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Wings & Waves – SPNL’s Newsletter January 2014

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Wings & Waves – SPNL’s Newsletter – Highlights of 2013

Issue January 2014

SPNL receives “Best Practice” Award from the United Nations for improving the living environment through Hima system

The Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL– BirdLife in Lebanon) recently received an international ‘best practice’ award for their work at the Qolieleh Hima site, southern Lebanon, where they are preserving the coast and improving living conditions for local people. Dubai Municipality presented the Dubai International Award for Best Practices (DIABP) to SPNL for community-based conservation at the coastal Hima site. This award focuses on projects that sustainably improve the living environment, under the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).

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SPNL Launches New Project on Water Management Systems

Water Canals at Hima Anjar

As a part of SPNL’s projects in Hima Anjar Kfar Zabad, IBA,SPNL has recently launched the project entitled “Restoring Hima Ecosystem functions through promoting sustainable community based water management systems”. The project initiated on January 2013, extends fora three years duration, supported by the MAVA Foundation. It aims to restore Hima Ecosystem functions through promoting sustainable community based water management systems.

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Celebrating the Miracle of Life – Bird Migration and World Water Day Festival

 Crowd during Bird Festival at Hima Anjar

On Saturday March 23rd and in spite of the bad weather, Anjar and Kfar Zabad residents; and visitors from different Lebanese districts celebrated the Miracle of Life as part of the annual celebrations for the Bird Migration, and the World Water Day. The festival that was organized by SPNL in partnership with the municipalities of Anjar and Kfar Zabad, with the generous support of the MAVA Foundation, was a truly great success with a day full of fun, outdoor activities, and rejoicing the values of nature and the importance to preserve it.
The festival witnessed the celebration of launching two important projects: ”Restoring Hima Ecosystem functions through promoting sustainable community -based water management systems “in Hima Anjar- Kfar Zabad IBA” funded by MAVA Trust; and the launching of the project “Promoting Hima Women Empowerment for Conservation and Livelihood” funded by the UN Women Fund for Gender Equality.

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El Fekha Claimed as a New Hima

Declaring El Fekha as a new Hima

SPNL in partnership with the Fakha municipality and CREADEL social organization have declared on 6 May 2013 a new Hima site in the village of El Fekha in the Anti-Lebanon Mountains of Bekaa. The project funded by the CEPF, was launched in a ceremony attended by the SPNL team, CREADEL, and members from the municipality of El Fekha and local community, and embarked the journey of future sustainable use of community based natural resources management in the area. Hima EL Fekha, considered as the 8thHima in Lebanon by SPNL, is a biologically-diverse important site, for it harbors more than 50 bird species, out of which 10 are considered biome-restricted.

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SPNL Participation in BirdLife World Congress in Ottawa

SPNL Director General at BirdLife Congress in Canada

The 2013 BirdLife International World Congress marks two major anniversaries: the 90th anniversary of the organization from which BirdLife evolved (making it the oldest truly international conservation organization), 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. On 19 of June SPNL received Birdlife partnership award for the revival of the Hima approach and the promotion of sustainable hunting. The congress also witnessed the election of SPNL Director General, Assad Serhal, as a BirdLife International Global Councilor representing the Middle East Region.

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SEARCH Project Progress

Rehabilitation of Water Tank in Hima Upper Akkar as part of the SEARCH Project

SEARCH – Social, Ecological, and Agricultural Resilience in the face of Climate Change project is important for locals and consisted of rehabilitating two old water tanks in the village of Rwaiymehin Hima Upper Akkar along with their respective networks. This will help the locals in solving the problem of water shortage in the village by supplying them with water for both potable and agricultural uses. The SEARCH project was fundamental in filling the gap between the local and national level where NGOs plays a crucial role. As such it is important to continue implementing pilot projects in rural areas and continue to work on raising awareness on climate change and other environmental issues. At a later stage, a policy reform workshop will be held between the local community, NSC members, and NGOs to propose intervention strategies for combating climate change in the near future. This of course needs consolidation at all levels starting from the local community and moving upwards to reach the national level.

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Launching of the SNOW Program in Anjar

 Children Activities as part of the SNOW Program

SPNL is announcing the launching of its School with No Walls (SNOW) program in Hima Anjar –Kfar Zabad, through the initiation of the first Hima Educational Summer Camp in the area. SNOW is an educational program initiated by SPNL in collaboration with its partner Great Escape; one of the leading nature based tourism companies in Lebanon. The SNOW program is developed for students of the age between 8 and 12, where it consists of several activities including Hands on activities and Learning through fun.

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SPNL Agreement with TyN

Francesca Pasetti and Concha Salguero from Tyn with SPNL Director Genral Assad Serhal

The Society for the protection of nature in Lebanon (SPNL) signed a partnership agreement with Transhumancia y Naturaleza – Spain (TyN).Both parties agreed to pursue their shared objectives through means of partnership, thus establishing the basis for mutual collaboration and development of projects aiming at linking nature and culture conservation through pastoralism and transhumance. TyN team that visited Lebanon consisted of Francesca Pasetti and Concha Salguero. SPNL General Director Assad Serhal praised the cooperation with TyN “Shepherds Without Borders”.

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Eco-tourism and Migratory Soaring Birds Conservation Workshop

Eco-tourism and Migratory Soaring Birds Conservation Workshop

SPNL held a three-day workshop entitled “Mainstreaming Conservation of Migratory Soaring Birds into the Eco-tourism Sector” at Coral Beach Hotel, Beirut within the Migratory Soaring Bird Project-MSB Lebanon component funded by the Global Environment Facility and implemented by the United Nations Development Program and the Ministry of Environment in collaboration with Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon. Various stakeholders from different private and public sectors, such as ministries, tour operators, NGOs, and experts in the field of environment and tourism, attended the workshop. The national workshop resulted in the development of a national strategy and action plan for ecotourism in Lebanon.

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With the Support of Mava Foundation

Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon – SPNL
Email: news@spnl.org
Web: http://www.spnl.org
Tel/Fax: 00961 1 343 740 / 00961 1 344 814 / 00961 1 748308

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