"Arztak Hawytak" or "Your Cedar - Your Stamp" aims to afforest Cedar trees in Ehden - North governorate for a period of 3 years constituting a protected reserve to become a touristic destination and job creation for many people in the neighborhood.
2 plots of 25 ha in total has been donated by Ehden municipality to encourage Rotary embrace the project. An MoU signed with the Municipality dedicating this region to be a protected forest with only eco-tourism activities.
"Arztak Hawytak" is about planting a "Seed of Hope" as Lebanon has suffered some of the highest deforestation rates (more than 32%).
Project's Key Objectives:
- Raise awareness to the importance of afforestation . (Today only 13.29% of Lebanon's area is covered with forests while 82.1% of country territory is under severe water stress).
- Protect and restore terrestrial ecosystems by planting native Cedar trees, promoting reforestation and restoring habitat.
- Use education and social outreach to promote pro-environmental behavior
- Encourage people to reinvest in the country and leave a green legacy for generations to come.
- Support small-businesses development and income-generating activities for the inhabitants through creation of area-wide eco-touristic reserve based on proven sustainable models.
- Mitigate climate change
- To strengthen the tourism in the area by increasing the size of the reserve and the attractiveness of the region, thus developing the economic cycle and benefiting local businesses (bakeries, restaurants, hotels, handmade products, eco-tourism, tour guides, etc.).
-An opportunity to develop inhabitants expertise in planting toward better farming and forestry practices, and to be involved as workers and suppliers in the implementation and maintenance of the project throughout its duration and beyond.
- Environmental awareness & climate change implications were also identified as an important point to address as unfortunately these are not taught at schools and excluded from official curriculum
How the project will meet these needs:
- This project aims at developing eco-tourism and educate communities on environmental issues.
- From an environmental point of view, as the project is being implemented on an arid land, it will participate in fixing the soil and improving its fertility, combat global warming through carbon sequestration, provide wildlife habitat and food as well as improve biodiversity.
- The project comes as an external assistance, in terms of funds and expertise, in order to help the community reach its target of extending the reserve, create awareness of the importance of environmental education and developing the eco-tourism in the area.
-The purchase of equipment and seedlings for the plantation action will have an immediate impact on the economic development of the regional nurseries and shops.
- The proposed on-site trainings given to the Ehden inhabitants will equip them with the technical and managerial skills required to execute a reforestation action. These trainings will enable them to co-implement the plantation activities on the ground, and further monitor, maintain, manage, supervise and, evaluate the site during and post-planting phase.
- Local schools' students will directly benefit from the acquisition of knowledge and environmental awareness on the multi-purpose forest functions for protection, restoration, conservation and, economic development.This is primarily achieved through active participation in the plantation campaigns and awareness training sessions to be delivered at public & private schools
- The above and online communications serve as efficient and multifunctional platforms to reach out the general public on regional, national, and international level and amplify the dissemination of information about the benefits of conservation and forestry practices
It's a 3 years project - June 2023 to June 2025
How funding will be used:
The Global grant will cover afforesting one of the 2 plots with 4,000 Cedar trees for 3 years for a total value of $102,800.
It also covers the capacity building training and social outreach campaigns to promote pro-environmental behavior that is lagging behind in the country's educational curriculum.
Club members involvement:
Members will work closely with all identified partners to:
- Raise funds for the project
- Coordinate with NGOs /Partners and suppliers
- Prepare Global grant application, monitor, follow up and issue final reporting
- Supervise, monitor and actively participate in project's implementation
- Oversees finance & release regular updates on project & budget status
- Handle marketing & promoting the event in all media outlets being above the line & social media
- Organize events & plantation days throughout the project's timeline as well as fundraising initiatives
- Educate & organize awareness sessions at schools/communities on environmental challenges & ways to mitigate climate change