Secrets of Birds Migration and Forests of Hope Festival – Aanjar
On Saturday October 6, a day full of environmental activities attracted more than 150 students aged between 8 and 12 from Aanjar and its neighboring villages under the theme of “The Secrets of Bird Migration and Forests of Hope”.
Aanjar’s festival allowed students and attendees to collect firsthand information about their communities’ natural resources, and how forest conservation and wildlife fit into the larger ecosystem and the local natural resource management system or «Hima».
Organised by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL) with support of Aanjar municipality and in collaboration with The Lebanon Reforestation Initiative (LRI) , – a program funded by the United States Agency for international Development (USAID) and implemented by the United States Forest Service (USFS) – the activities aimed to focus on nature concepts of sustainability and conservation.
The activities started with biking around the UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS), where kids were exposed to the cultural aspect of the area, and learned about the habitat of the globally threatened Syrian Serin bird.
The nature trail walk allowed the participants to watch the birds and go through the educational signage that introduced them to the wildlife and reforested trees at the site as well as animals such as the otter and swamp cat.
All of them then had the chance to watch The Miracle of Migration movie in Hima Aanjar’s visitor’s center
followed by a tree planting activity facilitated by LRI and focusing on the importance of tree in our life and the involvement of each one of them to help conserve their nature.
At the end of the day, participants were encouraged to create a kite, bird house, or bird feeder from recycled materials, allowing them to understand the concept of recycling.
“I am delighted that all Aanjar’s community is gathered here today and was able to make such a great contribution and make our first Aanjar Festival a true success.” Said Mr. Garo Panoukian Aanjar’s head of municipality.
“Aanjar attracts thousands of tourists from all over Lebanon throughout the year. Its Hima is now a destination for every person who would like to learn about this protected area that consists of woodlands, grasslands and wetlands”, added Mr. Garo Panoukian.
The engagement and commitment of the people of Aanjar and their love for their natural surroundings will have a lasting benefit for their community, their environment, the future of their birds and forests.