A real ecological jewel of Mount Lebanon, characterized by its important floral and faunal richness especially known for ancient maple trees, juniper forest, wild boars and hares. This municipal land was announced in 2017 as a Hima for sustain- able use such as ecotourism, respon- sible grazing and responsible hunting knowing that it’s a home for game birds like the Chukar partridge. In addition this region has a cultural importance where 42 churches are found, among them St Peter’s and Paul’s Church, carved in the rock. Moreover, speleology has a big part in this Hima due to the presence of Ruwais spring and grotto considered one of the biggest in Lebanon, making it an attractive spot for ecotourism.
01 March 2017 was an important day at SPNL. SPNL team welcomed Aakoura mayor who showed interest in conserving its municipal land and developing sustainable development initiatives in collaboration with SPNL.
Located in the Jbeil District, on of Mount Lebanon Governorate (Mouhafaza), Aakoura is the jewel of Mount Lebanon known for ancient Maple trees and Juniper Forest, ecological and cultural assets. It represents approximately 1% of Land territory, a host of rich flora & fauna, especially for game birds such as Chukar Partridge, Wild Boar and Hare.
The municipal council was proactive in declaring the Aakoura municipal land as Hima for sustainable use such as ecotourism, responsible hunting, and responsible grazing.
The municipality of Aakoura signed the decision to adopt the new Hima annexed with a map that locate the Hima.
Among its major monuments beside the 42 churches, are St Peter’s and Paul’s Church, carved in the rock, the abundant springs: Ruwais spring and grotto considered one of the biggest in Lebanon, the village spring, and the Monk’s spring, Saydet El Habes an old convent that was a residence for many bishops and many other things to see.
The Hima represents a destination for hunters from all regions of Lebanon. Therefore, it is the aim to put together with the municipality, Paul Ariss (private sector interested to establish RHA in Aakoura), and Middle East Center for Responsible Hunting-MECRH, a business and management plan in order to promote responsible hunting practices, encourage wildlife conservation, and ecotourism.
This is part of SPNL RHU efforts established during the Birdfair project in collaboration with BirdLife International, in order to stop illegal killing of birds and promote responsible hunting practices within responsible hunting areas-RHAs in collaboration with municipalities & private sector as the best approach to support hunting law enforcement in Lebanon.
The revival of the Hima system is empowering communities to take responsibility for managing local resources. This approach is being championed by the Society for Protection of Nature in Lebanon (BirdLife in Lebanon) and is helping to build capacity for local economic enterprises, linked to the wildlife and landscape conservation.