الهراء الأخضر: “حزب الخضر” ومبادرة “غابة بيروت” نموذجاً (1\3)

إضافة اللون الأخضر أو كلمة “أخضر” على حزب أو مشروع لا تعني بالضرورة أنه أصبح بيئياً، قد يكون العكس…

طوني صغبيني

شهدت بيروت خلال الأشهر الماضية مبادرتين “بيئيتين” حصدتا الكثير من الحماس والانتباه، لكنهما للأسف تعكسان إلى حدّ كبير الخلل الجوهري في تفكير القوى البيئية التقليدية في لبنان وتدلّان إلى أن نمط التفكير الشائع حول ماهيّة العمل البيئي في الأوساط الناشطة والمجتمع بشكل عام لا يزال متأخراً كثيراً عن حقيقة المعضلات البيئية.

المبادرة الأولى التي سنناقشها في هذا المقال اسمها “غابة بيروت العجيبة Beirut Wonder Forest” (لينك فايسبوك)، وهي صادرة عن مهندس تنظيم مدني شاب، وتقترح نصب مئات آلاف الأشجار على سطوح الأبنية في بيروت لزيادة مساحاتها الخضراء. المبادرة الثانية هي “نهر بيروت الأخضر Beirut Green River” الصادرة عن حزب الخضر اللبناني، والتي تقتضي بتحويل مسار نهر بيروت (الذي يعاني من الجفاف الجزئي حالياً) إلى مساحة خضراء تمتدّ لـ 8.5 كيلومترات.

المشروعان للوهلة الأولى يستقطبان حماس أي لبناني متعطّش لمساحة خضراء في عاصمتنا القاحلة، إلا أن المشروعان للأسف، غير بيئيين، غير قابلين للتطبيق ويحملان الكثير من علامات الاستفهام.

قبل أن نشرح اختلافنا مع هاتين المبادرتين، لا بدّ أولاً من أن نوضّح للقارىء إلى أن الفلسفة والحركة البيئية في العالم ولبنان ليست واحدة؛ هي كالكثير من الحركات الأخرى في العالم، تتوزّع بين “الأخضر الزاهي” الذي يتعامل مع القضية البيئية على أنها “تجميليّة” (وبالتالي يراها قابلة للتعايش مع اقتصاد النموّ)، وبين “الأخضر الداكن” الذي يتعامل مع القضيّة البيئية على أنها “وجوديّة” ومشكلته الأساسية هي بالتالي مع اقتصاد النموّ ومع البُنى الأخلاقية والروحية والسياسية والاقتصادية السائدة. هذا المقال ينتمي بطبيعة الحال إلى النوع الثاني.

بالعودة إلى المبادرتين، المشكلة الأولى التي تشوبهما هي أنهما يهدفان للتكيّف مع الوضع البيئي المتدهور لا مواجهته؛ كما أن الطريقة التي يقترحانها لذلك تؤدّي بدورها إلى المزيد من التدهور البيئي.

من يعرف الخارطة البيئية لبيروت يعلم أنها تحتاج حالياً لأربع إجراءات طارئة هي:

1) الدفاع عن المساحات الخضراء الأخيرة التي تخطّط البلدية لتحويلها إلى مرآب للسيارات أو تهملها عن قصد للاستفادة منها عقارياً فيما بعد (حديقة الصنائع، سيوفي، حرش بيروت)،

2) وقف التمدّد العمراني فوراً،

3) تخفيض عدد السيارات العاملة في بيروت بنسبة 70 % على الأقل وتحسين النقل العام،

4) تخفيض الضغط السكاني عن العاصمة عبر إنماء المناطق، تمهيداً فيما بعد لتعافي النظام الإيكولوجي لبيروت ومحيطها. الخطوات البعيدة الأمد تتضمّن أمور أكثر خطورة مثل خفض عدد السكان، خفض معدّلات النمو وتنشيط الاقتصاد المحلّي.

لكن كما يمكن أن نلاحظ، الخطوات المذكورة ليست شعبية على الإطلاق لأنها تؤثر على النموّ والاقتصاد ومن الصعب جداً تطبيقها من دون عمل منظّم وجذري طويل الأمد. الأمر الثاني الذي يحول دون رؤيتها كاقتراحات على ألسنة البيئيين التقليديين هي أنها تستوجب نشاطات راديكالية على الأرض لا يمتلك أي تنظيم لبناني اليوم لا الجرأة ولا الجذرية ولا اليد العاملة الكافية ليقوم به.

