What is a Hima?

HINT: In the Shouf mountains in Lebanon Himas provide sustainable livelihoods for
rural entrepreneurs.

#RootedEveryday

HINT: In the Shouf mountains in Lebanon Himas provide sustainable livelihoods for
rural entrepreneurs.

#RootedEveryday

The oak and cedar forests of the Al-Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve in Lebanon stretch from Dahr Al-Baidar in the north to Niha Mountain in the south. Its home to 2000 year old trees and is a conservation haven for wolves, the Lebanese jungle cat, Nubian Ibex, 250 species of bird, 31 species of reptiles and amphibians and 25 threatened species of wildlife. 520 species of plants grow there including 14 rare species. A popular destination for hiking and trekking many visitors come for bird watching, mountain biking and snowshoeing.

The area is also home to over 70,000 people living around the core zone of the reserve from 24 different municipalities that stretch out over two Muhafazat (Districts). The Society for Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL) and Shouf Biosphere Reserve are monitoring biodiversity and providing training to produce a report on conservation in the 50,000 hectares Biosphere Reserve.

Promoting Hima Women Empowerment for Conservation and Livelihood

The revival of the Hima approach aims to conserve cultural and traditional skills and provide opportunities for female rural entrepreneurs. Al Hima is a traditional management system established by tribal people using sustainable land patterns to assure long-term survival in the face of scarce resources and water shortages. Today, the Hima approach empowers local people in decision making and is a way to preserve indigenous knowledge and local customs.

Lebanese women involved in the three Hima programmes are participating locally with decision makers to discuss how to protect their community and increase the numbers of women involved. They’re developing marketing plans to promote the Hima sites to Eco-tourists and promote the 70 different products they make using traditional methods which are sold in visitor centres. To keep on conserving natural heritage and improving the opportunities for local people further laws and regulations are needed in order to support this traditional and sustainable way of life.

Himas also play a role as seed banks. As part of restoring the Hima ecosystems the team are promoting sustainable community based water management systems which benefit the environment, local wildlife and decreases the runoff from agricultural land. The number of wells has increased and the amounts of agriculture chemicals in the soil and water is below recommended levels as set by the Ministry of Agriculture.

The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Garden trail in Lebanon is restoring natural habitats and increasing native plants. As it grows sustainable farmers are choosing not to use pesticides and herbicides.

Let’s stay #RootedEveryday

A Thriving Butterflies and Insects Community in The Butterfly Pavillion © Hussein Zorkot
Meadow Trail © Hussein Zorkot

The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Garden trail in Lebanon is restoring natural habitats and increasing native plants. As it grows sustainable farmers are choosing not to use pesticides and herbicides.

Let’s stay #RootedEveryday

A Thriving Butterflies and Insects Community in The Butterfly Pavillion © Hussein Zorkot
Meadow Trail © Hussein Zorkot

The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Garden trail in Lebanon is restoring natural habitats and increasing native plants. As it grows sustainable farmers are choosing not to use pesticides and herbicides.

Let’s stay #RootedEveryday

A Thriving Butterflies and Insects Community in The Butterfly Pavillion © Hussein Zorkot

Creating a Botanic and Butterfly Garden Trail and Reintroduction of Nubian Ibex

Butterfly gardening is a sustainable, low maintenance type of gardening that encourages the use of native plants in attracting and maintaining the presence of butterflies year after year. It restores natural habitat and increases plant and animal biodiversity and reduces invasive species. An indoor botanical garden for native plant species will highlight the medicinal and aromatic benefits of native species and encourage the revival of traditional and sustainable practices and promote responsible farming by advocating against the use of pesticides and herbicides.

Nearby the team has reintroduced a small herd of Nubian Ibex to graze in a small enclosure. Visitors can see the animals in a semi-natural environment and learn about biodiversity and eco-cultural traditions and heritage, and buy local products in a new exhibition space currently under construction called the House of Biodiversity.

Butterfly houses © Hussein Zorkot

Creating a Botanic and Butterfly Garden Trail and Reintroduction of Nubian Ibex

Butterfly gardening is a sustainable, low maintenance type of gardening that encourages the use of native plants in attracting and maintaining the presence of butterflies year after year. It restores natural habitat and increases plant and animal biodiversity and reduces invasive species. An indoor botanical garden for native plant species will highlight the medicinal and aromatic benefits of native species and encourage the revival of traditional and sustainable practices and promote responsible farming by advocating against the use of pesticides and herbicides.

Nearby the team has reintroduced a small herd of Nubian Ibex to graze in a small enclosure. Visitors can see the animals in a semi-natural environment and learn about biodiversity and eco-cultural traditions and heritage, and buy local products in a new exhibition space currently under construction called the House of Biodiversity.

Butterfly houses © Hussein Zorkot

Terracing

Using graduated terrace steps on mountainous terrain is helping to reduce both erosion and surface runoff, and supports growing crops that require irrigation, through sustainable water management. Working to restore abandoned stone terracing with local owners is improving land quality and cleaning water in reservoirs and wells on the western slopes of Mount Lebanon whilst supporting local farmers. Wooden cottages have been built to store agricultural equipment, seedlings with high economic value are now being planted on the terraces and maintained with compost made from shredded leaves mixed with animal manure. Throughout the year field work is combined with training sessions for farmers to develop their knowledge and capacity on terrace restoration, drip irrigation systems, the use of compost and seedlings distributed to attendees during these sessions to continue increasing the biodiversity of their land.

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