SPNL started to implement the project “Enhancing livelihoods of local Lebanese communities in Hima territories; from social, economic and natural perspectives” funded by the European Union early June 2014. The project will be realized over a time span of three years and it will take place in three Himas in the Bekaa region, namely Anjar/ Kfar Zabad, El-Fakiha and Ain Zebdeh/Kherbet Anafar.
These villages are rural areas that depend mainly on agriculture and grazing as their economic source of living. Due to the impact of the Syrian crisis and the influx of Syrian refugees, the community’s economic situation deteriorated further. This project will first implement preliminary rapid assessments on the current situation of the involved Hima sites in order to upgrade livelihood status and stimulate economic recovery of the local communities through promoting alternative income related to nature conservation. Three particularly vulnerable groups will be targeted and provided with economic support: shepherds and shepherd women, trout fishermen, and local community; aiming to upgrade their livelihood status.
In the second part of the project the emphasis will be put on outreach and sustainability. An outreach educational program (SNOW) addressing school children on natural resource will be implemented with the objective of raising awareness in the new generations and training educators on environmental issues.
Finally, the lessons learned will be disseminated. A space for marketing local products will be established in order to enhance the community economic conditions and, at the same time, provide visibility for the project and on the importance of conserving and protecting nature.