طبعاً لا نتوقع من حزب الخضر أو أي ناشط آخر أن يخرج بهذه الاقتراحات، ولا نتوقّع من جميع الناشطين البيئيين أن يكونوا على الطرف الجذري من الحركة البيئية. كذلك نرى أنه من المفيد أن يقوم الناشطون والتنظيمات البيئية باقتراح أي مشروع يرونه متناسباً مع قدرتهم. لكن من المهم، حين تُطرح هكذا مشاريع أمامنا كسكّان للعاصمة وكناشطين، أن يكون باستطاعتنا تقييمها، وأن نعرف مثلاً أن مشروع مثل تلك التي ذكرناها ليست ضمن الأولويات الملحّة التي تحتاجها المدينة.

إن صعوبة الأهداف التي ذكرناها لا تعني انه يجوز لنا التخلّي عنها، بل يجب علينا التذكير بها والعمل من أجل تحقيقها كلما آتتنا الفرصة. وفي رأيي المتواضع، صرف الوقت والجهد في دعوات غير واقعية ولمصلحة مشاريع تجميلية، عقارية، غير واقعيّة وغير إيكولوجية مثل النهر الأخضر والغابة العجيبة هو مضيعة لجهود ثمينة يمكن أن تنصبّ في مشاريع أكثر فعاليّة بكثير. قد يتسائل القارىء هنا وتساؤله محقّ، كيف يمكن أن نقول عن مشاريع كهذه أنها غير إيكولوجية ولا تمتّ للبيئة بصلة؟ هذا ما سنحاول أن نجيب عليه في السطور التالية.

*

(يمكن قراءة الجزء الثاني على هذا الرابط: غابة بيروت العجيبة: هل تحلّ شجرة على السطح أزمة العاصمة؟)

18 comments

  1. Rita Chemaly · يناير 24, 2012

    great to hear / read from you again tony!🙂

    • Adon · يناير 24, 2012

      Thank you Rita, long time no see!
      I hope you’re doing well🙂

  2. محمد · يناير 24, 2012

    مش سامع بمشروع غابة بيروت بس كنت ناطر حدا يحكي عن مشروع النهر الأخضر ويفشلي خلقي مش معقول كيف هيك مشروع خطير بيمرق مرور الكرام من دون ما حدا يعلق
    بتمنى تحكي كمان عن خطورة فتح حرش بيروت قدام الناس وهوي الشي اللي عم تطالب فيه جمعيات مدنية كتيرة

  3. Wassim · يناير 24, 2012

    Dear Mr Saghbini and to whom it may concern at this blog,

    I’m not sure if you can understand English, but it’s easier for me to express myself.

    First I would like to express my gratitude for writing about our proposal. However i would like to clarify a couple of points:

    1-even though you claimed that our proposal has no ecological benefits, you have failed to give tangible arguments concerning the matter, and concerning how an increase of 100,000 trees in the city has no advantages. Moreover, you have claimed that in our proposal we care about “esthetic values” whereas nowhere we have stated that. Please read our proposal more carefully.

    2-We know very well that in order to be ecological, and in order to be “Green”, planting trees doesn’t suffice, many efforts should be done on the levels of public transport, renewable energy, building and construction planning , and even enticing residents to walk and use the bicycle instead of the car, or at least drive smaller/hybrid cars,(I move mostly by bike, if mr saghbini is kind to inform us about the car he drives).. not to mention that we should of course preserve the remaining green spaces…. And we never claimed that our solution is the “”one and only”, and that it will Solve the problem of Beirut as you intend on writing. Of course we know that it is not enough, However what we are proposing is a simple and very feasible proposal that could have a very large Impact. And yes feasible because it is in the hands of the residents, and not the authorities
    .
    And concerning the matter, your idea that to be green, cities should be less dense and the other areas developed is a fallacy, as it will lead to more territorial deterioration. The ideal is for cities to be more compact (i.e. smaller apartment sizes) which will lead to a decrease in transport and land occupation.

