Assad Serhal, SPNL Director-General, and winner of the MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity 2018 met today with H.E. Matahiro Yamaguchi Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Lebanon.
He invited SPNL to apply for the grant to establish a Hima wildlife Rescue Center at Hima Ras El Matn. This Hima land was donated by philanthropist Yousef Abdel Samad living in New York, born in Ras El Maten. Architect and engineering design by Jawad Nowyhid. Meeting attended as in the photo by Mr. Jawdat Abo Jawdeh and Mr. Antonie Ghorieb representing Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the independent institution of the Government of Japan, responsible for the international cooperation and development agenda of the country.
On 27 July 2018 Ras el-Matn’s municipal council decree declared the village as Hima. The municipal council, led by Mr. Marwan Salha, was proactive in declaring part of the municipal land as Hima for sustainable use such as ecotourism, responsible grazing, and responsible hunting.
The Hima will be established in coordination between the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon, Ras El Matn Youth Association, and Ras El Matn Association for Sustainable Development and Environment.
Ras el-Matn (Arabic: رأس المتن) is a Lebanese town in the Baabda District of Mount Lebanon Governorate stretching over 1300 hectares (13 km² – 5.018 mi²). The town has a population of nearly 10,000 inhabitants.
The name literally translates “top” (ras) of “the mountain” (el-matn). It describes the town’s location as being perched on top of the shoulder of Mount Lebanon. It is well known for the abundance of pine trees there.
The village is located on the western steep slopes of Mount Lebanon, in the upper Matn (al-Matn al-A’la) section at varying elevation between 800 to 1000 m above sea level. It’s known for its panoramic views and pine trees and its location giving a view to the western sections of el-Matn and the Mediterranean sea. From its heights one can look out across the valley to the towns of Dhour Chweir, Baabdat, Broumana, and Beit Mery.
The town is a major source of pine nuts due to stone pine (Pinus pinea) woods covering the area. The umbrella pines that surround the village are a source of pine nuts, while olives, grapes, figs, apricots and other fruits are cultivated here as well.