New project in Lebanon
The last few years have been difficult for Lebanon, as the church has necessarily focused much of its effort on helping the influx of Syrian refugees. Many have settled in the Bekaa Valley, where the mountains are largely bereft of their natural tree cover and erosion is increasing.
In January, A Rocha Lebanon planted native trees at the Qab Elias Woodland Restoration Project in the Bekaa. This new endeavour has been designed with the local residents to help counter the tree loss and provide a beautiful, shady place where children and adults can enjoy a picnic, play and learn about wildlife. The Bekaa Valley is on one of the world’s most important flyways and so woodland where migrating birds can feed and roost is vital. In addition, a pond is being created as a safe place for birds to drink and bathe.
The project was launched on Independence Day, in November, when a student from each of the 12 schools in the town planted a small Cedar of Lebanon and heard the mayor explain why everyone should appreciate and care for their environment. We hope that later this year, refugees will get involved in some of the practical activities. The work is funded by the Chino Cienega Foundation (USA).