Jannah in Arabic means paradise, but unfortunately in Lebanon, everything eventually ends to its opposite and the last debate on the Jannah Dam may result in a living hell to an integrated bio diversified system rarely found in any other area in the whole Middle East. In the beginning let’s remember that the Ministry of Environment had set the protection of the valley,  the Ministry of Culture had filed the valley for UNESCO World Heritage Site, as cultural landscape,  the Ministry of Tourism has recently promoted the “Phoenician Routes” internationally with UNWTO, and that the Nahr Ibrahim valley should play therein a considerable role as the Phoenician Holy Land. Also according to the AUB conservation center (NCC) bulletin that “the Lebanese deputy Simon Abi Ramia announced earlier that the solution for the issue of water scarcity will be to build a dam in the area, which will require the cutting down of “only 51,000 trees”. But what does this actually means”. Also quoting the bulletin “Cutting down -only- 51,000 trees, means throwing away more than 51,000,000 acorns and 5,100,000,000 seeds this year alone; it means “only” 51,000,000 Kg of CO2 won’t be absorbed this year, or the next, and “only” 102,000 people’s worth of O2 won’t be produced. It means killing “only” 20,000,000 shrubs and herbs that depend on these trees for nourishment in one go. And it means permanently giving up -only- one endangered native tree species and the rare orchids we have left in Lebanon. It means –only- violating an isolated forest which outdates us by hundreds of years. It means that -only- millions of insects, spiders, reptiles, birds, and mammals like foxes and Hyenas, will find themselves homeless and, if they survive, will look for a home, most probably in nearby towns. It means that we will need -only- 3 years of planting effort and at least 100 years of protection to rebuild what we would give up so lightly”. General coordinator,of the civil coalition against janna dam, and civil activist Raja Noujaim, sited a summary of the study performed on Gicome-Antoine Salamé & Associés Sarl concerning Janneh dam. While 404 species of plants, 739 species of invertebrates, 6 species of amphibians, 23 species of reptiles, 32 species of mammals and 140 species of birds will be put under various levels of endangerment. The team of experts confirms that there are no avoidance measures, or compensation measures able to counter the expected impacts of the dam project on Adonis Valley.  And the continuous existence of a large water mass as the lake in an ecological system that was never adapted in its evolutionary history to accommodate this incident will engender a chain of long-term forces of degradation on the extant ecological and agricultural systems.  The natural system would lose its significance as a national and regional archetype of valley ecosystems.  The endemics will suffer the loss of habitats, and local endemics would face pressures of extinction. The value of the ecosystem as a cauldron of endemism will dissipate, so would the evolutionary potentials to further this ecological system into the future millennia and maintain the progress of its evolutionary history.  The loss of the system to science, research, education and agricultural advancements would be immeasurable due to its uniqueness”. Another major concern is the parameter (PFMA)  sited by the Gicome study or Potential Failure Mode Analysis of the Janneh Dam which identified the main potential failure modes as due to seismic loading and flood overtopping. As well as overtopping and breaching after seismic activity is the most probable and worst of potential failure of the Janneh Dam. Also there’s the issue of leakage of water due to the nature of the soil which will start at 35 and may reach 53 percent. Concerning costs, the preliminary costs as the advocates for building the Dam say will not exceed 250 million dollars while Noujaim insists that the costs will exceed a billion. Lately the work on the controversial  Jannah Dam project will be temporarily halted, as MPs decided at a meeting Tuesday 4th of August 2015. “The recommendation that resulted from the Parliament’s Public Works, Transport, Energy and Water Committee meeting is to freeze work on the dam until mid-September”, according to MP Mohammad Qabbani said. “This is a serious decision, as available information from all scientific sources warns of the huge damage this dam could cause.” “A number of studies on the project have indicated the dam would not be suitable for the site”, Qabbani added  and that the Environment Ministry would receive an evaluation report in early September, and the Culture Ministry would conduct research on the cultural heritage of the river and its surrounding areas”. However, and after the meeting, the MP Nabil Nicolas criticized the emphasis of the debate on the dam, as it could provide much-needed water to residents and in an ironic tone described the facts about the diversity and the historical and cultural facts concerning the area as “poetry”, and as usual diverted the whole issue into a political case, insisting that the delay “is a way to humiliate citizens more by depriving them from water sources, so they would buy water twice, electricity twice and etc”…. And MP Simone Abi Ramia, continued on 6th of August his political attack against critics of the construction of the Dam, that the MPs of the future movement are against the development of Jbeil region by depriving it from much needed electricity that will be generated that will exceed 100 megawatts and water that will exceed 100 million cubic meters (though 70 percent of this water is Beirut’s share!!) and that the delay is costing the state more than 100 thousand dollars per day!!!. And he said to finalize his speech using the verb janna in Arabic which means driving one crazy…that “we will drive them crazy by the Janneh Dam”. As an environmental activist (who refused to mention his name) described the arguments diverting tone from poetry describing the beauty of our Lebanon into satire poetry from the advocates of the Dam, and to political differences as a consequence; “one must recognize that there is much in stake “to gain” from this project other than their enthusiasm for the welfare of people”. We, in greenarea, and as an objective course we follow, trying to achieve a balance between the needs and welfare of the citizens and the integration and sustainability of the whole ecological system involved and the stakes endangered or benefits reaped, and trying to achieve an integrated perspective into the matter, and by following archived data facts, and consequences;  put the matter in the hands of the Lebanese people, and the government which has the capacity to halt this dam, and other controversial dams and to find the most suitable course that will serve the uniqueness of our environment, the sustainability of all solutions reached and the needs of our citizens, and let’s follow in the mean time the quote “when in doubt do nothing” until we resolve to a final act that will serve us on the long run.        

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