a popular pastime among men), and grazing in core zones, with intervention in other zones depending on the type of violation occurring and the culprits' social standing. The fact that these zones were significantly larger than the area originally designated under the 1996 law complicated management. Lacking precise estimates, the divisions inside SBR were estimated as follows [Table 1].
Table 1: Overview of zoning and land types (SBR 2010)

Click here to view

Park management lamented rhetorically how villagers, unaware of park boundaries and legislation, could ever be expected to comply when precise knowledge of boundaries was poor and protected areas absent from national maps (a significant obstacle, leading staff to mobilise both bilateral donors and the military to manufacture new area maps in 2010). According to law no. 532 of 1996, staff was principally mandated to report infractions to the respective municipalities, which again should report to police authorities mandated to investigate transgressions. But current legislation provided unclear guidelines for the responsibilities of internal police, park rangers, and municipal authorities respectively. These formal channels had therefore become last resorts for solving conflicts. Management instead framed their 'soft power' approach as requiring using both "the carrot and the stick", by dishing out rewards and punishment at proper times 30 :

The problem is always that we fight with people. Even for the grazing, even for the small stuff. Now, we rely on that relationship with the people, the informal ways. We rely on that relationship between Mr Jumblatt and the people, because everyone knows the protected area is supported by him.

Conflict scenarios were thus preferentially solved through negotiations and agreements between village leaders, park staff, and sometimes, local political elite without mobilising state bureaucracies. The MoE was considered lacking capacity and de facto authority to arbiter disputes of this kind. A new nationwide draft framework law to regulate national PAs, streamline entrance fees, procedures for appropriating private lands into protective regimes (legalising state appropriation), dispense sanctions, budget allocations and penalties had been in the making since 2005. But although staff agreed that a new generic national protected area law would improve their working conditions, patronage was in the meantime enlisted as deterrence against park infringements 31 .

Contextual flexibility in practice: a festival and a predicament

Although political economic explanations construing environmental politics as dictated by powerful patrons are appealing, they risk reducing complex social processes to elite political interests as a 'prime mover'. In Shouf, the conservation regime could be challenged through the very same informal and civic modalities that enabled conservationists to contain community-interfaces outside state auspices. When management problems became acute, residents and municipalities could make direct requests to park staff, or staff could reach out to municipalities through public meetings, leverage wasta or make appeals to the greater good of nearby communities. But when lacking faith in the management's abilities or willingness to make favourable decisions, clients from nearby villagers could also forward requests to park patrons such as the APAC president, various Society members or the beyk himself. These requests appealed to former successful clientelist transactions. Importantly, a different kind of leverage was available when interacting with politicians dependent on popular support than with salaried staff. This added elements of unpredictability. Given that careful building of trust through negotiation with surrounding municipalities was highly prized by management to reach strategic goals, how were such relations negotiated? Two ethnographic examples illustrate the contextual flexibility that conservation-under-patronage allowed for.

The SBR co-hosted several public festivals during summers as a way of showcasing the Shouf's rural traditions. In 2010, Mristi village held a public festival to celebrate the annual apple harvest. Walid Jumblatt sponsored the event and SBR staff provided logistic support to the municipal administration. Surprisingly, during the beyk's scheduled speech to his constituency, village leaders made an unexpected public request; asking Jumblatt to permit hunters to shoot wild boars and fox harassing fields and livestock. The beyk, facing TV-cameras and a predominately Druze audience, tacitly recognising him as the legitimate sectarian leader, then granted the requests in virtue of his authority. Afterwards the park manager, quite surprised by the patron's sudden intervention, worried Jumblatt's blessing could actually undermine conservation efforts. The beyk's intervention did however set in motion a series of events whereby staff considered appropriating a new kind of animal trap, designed and used by Italian sponsors. By displaying innovative techniques for animal control, the manager reasoned these could help strengthen the image of a professional park sensitive to communal concerns. The hamlet's confrontation, followed by Jumblatt's intervention (as esteemed Member of Parliament, and Shuyukh al-Zaman, political leader of Druze), led management to swiftly respond in a manner crosscutting formal boundaries between state and the civic.

