SPNL releases third issue of Al-Hima magazine: Hima Trails for Peace connect protected areas

The Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL) published the third issue of Al Hima magazine. The cover story is about Hima Trails for Peace, which connects 31 Himas established by SPNL across Lebanon in cooperation with municipalities and local communities. These ancient trails enhance local tourism by focusing on each region’s natural, cultural, and historical uniqueness.

The issue highlights the BioConnect project to manage sites of environmental importance, establish new protected areas in southern Lebanon, and link protected areas supported by the European Union. SPNL is a partner in this project and focuses on seven Hima sites within its scope: Kherbet Qanafar and Ain Zebdeh in West Bekaa, Hammana and Ras Al Matn in Mount Lebanon, Qoleileh and Mansouri on the southern coast, and Ebel Es Saqi near Marjeyoun in the south.

Another project SPNL is implementing in partnership with the European Union is protecting endangered Egyptian vultures on their migration route between Europe and Africa. The issue includes an exciting story about five wounded vultures rescued from poachers and sent to the Prague Zoo, where they entered a captive breeding program.

Al Hima is full of beautiful stories about thinking and working locally and globally to protect nature while improving the lives of communities. Since 2004, SPNL has been working to revive the Hima approach, which protects areas where communities live and meet their needs without depleting their natural environment while adopting a sustainable economic model. Homat Al Hima International (HHI) was recently established with offices in several countries, aiming to export the Hima model internationally. An article is designated to present consulting services provided by the HHI group of experienced experts and consultants. Another article highlights Endangered Voices’ international advertising campaign in cooperation with Leo Burnett, calling on global brands to contribute to protecting threatened species.

Other topics include Hima and social innovation from a civilizational perspective, the oldest mosquito in the world is trapped in Lebanese amber, Mongolia the land of blue skies, exploring Kazakhstan with Vostok, Oman’s Trails, the Hima market, the annual Hima forum, in addition to launching the first natural park project in Lebanon and the region, the Beirut River Valley – Upper Matn, based on a successful hima model.

In his editorial entitled Reserves and Himas Are the Lungs of Lebanon, Asaad Serhal, SPNL Director General and HHI founder and chairman, narrates SPNL’s history, its role in establishing reserves in Lebanon during the past forty years in cooperation with environmentalists, authorities, and international organizations, and focusing since the 1990s on reviving the hima system. Serhal concludes: “We have great hope for a better future for wildlife, nature, and people in Lebanon, thanks to the efforts of dedicated custodians in environmental NGOs, reserves, himas, and natural parks, and linking them together through the Hima Trails program and the BioConnect project.”