Khatib calls on security forces to enforce hunting law

Environment Minister Tarek Khatib Monday called on security forces across Lebanon to enforce Lebanon’s hunting law as bird migration season approaches, a statement from his office reported.

“We call upon municipalities in various Lebanese regions, and security forces, to ensure the implementation of laws that prevent the hunting of … migratory birds, including endangered storks,” the statement read.

Khatib reinforced statements made by President Michel Aoun last year that called for a “peace pact” between humans and birds, which the environment Minister referred to as a “global wealth.”

Under Lebanon’s 2017 hunting law, hunting any species of birds is prohibited after January, however violations of the law are widespread and enforcement is weak. Pictures of dead birds, including storks, have already been circulating on social media a few weeks into the beginning of spring bird migration.

On Sunday, Aoun urged for the protection of birds, after a group of 52 Lebanese and international environmental NGOs and bird advocacy groups released a joint letter last month calling on the president to enforce Lebanon’s hunting laws ahead of spring bird migration.

Around 2.6 million birds from roughly 327 species are estimated to be killed in Lebanon each year, the letter noted, hampering global conservation efforts.

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