    3- Please do not compare our proposal to the one presented by “7ezb el akhdar” as the
    latter is a real estate venture that plans to turn the eastern river bank into another Solidere
    .
    4-In case you do not know, the ecological advantages of a roof garden are many, mostly in the increase of oxygen and the decrease in Co2, No2 levels (and dust), which leads to a better Health condition. On the other hand, a layer of trees/shrubs on top of buildings will provide shade and a buffer zone, hence cooling buildings down in summer, hence leading to less dependency on ACs, therefore Less energy consumption. Moreover, a large amount of trees (we are talking about 100,000) will create a new micro ecosystem, not to mention that it will produce a small agricultural output.
    Of course, roofs can still be used for solar Panels too(wether heat or PV, but note that each panels costs as much as 50 trees)
    So before claiming that our proposal is like “Painting buildings green” to say that we are ecological, please check your facts beforehand
    .
    5-Since we are not only dreaming, and since we know that our proposal is feasible, i would like to inform you that the project has been discussed with PM Najib Mikati, and a feasibility study is being currently prepared to be submitted alongside a building prototype in about 2 weeks. And the Official project will very soon be launched
    .
    I hope I was clear enough, and please in case you want to criticize the proposal (which we do not mind we welcome negative feedback, as it will help us), please try to get the proper information from our part, maybe you misunderstood something. You can email me or contact me whenever you want.

    Thank you.

  4. Wassim Melki · يناير 24, 2012

    Forgot to mention that Green roofs (literrally green, with trees and shrubs) reduce Urban Heat Island Effect, which are caused by paved surfaces and concrete. If we manage to cover as much roofs as possible, we can reduce it by at least 30%.

  5. Adon · يناير 24, 2012

    You can call me Tony,
    Thank you for taking the time to reply.
    I understand why you’re taking it so personally, but it’s not a competition between me and you and me mr Wassim, it’s not about if i drive a car and u drive a bicycle, i don’t use a car to go to work anyway, and u’r still getting it wrong, it’s not about what we do as individuals, it’s about the system we build.
    Anyway, allow me before replying to your points to point that it’s completely natural for any public proposal to be subject of scrutiny by bloggers and activists, it’s important to evolve the discussion about the environment in Lebanon.

    as for your points:
    1- i didn’t discuss your proposol yet, i’ll be publishing the discussion tomorrow, you’ll find plenty of tangible arguments there
    2- i’m not replying on the assumption that u’r saying that the proposal is the only solution, i know you’re not proposing it this way, you’ll see my concerns tomorrow, but in short i don’t think that moving millions of tons of soil to the roofs is a good ecological idea.
    And no it’s still in the hands of the authorities, you say on your website that the best pragmatic solution is to have a municipal decree that must be applied by force if necessary + it needs new regulations for rooftops

    3- it’s in the same spirit of the green party proposal, trying to adapt with the results of environmental degradation instead of treating the reasons.
    .
    4 – Garden rooftops are generally made by shrubs and vegetables, not trees, and they are not feasible for all buildings. And no, rooftops gardens can’t create a micro ecosystem, ecosystems need living soil and a very delicate cycle of life without the constant input of humans, this is basics. Unfortunately, humans cannot create ecosystems yet, they can sustain it and regenerate it at best…
    100 thousand trees need the extraction between 600 and 1000 tonnes of fertile soil at least, and it will not create an eco system, and the soil in any pot dies after a number of years because it won’t be getting enough nutrition, if that is not ecologically unfriendly, i don’t know what is.

    5- PM Najib Mikati will definitely find it feasible, and i wish you good luck, but if you have the ability to convince him to take on an environmental project, i’d suggest to convince him with one of the four suggestions listed above which are much more effective, like preserving the sanayeh and building a new park instead of new parkings. + You stil have to convince tens of thousands of building committees to plant trees on their roof and take care of them.

    I assure you that i got all the information right, you’ll see that tomorrow.
    I don’t think you welcome negative feedback since you replied before even publishing the article, but i understand that my words my bit be a bit harsh. Again, it’s natural to discuss a project that’s taking such publicity, it’s not personal.
    And also again, i’m not saying that people should not suggest projects like these, the environmental work is a rainbow, but i have the right to discuss them from my point of view.

