AmericaSpeaks TheVoiceOfJoyce Coming together for a common purpose, Syrians and Lebanese join together at Akker in Lebanon, to save the ancient forests. Their effort brings hope to both Countries. The heat and fires have destroyed the farmlands of 1000’s. Combining forces with Syrians makes everyone feel part of a larger community, giving them hope. This is a story of collaboration now. Afterwards, the Lebanese require education in order to adapt to their heating land. Will the UN address the needs of the World’s people? Will this 77 th Assembly of World leaders talk seriously about plans for our Global survival?

Some of the trees in Akkar province are more than 100 years old, says Mohammed Abdallah. A refugee from the war just over the border in Syria, Abdallah has come to know the forests of northern Lebanon well and has spent recent days putting out a persistent blaze that threatened ancient woodland near Qabeit.

He is one of 80 men and women of the First Responders team of Jurd al-Qayteh, drawn from 15 villages in Akkar, the region’s largest volunteer firefighting unit. Wildfires are responsible for 26% of tree loss in Lebanon over the past 20 years. Rising temperatures and poor forest management have contributed to an increase this year in a season that lasts about 18 weeks through to late September. With the country in economic crisis, emergency services like firefighters are in disarray.

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