Trees of The Middle East

Discussion Forums Trees and Forest of the Middle East

On March 14, 2010 The Eastern Native Tree Society and Western Native Tree Society switched from discussion lists on Google Groups to a new discussion list in a Bulletin Board format at:  Posts made since the inception of the BBS on march 14, 2010 will be sorted and archived on the BBS. Click on the link above to go to the equivalent section on the new BBS. This website will continue to serve as a front end for the ENTS and WNTS groups. It will continue to serve as a repository of older posts, and will serve as the host site for special projects and features that are not well suited for a BBS format. Please visit the BBs for the latest information and trip reports.




External Links




Afghanistan Forest Information and Data
2.1% or about 1,350,000 ha of Afghanistan is forested, according to FAO.

Afghanistan's Forests
Bare mountains, poor people; Missing trees reflect the country's woeful recent history.

Afghanistan's Pistachio Forests Felled for Fuelwood
By Mohammad Saber. HERAT, Afghanistan, May 13, 2010 (ENS) - Mullah Samandar finds it hard to control his emotions as he swings his axe at the trunk of the pistachio tree. "When I cut down pistachio trees, I cry and my tears don't stop," the 55-year-old said, explaining that he has no other way to provide his family with fuel. "Times are hard and I do not have a job, a salary or any opportunity to find a job. We are even forced to eat plants we gather on the mountains."

Afghanistan's Web Site - Natural Areas

The trees that vanished: crisis in the Hindu Kush
The Independent, UK, 09/25/2005 OpenDocument: The aromatic groves of cedar and pine that once covered Afghanistan are disappearing, cut down by smugglers. Justin Huggler reports from Kabul on a desperate struggle to avert ecological disaster.

South East Afghanistan Loses 80% of Forests
Saturday, 11 December 2010 19:09 Written by
Afghanistan's south eastern region, including three provinces, has lost 80% of its forests, the Environment Protection Office in the south east saysAbdul Ghias Jalatzai, head of the southeast office for Environmental Protection says if illegal deforestation is not stopped, the region will lose all its forests soon.

The Lost Forests of Afghanistan
UBC Reports | Vol. 53 | No. 11 | Nov. 1, 2007
UBC Profs Use Science and Sociology to Help Restore World’s Forests
This month, Assoc. Prof. Gary Bull from UBC’s Faculty of Forestry is spending time in Kabul training an Afghan field crew. He is joining forces with the New-York based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded project. Bull and UBC Forestry PhD student KiJoo Han are leading an effort to help protect and restore Afghanistan’s remaining forest in the north east province of Nuristan.

Afghanistan: Environmental degradation in a fragile ecological setting
Int. J Sustain. Dev. World Ecol. 8 (2001) 279-289 by Daud S. Saba
Geology Department, St. Xavier's College, Mumbai-1, India.
Currently, only 6% of the 15% of land in Afghanistan is usable and, if all the refugees were to return, problems of land ownership and adequacy of available land are inevitable. Natural forests have been severely degraded. Due to the nature of the topography and the arid climate, vast areas are subject to soil erosion. Loss of vegetation and soil humus have created ever more arid conditions....

Wild Pistachio Forests Replanted in Balkh
Pistachio reforestation brings jobs and improves the environment.
Mazari Sharif, Afghanistan | Wednesday, August 12, 2009
USAID is helping rural Afghans improve their environment and their incomes by planting pistachio seedlings. Wild pistachio forests were once common in northern Afghanistan, but years of improper harvesting and neglect led to the destruction of many forests. Now, a USAID cash-for-work project is underway that will restore pistachio forests covering 700 hectares in Balkh Province while providing jobs for local residents.

East Afghan montane conifer forests (PA0506)
The East Afghan Montane Coniferous Forests [PA0506] are found between 2,000 and 3,300 m. These temperate coniferous forests of western Pakistan and northeastern Afghanistan support a variety of avifauna and harbor the largest remaining populations of Chiltan markhor (Capra falconeri chiltanensis).


Bahrain Forest Information and Data ... ahrain.htm
1.4% or about 1,000 ha of Bahrain is forested, according to FAO. Of this 100.0% ( 1,000 ha ) is classified as primary forest, the most biodiverse and carbon-dense form of forest. Bahrain had 1,000 ha of planted forest. Change in Forest Cover: Between 1990 and 2010, Bahrain lost an average of 50 ha or #DIV/0! per year. In total, between 1990 and 2010, Bahrain gained #DIV/0! of its forest cover, or around 1,000 ha.

World Resources Institute - EarthTrends: The Environmental Information Portal ... le-13.html

The Tree of Life in Bahrain is a 400 year-old mesquite tree which lives in the middle of desert. The mystery of the survival of the tree has made it a legend.,_Bahrain ... ofLife.JPG












Saudi Arabia




Turkey:  Forests and Trees

National Parks, Wild Life, Wetlands of Turkey 

National Report to the Fourth Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests: Turkey.  8 pages. Forests cover about 26 percent (20.7 ha.) of Turkey’s land area and have significant economic,environmental and cultural functions. Almost half of the country’s total forests are unfortunately degraded, unproductive and needs to be rehabilitated and protected. Furthermore, forested areas in the country are not evenly distributed and some parts of the country are totally poor of forest resources.

Central Anatolian deciduous forests (PA0410)  Birds such as avocets and cranes that migrate across Turkey find a welcome home in the Central Anatolian Deciduous Forests. Lakes and ponds dot the countryside, providing habitat and breeding grounds for waterfowl such as white pelicans. Throughout the high plateaus and mountains of this ecoregion, the rugged landscape is dappled with brilliant yellow patches of Turkey oak trees in the fall. Forests of European black pines and Cilician fir trees contain abundant animals, including the European marbeled polecat.

Ecotourism in Old-growth Forests in Turkey: The Kure Mountains Experience  The Kure Mountains, located in the provinces of Kastamonu and Bartin—one of the largest protected areas in Turkey with old-growth forest formation—have been visited by growing numbers of tourists since 2000. There are no statistical visitor data about the Kure Mountains, but tourism statistics for Kastamonu (2000–2006) give a picture of the increasing numbers of tourists in the region. 

Southern Anatolian montane conifer and deciduous forests (PA1220)  This ecoregion is one of the most biologically diverse in the Mediterranean Basin. Extremely mountainous, its high peaks and deep valleys create isolated ecological niches resulting in a high level of plant endemism, particularly among the bulbous species. The overlapping of the Mediterranean and Irano-Turanian floristic zones here has also contributed to the evolution of unique species. 




United Arab Emirates