The Medicinal Edible & Aromatic (MEA) Plants Commission adopts MEA plants as an alternative cropping solution to integrate traditional agricultural practices in the economy. We do this through:

– Developing a MEA Educational Forests within Municipalities that provides a tangible example to farmers and communities of the importance of MEA plants

– Creating value for MEA seedlings and products in Lebanon’s economy

Impact: Delivering capacity-building for economic development


Blessing of Nature

5 Lines of Production

Funding / Investment is required

Started 2010: Chosen as SWITCHER at Switch-Med Connect by EU, UNEP and MAVA, for the tailored program of focusing on highlighting the importance of conservation of wild herbs/flora through building up a sustainable value chain among diverse participants: Wild herbs harvesters, beekeepers, farmers, families; featuring different lines of hand processed and crafted products, reflecting authenticity, reviving cultural heritage and adopting environmental concepts.

For detailed information, please visit:

Partners: MoET, UNHCR, Hospitality Services,

Ecological Atelier

Production and Testing

More than 50 products | 2,000 students | and more than 200 producers

Started 2003: platform for research, best production techniques and testing of products. It is dedicated to producers, while opening the doors to students to experiment and make their own products with a focus on integrating MEA plants in all the processes.

Partners: Schools, NGOs, Municipalities.

Ethnobotany Catering

Authentic Herbal Recipes

Eight Events | and more than 500 guests

Started 2016: Conserve MEA species, promoting biodiversity, reviving cultural heritage, traditional practices with herbs and highlighting sustainable usage of these herbs, through organizing catering events that are 100% based on herbs. Steps taken to assure effectiveness of program involves: training families on sustainable harvesting, hygienic practices and revival of authentic herbal based recipes.

Events: Shouf Biosphere Reserve, MEDFORVAL.

Linking MEA Crops

to Beekeeping

More than 25 Beekeepers

Funding / Investment is required

Started 2010: Creating a link between MEA plants and biodiversity conservation through encouraging farmers and beekeepers to combine their efforts to the benefit of both sides. MEA plants provide flowers to bees out of regular flowering seasons and improve the quality of honey produced.

Partners: Cooperatives.

MEA Alternative Cropping

for Tobacco Farming

20 farmers switched partially

Funding / Investment is required

Year 2012: Reducing tobacco farming due its negative social and environmental impact: extensive use of fertilizer, child labor, medical hazards and low income due to the lengthy tobacco propagation process (up to 14 months). Alternative agricultural solutions where introduced to farmers to insure better socio-economic conditions while introducing proper environmental practices.

Partners: Farmers.

MEA Cultivation

Sustainable Agricultural Practices

More than 20 agriculture cooperatives | More than 300 farmers

Started 2000: Restoring Cultural Landscape, conserving MEA species and promoting sustainable harvesting to reduces negative impact on biodiversity. Research was conducted on more than 20 different herbs, most successful was Zatar (Origanum syriacum). This initiative was adopted by many international agencies, resulting in providing the Lebanese market with more than 50% of its demands of Zaatar. Moreover, the MEA cropping was introduced to pine dominated lands, which are not economically rewarding, to reduce chances of arsine as a way to change the use of the land from agriculture to urban, and to increase the owner’s income.

Partners: UNOPS, GEF, SGP, BAU. Adopted by: UNDP, MercyCorps.


Year 2012: terraces restoration through introducing MEA species to abandoned agricultural lands. A strategy that works towards encouraging farmers and landowners to rehabilitate their farms through providing them with affordable mea agricultural interventions towards an income generating and engaging activity, that restores the use of land, cultural landscape and reconnecting farmers to their villages.

Partners: farmers and landowners, UNOPS, GEF, SGP.

MEA Economical Garden

Promotional Prototype for Farmers

20 Species | and more than 100 farmers

Year 2012: Creating a module of 20 different species of MEA plants to showcase an alternative pesticides/fertilizers free cultivation and provide an interactive hands-on experience to Bekaa valley farmers.

Partners: Beirut Arab University (Future TV Reportage)

MEA nursery

Developing Cultivation Protocols

More than 50 different seedlings of MEA species

Started 2002: providing scientific solutions, high standard seedlings, cultivation protocols and experts’ consultations to farmers. Accordingly, a nursey was established for the propagation of MEA plants, seedlings with complete cultivation protocol, targeting farmers and bare-land owners due to minor agricultural intervention required for native MEA species.

Partners: UNOPS, GEF, SGP.

MEA Scientific Research

Evidence Base Solutions

4 publications

Started 2006: Conducting research on MEA plants with the most social economic benefit/impact. Various researches on MEA plants economic opportunities to invest in, essential oil extraction from native MEA plants and different recipes for gourmet/craft products that raise the herbs’ economic value.


Partners: FSD, BAU, LU, USEK.

Restoration & Reforestation

Integrated Economical Module

More than 150,000 trees

Funding / Investment is required

Started 2000: Introducing a practical reforestation module to de-promote mono-culture forestation, regenerate ecosystems/habitats and create a productive economic module. GHO is currently in the process of building up a small land interactive restoration prototype module hosting MEA trees, shrubs and herb, and building up the relevant MEA economic recipes.  


Partners: UNOPS, GEF, SGP.