Aanjar, October 15, 2016 – With the support of the Lebanon Reforestation Initiative, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by the United States Forest Service, the Rachaiya Social and Environmental Corridor Planning Committee (CPC) launched its 10-year environmental strategic plan to improve environmental conditions and increase the green cover in the region. The strategic plan mainly includes activities related to reforestation, fire prevention, awareness raising campaigns, forest management, ecotourism, capacity development, communication plan and many other details. The event was attended by USAID representatives, CPC members, local civil society organizations, and Heads of the 13 municipalities included in the Rachaiya Social and Environmental Corridor, namely Rachaiya, Kfar Denis, Kawkaba Abou Aarab, Ain Aarab, Majdel Balhis, Mdoukha, Er Rafid, Bakka, Dahr Al Ahmar, Aanjar, El Mhaidthe, Kherbet Rouha, and El Bire.
During the event, USAID stressed the importance of the CPC in bringing neighboring communities together to effectively address their shared environmental needs, and confirmed its commitment to continue supporting the committee to improve stewardship over their Social and Environmental Corridor. Additionally, Mr. Ali Moussa, a CPC member gave a presentation on the 10-year strategic plan and how the committee will engage the private sector, national and international donors, reforestation NGOs, the Cooperative of Native Tree Producers of Lebanon, and other public and private reforestation stakeholders to realize and support the plan.
The event concluded with a symbolic tree planting in Anjar’s reforestation site with all CPC members to highlight the importance of working hand-in-hand to restore and protect forests.