Presenter:Bassima Khatib – SPNL Assistant Director General

Hikers walking through Lebanon for the conservation of birds

LMT LogoThe Lebanon Mountain Trail Association (LMTA) launched on March 30, 2013 its fifth annual thru-walk from Andaket in North Lebanon. This year, 150 hikers from 9 countries will spend up to 28 days on the trail, walking for birds,and sensitizing trailside communities (about 70 villages and towns) to the importance of birds and bird populations, and the critical need to end hunting malpractices, including the massacre of migratory soaring birds.

Five evening seminars are planned in five different communities (Sir el Dannieh, Bsharre, Kfardebian, Maaser el Chouf, and IblesSaqi) along the trail, and are organized in collaboration with the UNDP/GEF-funded Migratory Soaring Birds project which is implemented by the Ministry of Environment and the BirdLife’s national partner, the Society for the Protection of Nature (SPNL).

Organized by Al-Chouf Cedar Society-ACS in their renovated premises in Maaser El-Chouf, an evening seminar was held on Sunday 21 April 2013. The seminar was presented and moderated by Ms. Bassima Khatib from SPNL stressing the importance of Lebanon for bird, the hunting threat, positive progress in hunting management, and the outreach campaign launched by SPNL. The seminar was attended by around 40-50 participants representing municipal members, civil defense, local community and LMT hikers.The audience showed great interest in the subject and stressed the need for future follow up.

 The (LMT) is the first long-distance hiking trail in Lebanon. It extends from Andaket in the north of Lebanon to Marjaayoun in the south, a 450-km path that transects more than 75 towns and villages at altitude ranging from 600 meters to 2,000 meters above sea level. The LMT showcases the natural beauty and cultural wealth of Lebanon’s mountains, brings communities closer together, and expands economic opportunities in rural areas through environmentally and socially-responsible tourism.