Another case illustrates the contextually flexible mobilisation of coexisting institutional orders. In this case a Druze commoner family (ahaali), approached patron decision-makers with grievances over park affairs first, and only later consulted the state when personal relations proved insufficient. Through several interviews the family recalled how their inherited ancestral lands had become the subject of a recent dispute with park authorities 32 . These lands harboured a potentially valuable fresh water source located in restricted areas near some old growth cedars. The dispute concerned the aforementioned 1996 demarcation laws, which obstructed the family's potential profit from the freshwater source on their property, which had been in family ownership since Ottoman times. The frustrated family head had distributed flyers to households in his village, criticising the dynasty by polemically dubbing the park "the backyard garden" of Jumblatt's palace in Moukhtara 33 . In accordance with the local model for political action, the family head neither wanted to engage in formal legal procedure, nor draw media attention to his predicament. Instead, he chose to negotiate a solution exclusively with Jumblatt, which he considered likely to succeed due to his family's long lasting exchange histories with the dynasty. He explicitly considered the formal park authority (the APAC) an inferior level of authority, instead corresponding directly through Noura Jumblatt. My interlocutor prospected a solution in the dyadic relation arising from the 'moral climate' of asymmetrical, contingent, and highly personalised exchange histories between client and patron (Gellner and Waterbury 1977). Only after months of negotiation and eventually failing to find resonance with the patron, did the family head reluctantly consider involving the state's court system by arguing that the state had failed to provide adequate notice to its citizens about the park's demarcation laws and its consequences back in 1996. As such, one could argue that the case ultimately demonstrates limitations concerning due process in park management, regardless of any contextually flexible properties. But then again, one might legitimately ask whether it is plausible that concerns about social justice would have surfaced at all, in the counterfactual event that the interlocutors' initial appeals to Jumblatt had succeeded.

   Contextual Flexibilty: Conclusive Discussion Top

The establishment of protected areas by the state was arguably the most apparent result of Lebanese environmental politics. To understand contemporary regimes shaping human-environmental relations in Shouf, it was suggested we avoid reifying the roles of state, civil society, and patron-client relations a priori. Among those nominating, advocating, and defending protected areas some appear as 'civil society' proper, others less so.

Where Kingston, on basis of interview data considers this dynamic as diluting civil environmentalism and antithetical to national conservation (Kingston 2001: 70), I have drawn on various ethnographic data and suggested that the co-option of patronage by conservationists provided a foundation for the Shouf project's apparent success a decade later. SBR's proponents accommodated customary political models, characteristic of the domestic social order, within new national and transnational discourses of conservation and development, thereby creating novel regimes for regulating human-environment relations. By continuously enmeshing with a state whose governance tools are judged deficient, patronage provided actors with multiple ways of approaching, negotiating, and solving management issues. Written rules and regulations governed the reserve formally, but a large degree of political autonomy offered managerial staff and their interlocutors' means of leveraging relations inside and outside the state bureaucracy. The concept of contextual flexibility provides an analytical perspective for understanding how conservation-under-patronage became nested within a civil-state interface through mediations via public officeholders with overlapping statuses. Personal networks and patronage are thus not antithetical to the Lebanese state's bureaucratic logic, but part of it.