    Cheers

  6. Wassim · يناير 24, 2012

    Thank you for answering me, Please note that my reply came to the fact that you were implying that planting trees on a roof is similar to painting a building green just for the sake of esthetics, which is absolutely not true. second, i do endorse the points you’ve stated, however i see an impossibility in accomplishing any of them (in the near future, at least),

    Moreover, as we stated in our proposal, since the point is to plant the Trees (which are small trees) or the shrubs in Pots, the quantity of soil is relatively limited, not to mention that we will be using a lightweight mix, not the traditional high density soil. I don’t have the exact number yet however as soon as I do i’ll inform you

    An they won’t die off after a couple of years (unless they’re not irrigated), we have the feedback of Professional landscapers concerning the matter. they just need to be repotted every 4 to 5 years.

    As for the proposal, the main element in it are the residents themselves, with our without a municipal decree, they can at least partially make it happen. with a small push or incentive from private institutions and the ministry of the environment, i think we can make a big difference.

    and It’s very nice to take care of the existing green spaces, however they consist (including aub and mar mkhayel train station) of 3% of the total area of the city. Largely not enough, and planting trees in parking lots is useless as sooner or later these parking lots will be transformed into a grotesque tower or a shopping mall. We would have wasted resources and money for nothing.

    And I (friendly) challenge you, or anybody else, to propose pragmatic solutions and not just proposal that even though are ideal, will never be done.

    Ill be looking forward for your article tomorrow.

    and please for the sake of your credibility, and even if what we are presenting offers a lot of obstacles and constraints, never include our proposal with the one of the green party

    thanks you .

    • Adon · يناير 24, 2012

      Dear Wassim,
      In environmental science, they take the whole cost of any project to judge whether it’s ecological or not, so when we say that planting a tree on the roof is beneficial, we must take into account the whole process, the soil we need, the pot we manufacture, the additional drainage, the shade structures, the steel lines support and the maintainence , the expected shelf life (most buildings in beirut have a shelf life between 40 and 70 years, and there are about 40 thousand buildings with a less than 15 years shelf life, that means that the gardens will be short lived too) in addition to how it might affect the original ecological system (like the one from which the soil is taken),

      So considering that, i still think that the wonder forest is negative in the ecological balance, compared to a new park for example.
      When i said it’ll die off i meant the soil not the trees, the soil is an alive matter, its main nutrients aren’t from just from water, it needs to take nutrients from the fallen leaves and plant residues, and from animals, and it needs enough space for all the micro organisms to do their job in fertilizing it. when you put it in a pot, the soil dies after a while because it drains its nutrients, that’s why you have to change the pot every 4 to 5 years, to put new soil or let the current soil breathe and mix again.
      This is not an agriculture lesson but it’s needed to make my point clear of why it’s damaging and why l never become an ecological microsystem.

      As for shrubs and vegetables the matter is different and more feasible, and that’s why in the wealthiest cities in the world, roof gardens are shrubs and vegetables not trees.

      Anyway, we have a major difference on greening beirut, you see that it’s impossible to prevent the destruction and seek projects that can adapt and live side by side with an expanding city, and i see that the real fight is to stop the expansion and the destruction even if that’s extremely difficult, i don’t find it logical to allow bulldozing an empty space and then call for the new building to have a green roof instead of demanding to make a new park instead of a new mall.

      But again, this difference is understandable, it’s not expected from anyone to stand on the radical side of green resistance.

      And as for the challenge, there are already many of projects that deserve support, like the public transport and bicycles integration campaign, in addition to the many ongoing reforestation projects.
      Unfortunately, i’m only one individual and the type of actions i have in mind don’t have a pre-existant organization that can support them.

      Cheers

  7. Wassim · يناير 24, 2012

    thank* you

  8. Wassim · يناير 24, 2012

    as for the “” it’s not about what we do as individuals, it’s about the system we build”” , i believe that you also got it wrong. Individuals in our case in lebanon can make a lot of difference. they are doing a lot of negative impact anyway just by the type of cars they drive. If each and every individual opts for a smaller car for example (im not asking them to walk or take the bike), it would make a tremendous difference.. before we do a new decent transport system, before we do a law about it and before we even do anything. just this simple act that only requires social awarness. if we want to wait for the system to be built, we would have lost a lot of time and we might get to a dead end. especialy in lebanon.

