The 2013 BirdLife International World Congress marks two major anniversaries: the 90th anniversary of the organisation from which BirdLife evolved (making it the oldest truly international conservation organisation), and the 30th anniversary of The Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL), the leading in the revival of the Hima, a traditional community-managed protected area system, in Lebanon and throughout the Middle East. SPNL also played a leading role in BirdLife’s Sustainable Hunting campaign to control the killing of birds along the African-Eurasian Flyway.
Assad Serhal SPNL’s general director and Dalia Al-jawhary, Hima Programs Director, represented SPNL in the Birdlife World Congress, the largest and fastest growing global Partnership of national conservation organisations which took place in Ottawa, Canada, June 2013.
Middle East Regional Partnership meeting
The programme includes 17 workshops open to external audiences, including the Middle East Regional Partnership meeting. Assad Serhal was chairing this meeting that aimed to discuss BirdLife Program and Strategy for the Middle East. SPNL presented their intervention in relation to the hunting management in Lebanon including the different intervention in relation to hunting law and application decrees and capacity building for law enforcement officers and hunters, In addition to the proposal of coming up with hunting reserves in order to manage hunting on the local level.
The Migratory Soaring Birds Project
The session titled “The Key challenges and opportunity for promoting Bird Life Partnership” was also chaired by Assad Serhal which addresses the linked issues of partnership and sustainable development through nature conservation.
BirdLife Middle East Office organized a meeting to discuss “ The Migratory Soaring Birds Project”, during the meeting SPNLs intervention in the soaring Bird Project and the progress made for the management of hunting in Lebanon was highlighted.
Birdlife partnership award
On 19 of June SPNL received Birdlife partnership award for the revival of the Hima approach and its contribution for biodiversity conservation and the protection of IBAs.
Following five years of achievement since the 2008 World Congress, during which the Partnership has grown from to 121 conservation NGOs, BirdLife has used its Partnership Awards to recognise the exceptional contributions of an unprecedented seven Partner organisations.
Assad Serhal also contributed to a session titled “Issues that BirdLife Partners are Facing in their Development” highlighting major challenges in development.
Hima Fund Event
Dalia Al-jawhary participated in the Hima Fund Event on Building on Traditional Knoweledge for Conservation, and Livelihoods. She presented the revival of the Hima in Anjar Kfar Zabad and its contribution for the Conservation for the Habitat of the Syrian Serin Species, further more two movies about the Hima system and SPNL’s intervention in Hima Anjar were displayed
Capacity Development for the fly way Conservation in the Mediterranean
On 20 of June a session titled “Capacity Development for the fly way Conservation in the Mediterranean” was chaired by SPNL’s general director Assad Serhal with Lynda Mansson director of MAVA foundation, during this session several challenges related to the problems facing Migratory Birds between Malta, Cyprus and Lebanon was shared, where the issue of hunting of song birds was presented by Dalia Al-jawhary from SPNLs also common challenges between Med countries were highlighted including economical, political and cultural issues, in addition to the limited capacities of the law enforcement officers. MAVAs intervention in capacity building for this project were highlighted too.
Election of BirdLife Council
Khaled Irani from Jordan being the president of RSCN and previous minister of environment and energy in Jordan was elected as president of BirdLife International, however Assad Serhal Director of SPNL from Lebanon was elected among the global councilors of BirdLife International , further more Imad Atrash director of Palestinian Wild Life Authority was elected as Global Councilor too.
People Power in the Marine Environment : Locally Managed Marine Areas
Dalia Jawhary from SPNL presented the case of Hima Qolieleih Marine area and SPNLs intervention for the conservation of the Qolielieh Mansouri Marine beach and the empowerment of the local community on site including women and fisherman .
The following fair was attended by BirdLife partners ,friends and donors, where it allowed to expose BirdLife partners work through the special booth that each partner had, SPNL had a special booth where it displayed its work on IBAs and Hima revival.
Natural Livelihoods : Conservation, Poverty and Social Development
SPNL had a special session on the empowerment of the local women in Hima sites, where a poster presentation was prepared by SPNL and presented ,explaining the different roles that the women are engaged in the Hima to assure their empowerment and accessibility of their rights in decision making and conservation of natural resources.
“This gathering is both for birds and people and the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon will continue its efforts to conserve biodiversity for the provision”, said SPNL’s Genral Director Assad Serhal.