While SBR seems to offer an apt success story of devolution of decision-making over a national conservation project from state levels to 'local communities' and regionally appointed authorities, the complexities of civil society/state dynamics in postwar Lebanon complicate this conclusion. Kingston argued that a focus on state/civil society binary neglects how patronage and political elites hijacked conservation initiatives. By participation in transnational conservation SBR's patrons undoubtedly seek to appear as progressive environmentalists fostering development. Indeed, it would be unwise to discount the potential of regional development-through-conservation schemes to grant prestige and resources to Shouf. Likewise, attempts to circumscribe Jumblatt's position would plausibly have met fierce resistance. But although solidifying the beyk's political legitimacy, by projecting an image of Shouf as a Druze-Christian heartland of nature conservation, the stability and managerial practices of SBR is not reducible to such a motif. The conservationist built resilient structures enduring the unpredictable socio-political climate of Lebanese society by adapting to a range of constraints. Bilateral development funding in the foreseeable future will probably continue to be mediated through zu'ama networks, and rely on its dynamics to accomplish work, but conservation schemes did not simply ride piggyback on patronage, although conservationists did little to challenge the political order. On the contrary; everyday conservation resulted from necessary pragmatic politicking by conservationists, international donors and other agents. The work of acquiring knowledge and resources for governing nature through new translocal alliances did not lose momentum, contrary to Kingston's gloomy 2001 prognosis. In the above, I have argued that patronage in the case of Shouf Biosphere Reserve should not normatively be construed as antagonistic to the pursuits of civil society. Patronage dynamics within the particular conditions of Lebanese political life might better be understood as providing a framework for action; integral, but not limited to the civil sphere.

Conservation in Shouf was a result of emerging chimeric networks part civil, part state, and part loci of clientelist exchanges characterised, but reducible to neither. The extent to which processes elsewhere resemble those described here is an empirical question. The SBR-project indicates that patronage, being simultaneously entangled in all domains, is not antagonistic to conservation, the civic sphere, or the state. Addressing the democratic accountability of the political elite, falls beyond this paper's scope, but the Shouf case should encourage analysts to examine social dynamics of PA-management more broadly. One possible avenue of investigation is how historically resilient hierarchies of authority constrain and enable contemporary environmental decision-making, or confer privileges to some on behalf of others. Regarding the latter; the fact that park staff predominately were Druze (the exception being a Christian committee president and a few board members), raises the question whether some groups could actually be considered as disempowered under the current system. The majority of Shouf's Christians, since their displacement during the 1982-83 'Mountain War', have primarily settled in urban areas around Beirut, only visiting their homes during weekends and holidays. Thus they are not considered as relevant recipients of development schemes. This characteristic also invites the question whether commoditisation of novel representations of cultural heritage, for marketing purposes, echoes sentiments shared across sectarian affiliations, or embodies cultural representations from the perspectives of particular sectarian denominations.

A focus on the heterogeneity of actors, as well as on localised practices, processes, and institutions continues to be an analytical necessity in order to generate empirically sound accounts of how customary politics co-opt and merge with contemporary models of and for environmental governance. By conceptualising hybrid initiatives of conservation-under-patronage as contextually flexible arenas for social innovation, enrolled by actors operating on different scales, we avoid blackboxing these dynamics as simply the scheming of powerful patrons.[50]

