Former mayor of Hammana Bashir Fouad Farhat: We are on the right path to preserving our natural wealth

Since the beginning of the last century, Hammana has been one of the most prominent summer villages in Mount Lebanon and is famous for tourism. During the summer, all tourists are welcome in their homes, especially tourists from the Gulf. Lately, because of the painful events that the country has been through, and the mountain region and its people in particular, especially the political, security and economic instability, despite the efforts of our people to keep their homes and lands and preserve the town’s natural environment and its prevalent architectural style. Despite all this, traditional tourism has declined and no longer provides the townspeople with continuity, permanence and a dignified livelihood.

That is why I, in cooperation with the current municipal council since our election, have worked hard to develop a new strategy aimed at re-activating tourism by creating and stimulating alternative tourists to traditional tourism, which contributed to the restoration of life and the creation of an economic cycle in creating new job opportunities to compensate for the shortage and to secure the continuity, permanence and stability of the sons of Hammana. Several projects have had a positive and effective impact and directly contribute to the activation of ecotourism in terms of the economic, social, cultural and even religious dimensions.

Here, it must be said that the environmental heritage took the largest space, so cooperation was made with several environmental associations and institutions, the most important of which was cooperation and work with the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL), so that the latter employed its full capacities in work, investment and ideas, and in fact several environmental projects were accomplished and successful.

– To take a municipal decision to establish a hima on communal land owned by the municipality of Hammana, which puts legal protection, strengthens man’s attachment to his land and the inheritance of his ancestors, preserves nature from the hazard of fire, and contributes to organizing sustainable uses in the region and preserving its natural and biological resources based on scientific studies that identify places and destinations using these resources, such as sustainable fishing, grazing, etc., to re-create a sustainable and renewable ecosystem and benefit from it.

– As a project to establish a tower to watch migratory birds, which attracts a huge number of people both locally and internationally, and the town of Hammana is now on the world map through Birdlife International.

– Another municipal decision was taken to establish a park under the name of Air France, with the aim of financing a project that would contribute to limiting and reducing thermal emissions, encouraging agriculture, and reviving green areas.

Finally, all of this puts us, with our dear town, on the right path to preserving our natural wealth, and contributes to the development and renewal of biological diversity, strengthens capabilities, and aims to improve our society for the better after achieving several environmental projects at a professional and global level.

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