Lebanese children camp for Peace and Birds
The Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL, BirdLife in Lebanon) celebrated the World Bird Festival with events at two Important Bird Areas (IBAs) which it is developing as himas, a traditional Islamic form of community-based land management.
Ebel es-Saqi IBA is centered on a remote, ancient village in a migration bottleneck, where a forested hill-top provides a perfect watchpoint for soaring birds such as pelicans, storks and raptors.
The Kfar Zabad wetland IBA is a small marshland on the level plain of the Bekaa Valley, part of the Syrian-African Great Rift Valley, on the main migration route for African-Eurasian water birds through the Near East.
SPNL has recorded the globally threatened bird Syrian Serin Serinus syriacus and a number of regionally threatened bird species including Red Kite Milvus milvus, Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus and Saker Falcon Falco cherrug, as well as several biome-restricted species.
“After the devastating effects of the war on people and the environment, we were determined to celebrate the World Bird Festival,” said Assad Serhal, General Director of SPNL.
The communities around both IBAs had suffered: Ebel es-Saqi had been totally evacuated, while the people of Kfar Zabad were struggling to accommodate 120 displaced families, with help from SPNL’s Hope campaign, supported by Middle Eastern and international aid agencies.
Together with the environmental NGO TERRE, SPNL organised a three-day children’s camp under the theme “Peace and Birds”.
130 children aged between six and 12 joined activities which included sorting solid waste, awareness sessions on the importance of birds, building bird feeders and nests, paper kites, and the distribution of posters and bird guides.
The World Heritage Site of Byblos is now officially the 17th Hima in Lebanon: here.
Pollution after the war in Lebanon: here.
Fatah al-Islam in Lebanon: here.
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