A Delegation from BirdLife Visits Hima Keyfoun

Posted on Mon, 21/05/2018

Furthering the mission to protect migratory soaring birds, Ibrahim Khader, the Regional Director of Birdlife ME and Osama Al Nouri, the Regional Flyway Facility Coordinator, recently visited Mount Lebanon Hima Center and Keyfoun Community Center. The objective was to review and design the options of the strategic vehicle projects for Tranche II of the Migratory Soaring Birds (MSB) Project in Lebanon.
In-depth discussions took place with management of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL) to ensure that the new proposed projects in Lebanon best respond to both the Project Results Framework and the national needs in Lebanon. Among the Hima Keyfoun visit attendees were the Mayor of Keyfoun Ali Dagher, Municipality Member Malek Serhal, HHI members Andre Bechara and Adel Serhal, SPNL Director General Assad Serhal, , and Project Officer Jamal Hamzeh.


During a field visit to Mount Lebanon, several meetings occurred at HIMA Kayfoun and HIMA center, where the local community center inspected the flyway in this vital region. Together, SPNL and the Regional Flyway Facility (RFF) team have identified the targeted priority sectors to be Hunting, Agriculture and Tourism, and they have agreed on a number of key points specific to each sector, as detailed below:

For Hunting, they identified Beirut River Valley Bottleneck site as a priority area to establish cooperation with relevant municipalities, particularly Kayfoun, towards the responsible hunting context under the HIMA approach.

For Agriculture, discussions involved developing plans that support the implementation of MSB Project’s flyway friendly best practices for the governmental and private sectors.  During the meeting, the team agreed that the olive oil industry in Lebanon, led by the private sector, is a great model for proposing more plans in the future, as it supports marketing potential in international markets.

For Tourism, the MSB project partnership in Lebanon mapped the need to take on responsible commitments in the sector and they agreed to ensure proper responsible labelling and certification scheme. On this note, SPNL will be the main lead, in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and HIMA’s, as part of the community-based natural resources management, which Lebanon has always embraced when it comes to nature conservation methods.

The visit provided the opportunity to share information, exchange ideas as well as learn about important flyway areas in Lebanon, and in the upcoming weeks, there will be more work to fine-tune mainstreaming vehicle projects in order to be launched this year in the agreed sectors.