Launch of SPNL’s 2023 Annual Report: From Nature Reserves to Hima

We are delighted to announce the launch of the Society for Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL) 2023 report, available now for download. This annual report is designed to give you an overview of SPNL’s main achievements in 2023. You will also find an overview of the current programmes and projects and the significant results achieved.

Today, Lebanon boasts 33 Hima sites scattered across different regions of the country. Despite the significance of enacting legislation by Parliament to formally recognize the Hima system as one of the four categories of protected areas, this endeavor did not necessitate a parliamentary law. Rather, it demanded unwavering determination, resilience against despair, and sustained dialogue and collaboration with municipal councils.

Municipal councils serve as robust and enduring allies in nature conservation efforts, representing a vital link in preserving Lebanon’s biodiversity. By engaging in long-term partnerships with municipalities and fostering a shared understanding of the importance of nurturing and enhancing the Hima system, progress can be achieved in safeguarding Lebanon’s natural heritage. More information about Hima sites in Lebanon can be found at

From Ebel el Saqi, Qoleileh, and Mansouri in the south, to Kfar Zabad, Anjar, and Aitnit in the Bekaa, and further to Anfeh and Andket in the north, all the way to Aaqoura, Kaifun, Shemlan, Kfarmatta, and Ras el Matn in Mount Lebanon, the Hima system extends across diverse regions of Lebanon. Its applications range from sustainable grazing and hunting practices to water resource management, organic and responsible agriculture, biodiversity conservation, and forest protection.

The Hima system initiative receives support from BirdLife International. The latter has integrated the Hima concept into its strategy by associating it with areas globally significant for bird conservation. In 2013, BirdLife International announced that the Arab Hima system was among the 20 most notable achievements worldwide in the history of preserving birds and their natural habitats. This international recognition was solidified by a decision from the IUCN, acknowledging the Hima as a pivotal accomplishment in nature conservation. The decision underscores the importance of judicious resource investment and the preservation of the environment’s capacity for renewal.

Moreover, the IUCN decision recognizes various local community contributions to natural resource conservation, encompassing terms such as Hima, Al-Muhjar, Agdal, Koruk, Adat, or similar systems managed by local communities in West Asia and North Africa. This inclusive approach reinforces local and cultural knowledge and heritage while simultaneously safeguarding natural resources and improving livelihoods.

We hope you enjoy reading the report