   Notes Top

  1. I thank Ståle Knudsen, Kjetil Fosshagen, and the two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on the manuscript. The usual disclaimer applies.
  2. See: Nour, S. 2006: Noura Jumblatt receives Kyoto Prize for ecological efforts. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2006/Nov-17/45177-noura-jumblatt-receives-kyoto-prize-for-ecological-efforts.ashx#axzz2s1P1EpSv. Accessed on January 31, 2013.
  3. Readjustments during winter 2010 reduced the staff to 12. Except the 'rural developmental coordinator', all staff was male. Administrative staff had university backgrounds, but acquired conservation skills post-employment.
  4. See Bell, B. 2006: Threat to Lebanon's symbol of survival. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7583757.stm. Accessed on January 31, 2013. Maktabi, R. 2011: Cedar forests lead Lebanon's ecotourism boom by Rima Maktabi (05.08.2011). http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/08/05/lebanon.cedar.forests/. Accessed on January 31, 2013. No baseline data for park performance exist, although Matar and Anthony 2010 applied a 'threat-reduction assessment', relying on staff's subjective self-reporting without baseline control.
  5. The Daily Star. 2011: Chouf Cedar Reserve receives Batisse Award. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2011/Jul-29/144920-chouf-cedar-reserve-receives-batisse-award.ashx#axzz2s1P1EpSv7 Accessed on February 1.2011. See Note 1.
  6. See Note 3.
  7. Lebanese sectarianism originates in the Ottoman millet-system. Sectarian quotas were abolished in the 1989 Ta'if Accord (Traboulsi 2007: 240-246).
  8. The Druze are a Levantine heterodox Muslim community. The charitable, non-secular Druze Foundation for Social Welfare primary dispenses care for Druze (Khuri 2004: 166-167).
  9. Beyk (or bey) is an honorific rank for landowning families incorporated into the Ottoman military and tax administration during the eighteenth century (Gilsenan 1996: 6).
  10. Interview: village gardener, Maasser al Shouf, Lebanon September 07, 2010.
  11. With over 50 member organisations internal disputes resulted in few lasting impacts on national policy.
  12. SPNL recently revived the hima ('protected/forbidden place') in select municipalities: an Islamic communal practice for safeguarding pastures. The SBR manager considered it a far weaker judicial regime compared to nature reserves. Municipal authorities with NGO-assistance manage SPNL himas.
  13. In 2010, the Green Plan was still responsible for reforestation through the Directorate for Rural Development and Natural Resources and the MoA. The State of Forest Report for 2007 estimates a 1 million USD budget. The MoE also runs the National Reforestation Plan. NRP's budget in 2001 was almost twice the MoE's total budget (George Mitri 2007: 46). National reforestation goals are ambitious, aiming to cover 20% of Lebanon within 40 years (13-14% in 2010).
  14. The MoE operates with six protective regimes. Ministry of Environment dossier: Accessed on September 02, 2011.
  15. Interview: SBR advisor, Beirut December 12, 2010.
  16. UNDP, UNEP and the World Bank first implemented GEF-projects. After the Rio Summit in 1992, GEF restructured, becoming a separate institution to increase participation from developing countries.
  17. Birdlife International designated several Important Bird Areas.
  18. See note 14.
  19. Lebanon has unique civil status laws and confessional courts result in a kind of legal pluralism, but there is no customary law.
  20. Other uses included hunting, plant gathering for nutritional/medicinal purposes, picnics etc.
  21. Interviews: rangers and staff, Barouk; July 07, 2010.
  22. Interview: SPNL management, Beirut; October 21, 2010.
  23. Several PAs were established post-PAP. Although protected "only on paper", according to interlocutors; they are partly modelled after the SBR.
  24. SISPAM is a park management protocol developed by MoE in cooperation with management staff.
  25. Chehayeb presided over the Association for Forest Development and Conservation, a Druze-dominated NGO working from Aley-district, considered as the SBR's 'sister organisation'. AFDC cooperated successfully with state bodies, publishing the State of Forest report in 2007. Critics claimed this job should be done by the state.
  26. Interview: Italian Cooperation advisor, Beirut December 16, 2010.
  27. Interview: SBR manager, Beqaata December 11, 2010.
  28. See overview of Lebanese social security plans on the USSSA website: http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/progdesc/ssptw/2010-2011/asia/lebanon.html. Accessed on November 2, 2013.
  29. Two other Biosphere Reserves were recently established: Jabal al-Rihanne and Jabal Moussa are Protected Forests, recognised as Biosphere Reserves in 2008/2009.
  30. See note 25.
  31. The draft framework law was, at time of writing, to be submitted to the Council of Ministers for circulation.
  32. Interviews: family representatives, Maasser al Shouf - October 17, 2010 and November 11 and 19, 2010.
  33. The flyer contained a photocopied page of park legislation in Arabic with a handwritten heading on the front and back page: "The reserve of Walid Jumblatt and his family, the backyard garden of the castle", and "Sorry for unintendently hurting all those who reside… inside the reserve".

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