We have never hidden our feeling that we, as the sons of Hammana, have a privilege that the Creator has given us, one in which we take pride. The beauty of our town’s nature and geography, from its mountain to its waterfall, to its waters and village green, its location, climate and trees, both forest trees and fruit bearing. This beautiful scenery and wonderful environmental harmony place on our shoulders a double responsibility to conserve Hammana’s nature, environment, and unique model.
The municipality of Hammana has shown itself to be up to the task as it has issued a number of decisions aimed at conserving the environment and nature of Hammana, from appointing the guardians of the hima, banning hunting and banning the grazing of livestock in the Hammana commons, establishing an observatory for migratory birds and preserving forest trees, in addition to working on the afforestation of large areas of Hammana’s geographical space. All of this is aimed at reducing environmental pollution through projects in cooperation with the European Union, which has funded projects in this regard, in addition to signing the Municipal Agreement on the environment and energy, and cooperating with the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL), and the most important thing being the implementation that was done with discipline, precision, and trustworthiness, to make Hammana model for the hima system in Lebanon and the world.
The aim of all this is to stimulate and show the environmental, social and touristic factor and to activate integration between the public sector, non-governmental organizations, and private institutions, both local and international, to show the image of development, of faith in the land and a solid will, and to demonstrate the ability of official institutions to function via a practical transparent policy that is financially and socially clear. In order for this approach to establish a pioneering role for my country and be an example for future generations to follow, in addition to the economic and social benefit for the people of Hammana, its residents and visitors.
From this standpoint, we note the pioneering role of Hammana’s son, the cultivated André Bechara, who is an environmental and social activist, in cooperation with Mr. Asaad Serhal, who embodies success in what he represents and has tremendous experience and is the director general of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL), in addition to the integration and long-term dealings between the municipality of Hammana and Air France which is a pioneer in the world of aviation, which increases experience, professionalism and a comprehensive picture of the success story.
The cooperation between the municipality, SPNL and Air France is an example of the integration of environmental and social work and a roadmap for success to be emulated by other municipalities in Lebanon.
And the most important thing that remains is the dream that the mayor of Hammana, the skilled hunter, will turn into a conservationist of birds, which represent nature’s balance, and watching them it is a pleasure much greater than the excitement of hunting, this does not mean that we are against organized hunting within the Lebanese laws in effect, despite the fact that I, as mayor, have taken a decision prohibiting hunting of all kinds in Hammana, whether they be transit, migratory or local birds, on the contrary, we urge the Ministry of Environment to protect the migration of birds and regulate hunting on all Lebanese territory, and today, in cooperation with SPNL, we are preparing a project to establish the Hammana Hima as a focal point for building the first project to monitor bird migration in Lebanon and the Middle East.
Finally, and with the approval of the municipal council, I put the municipality’s logistical, human, administrative and legal capabilities, at the disposal of the clear and long-term vision of SPNL and Air France, to reach the desired goals and the value of success to which we aspire.