Tripoli, 1 November:
A national forestation campaign is to be organised over the next 12 months by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.
The aim is to plant various types of trees, according to the ministry’s website. These will include Mediterranean Pines, eucalyptus and fruit, ornamental and other species.
During the Qaddafi era there was considerable loss of tree cover, particularly fruit trees, due to a general lack of interest in the agriculture sector, the unregulated suburban sprawl into the countryside and increasing salinity of the water table around Tripoli. It resulted in hundreds of thousands of fruit and other trees dying.
Forestation is a major factor in preventing soil erosion and desertification.
According to the ministry, many of five million saplings will be provided by the Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture. The deal is part of growing cooperation between the two ministries.
Before the discovery of oil, oranges were Libya’s main export. [/restrict]