BioConnect – A project where local community members and experts are collaborating towards more efficient conservation actions
In the framework of the BioConnect, a project funded by the European Union, biodiversity monitoring field activities targeting Birds, Mammals,Plants and Herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians) started since mid- April 2022 until present time.
SPNL is taking this opportunity to engage local community members in the monitoring activities towards raising their capacities while getting all the needed support from their high knowledge of all the logistical details of the monitored areas. Involving rangers from our targeted Hima sites is essential for maintaining a high quality of monitoring field work andkeeping our experts safe and well guided.
In addition to their support in field visits, our local rangers are enjoying every bit of information that they are discovering during this exciting journey within their surrounding nature. This participatory approach will contribute to strengthening the impact of future conservation activities by raising the value of Biodiversity among locals and increasing their engagement in managing and protecting their Hima sites.
The monitoring activities are on a good track towards prioritizing species/habitats and highlighting the ecological importance of the studied sites. This accurate and updated situation analysis for the biodiversity status will be an important contribution to the conservational aims of the BioConnect project, by ensuring:
1. A more efficient management for the targeted Hima sites.
2. A science-based advocacy tool for the establishment of new Protected Areas under the landscape connectivity concept.
We are extremely pleased to share with you some testimonies of our localrangers:
Hasan el Achkar – Ebel el Saqi
“Ever since I got the chance to work with SPNL team a few months ago, they have given me the opportunity to discover more about nature. It was a dream for me to work with such associations and discuss nature concerns and its valuable role in life. What I learned from the previous months is how to do monitoring for birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects, and it has been a very exciting experience for me. The most important thing is that I am learning to better understand nature and the best ways to protect it and its biodiversity from all threats including hunting and cutting trees.”
Tony Hasbani – Kherbet Qanafar/Ain Zebde
“My name is Tony Hasbani, I am from Ain Zebde, West Beqaa. I am assisting SPNL’s field team in bird monitoring in Hima Ain Zebde and Kherbet Qanafar. On one hand, I am getting to know new bird species in our Hima, on the other hand, I am enjoying being with the team on the field and learning from their expertise. An amazing experience for me!”
“Environmental activist since 1997, very active and interested in hiking all over Lebanon’s hiking trails. I met SPNL organization 3 or 4 years ago. What we had in common is that we both had the same goals, interests, and visions: love of nature and working for its conservation. SPNL sure gave to my passion for nature an added value. On a personal level for example, I used to fear a couple of animal species a lot, until I learned to understand their role and importance in nature. As a ranger, SPNL introduced me to monitoring, whether it was for birds, plants, or mammals. Now I know an important number of biodiversity species and how to identify them thanks to SPNL for which I will be forever grateful.”
Overall, our experience with local rangers is exceptional. Extremely dedicated people showing great interest whether in conserving their ecosystem, willing to learn new sustainable way of living, and offering their readiness whenever their assistance is needed. SPNL will continue to strive in bringing back the passion in these amazing people especially for Nature and the Environment.
In a nutshell, Community engagement will always be a main key for efficient management and conservation of natural resources, andhopefully with the new citizen-science manual for Biodiversity monitoring that is under Development as one of BioConnect outputs, the involvement of local community groups will reach a more advanced level.
BioConnect is a project funded by the European Union. It aims to ensure effective management and governance in sites of ecological importance and expending biodiversity protection in southern Lebanon.
You must be logged in to post a comment.