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Important Plant Areas of Lebanon

Number of IPAs: 26 IPAs

Snow topped mountain with tree covered grassland in foreground


Lebanon hosts a rich variety of wildlife including many rare and endemic plant species. This richness is due to the location of the country, which is at the intersection of different continents. In addition, Lebanon’s mountainous nature forms isolated areas with unique local climates.

Lebanese Flora

Around 2,790 species of vascular plants comprise the Lebanese flora, including approximately 92 national endemic species. Two floristic ensembles are recognised in the country; Mediterranean and Presteppic Mediterranean, they are represented in almost all of their vegetation levels.

Important Plant Areas

A total of 26 IPAs have been defined in Lebanon. Of these, 16 are in the Mount Lebanon range, on west facing slopes and high mountain plateaux. The remaining ten IPAs are found in the Lebanese coast, the Bekaa valley, and the Anti-Lebanon mountain range. The IPAs have been identified based on their richness in plant species as well as the presence of endemic and threatened species.

Endemic and/or threatened species are found in almost every designated IPA and most of them contain more than 10 nationally endemic species. Some sites are exceptionally rich in endemics. They include threatened endemics represented in a single IPA: Vicia canescens Labill (in Mount Makmel IPA), Chaerophyllum aurantiacum Post (Tannourine IPA), Centaurea mouterdii Wagenitz. (Rihane) and Tulipa lownei Baker (Chouf) or within more than one IPA for example: Matthiola crassifolia Boiss. et Gaill., Melissa inodora Boiss., Viola libanotica Bornm. and Iris sofarana Foster. In addition to endemics, the designated IPAs include some species that are at the edge of their distribution range such as Abies cilicica (Antoine & Kotschy) Carr found in Bcharreh-Ehden IPA.


Almost every type of habitat in Lebanon is threatened; urban expansion is invading every mountain, coast, plain, and valley. Examples of IPAs facing anthropomorphic threats include the coast (Beirut–Jiyyeh Coast and Tyre-Naqoura), dry plains (Hermel Plain), wetlands (Aammiq), riparian ecosystems (Wadi Jannah and Nahr Ed-Damour), as well as the mountains and valleys in most of the IPAs of Mount Lebanon. The expansion and intensification of agriculture, deforestation and climate change are also frequent threats to IPAs.

Further information

Important Plant Areas in Lebanon

Information booklet

Setting conservation priorities for Lebanese flora—Identification of Important Plant Areas

Research paper

IPA data

Data set

Important Plant Areas of the south-east Mediterranean Region

Find Lebanon on pages 53-57