The reforestation to restore damaged public lands and connect with nature in Hima Hammana and Hima Anjar

By Reforestation Project Manager Rania Khalil

 

Planting in Hammana in 2021 during our “A tree for your loved one” campaign

The aim is to plant 1250 trees in Hima Hammana and 1250 trees in Hima Anjar, in public lands with the approval and support of the municipality.
The problematic of the project: damaged or unplanted public lands in the villages are present in big numbers and on large scales, but plenty of them are not planted, or lost its trees (due to fire, cut-off, storm…).

Hammana
The word come from the name of the Phoenician Sun God “Hamman” or “Hammon”, because the village is well exposed to the sun.
Popular for its cherry tree: In Hammana cherries are the main production and it has traditional and cultural values

Hammana Village in winter

Hima Hammana

Hima Hammana is considered one of a kind in the world of ecotourism, being on the main bird migration flyway, is considered as an IBA (Important Bird Area).

Hima Hammana

Anjar

Listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, where the old Umayyad city was discovered. Anjar is a special historical site, known for its local people who cherish their unique heritage and culture.

Anjar Village is structured with multiple plantation and all the corridors of the village are planted with different trees

Hima Anjar

Hima Anjar is characterized by an interesting mixture between wetlands, woodland and agricultural fields. It is an important birds and biodiversity area (IBBA) due to its environmental conditions leading to the breeding of important species.

Hima Anjar

Until now, in November and continuing in December the soil in both villages are prepared with the responsible locals. Each land need a specific care before the plantation according to its condition:

In October and November, Hammana first huge land was prepared

 

In October and November, Hammana first huge land was prepared

In November, part of Hammana corridors that will be planted on the sides, were cleaned

Anjar land 1(Catholic Church), two plots, on the left the soil should be tilled by December and on the right the soil was prepared in November

 

Anjar land 1 (Catholic Church), two plots, on the left the soil should be tilled by December and on the right the soil was prepared in November

The soil is ready and was prepared during October and November in Anjar Land 2-A (Haratch School), 3 plots, was planted several times on many years, has a suitable drip irrigation system and a good exposure to the sun that ensure the living of the trees.

Anjar Land 2-B, 2 plots, for the Haratch Church , was planted several times on many years, has a suitable drip irrigation system and a good exposure to the sun that ensure the living of the trees. Will be tilled during December, in the left and trees removed on the right.

We work directly with the local communities. Several local members are involved in the organization, planting, preparation of the lands. We try to include as much as possible the local community in our reforestation work in that way they feel an attachment for the trees, they learn its importance. In Hammana, we are planting in the corridors in a way to promote the importance of the trees in the village. We are also planting in a land next to a religious monument: people have respect for the place and the location, therefore the maintenance, the follow-up will be done accurately and people will preserve more the planted trees. In Anjar, we are planting in school lands linked to churches, and mostly fruit trees, and the aim is to collect each year the products and distribute them to the local communities in need. In that way, the local community will be ready to help and maintain the trees and will know that this reforestation will help them directly

In October and November, we did several meetings with the municipalities, local focal points, to prepare the project administratively and technically.

Meeting with Anjar Mayor and our focal point in Anjar for the plantation

Meeting with the responsible of the Catholic Church and the responsible person on the ground of the plantation and trees

All trees are inspected and will be ready for plantation. We did many searches in several nurseries to choose the well-maintained trees so we can ensure their increasing in size, their health and a less loss rate.

The 2500 trees will be planted over several parts of the lands in both villages: oak, carob, almond, linden, olive, cedar, apricot, pine, cherry, plum, peach, and apple.

Initially, we wanted to start the plantation in December and till February. But due to climate change we don’t have till now rain in Lebanon. It is a huge problem for all farmers and for the agriculture sector, with barely two days of rain the crops are being in risk and plantation is not possible. After discussing with many agriculture experts, planting in December without rain will be a high risk for the trees, and will affect the growth and increase the loss rate. So we are hoping to plant by mid-January, after having December one month of rain.

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