    .

    • Adon · يناير 24, 2012

      I kindly disagree, first the battle for social awareness is not balanced because on one side you have multibillion dollar industries and advertisements, and on the other you have environmental campaigns with 100 $ budget and A4 posters int he street.
      Second, we rely on our cars because modern cities are designed for cars not humans or bicycles or even public transport, we can change that but it needs organized work in which social awareness is just a minor goal, if you’re relying on social awareness, you can’t do anything with 100 bikers, but if you rely on direct action, you get the road closed with the same number and make the municipality feel how much it’s urgent.

      Third, even if all the lebanese ditch their cars tomorrow, one million chinese are buying new cars every day and the planet is screwed. Without systematic “resistance”,it’s futile.

      • Wassim · يناير 24, 2012

        so you think the social awareness battle is not balanced, but the actual implementation of large scale rules and regulation feasible? how so ?

        and im not relying on 100 bikers, im relying on 500,000+ cars in beirut daily/

        as for the china part i don’t think i can handle from my computer screen that much responsibility. sorry..

        • Adon · يناير 24, 2012

          definitely, regulation can sometimes be legislated and implemented by the pressure of a handful of well organized individuals.

  9. Wassim · يناير 24, 2012

    what do u do with all this green radicalism? when its not leading you anywhere? you keep pushing for it till the end of time while breathing high levels of No2? as i said earlier i am totally with conventional projects. however they will never happen in leb, even beirut’s municpal stadium, which is owned by the munipality and not by a private entity, will be demolished and turned into smtg commercial. try convincing them if you can that we should do a park instead.

    As for the repotting part, it doest require changing al the soil, just cleaning the roots and adding 5% more volume. and again we also propose the use of shrubs and not only trees., depending on the condition of each building.
    and of course if a large institution or bank wish to do a intensive or an extensive roof garden then they can, and it would require repotting or anything.

    Moreover, some new hydroponic techniques, (more expensive), work with very little soil, (if not any and could also be envisionned. they require also energy though

    any proposal and any large undertaking, has a backdrop, yes we should study the impact of the manufactor of the pots as well as where the soil is coming from, , and how to transport them the most efficiently, but the advantages we are providing (if we succeed on a large scale) are worth it…

    • Adon · يناير 24, 2012

      So you think you can convince 120 thousand building committees and PM Mikati to make a roof “forest” but u don’t think we’re able to convince the municipality to not demolish the only stadium in the city?
      I’m mind boggled my friend.

      • Wassim · يناير 24, 2012

        It’s 18,500 buildings in Beirut. (without the suburbs) and I”ll make sure to convince as much as i can, and apparently yes, it is easier than taking the smallest piece of land owned by someone and turn it into a park. and we’ll make sure to prove that to you. As for the term “Forest” it is highly metaphorical you don’t have to be cynical.

        Concerning the municipal stadium, its not the only one, dnt mistake it for the sports city stadium. and i don’t mind it’s demolition just it’s new use, i expect from the municipality to make it a park, however they think they should turn it into something more financially profitable (of course i don’t agree)

        And of course regulation can be implemented if a group of individuals are pushing for it, and if it doesn’t interfere with the benefits of some. I am as we speak also trying to push for turning the MarMkhayel train station into a public garden. Again, overlap of authorities, and im sure that it wouldnt lead anywhere, but I am trying nevertheless.

        If you have any realistic proposal I will make sure to support you 100% and do all the necessary steps in order to make it happen.

        but tell me, so far, how many regulations have been implemented? you think we’re the only people who ever thought of it?

        ?

        • Fadi M. · يناير 25, 2012

          I’m not as opposed to the project as Tony is, i’m on the page of Beirut wonder forest and a supporter, but i can see a point in what he’s saying. I think that it’s hard to reconcile your point of views because as i understand the deep ecology advocated here, it’s unapologetically anti-growth, and it’s not about humans as the conventional environmental movement. for example, what do you think of economic growth? I think answering this question would reveal why you guys are not on the same wave

  10. JoeHam · يناير 25, 2012

    حبيت العنوان: الهراء الأخضر ههههههه

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