Eco-tourism started in 1997, with the annual trips to Arsal, the last agro-pastoral village in North East Lebanon. The trips were to strengthen the relationship with the local community and the Association for Rural Development in Arsal (ARDA), a key environmental and developmental NGO and a partner in the Reforestation Network, to introduce Green Liners and friends to Arsal, with its unique natural and cultural heritage, and provide ARDA with an income generating activity. For the past couple of years, the country witnessed a spread in “eco-tourism activities and providers” raising the need to organize this sector, coordinate between the providers and perhaps introduce some sort of certification to differentiate between the provided services. In 2000, Green Line’s executive committee decided to develop an eco-tourism project. For this, programs were initiated with municipalities (Taraya, Mtein, Deir Mimas), youth groups (Bourj Al Moulouk) and NGO’s (ARDA –Association Rural Development for Arsal, Byblos Ecologia). The program was a combination of agro-tourism, (Bee keeping, olive oil production, cherry and apricot processing), and eco- tourism (Horsh Ehden, Barouk cedars, Kammou’a, Kannoubine and Nahr Ibrahim Valleys.
The aim of this project is to highlight and publicize the concept of eco-tourism as a method of natural resources conservation and a source of income for the local communities. This should be combined with the coordination between eco-tourism providers, municipalities, governmental bodies, and NGOs to establish at a network for sustainable tourism. ACHIEVEMENTS: The committee was active between 2002 and 2004 in the following: • The assessment and the development of an eco-touristic (ET) site in Mtein • Build a team of expert in eco-tourism at Green Line Produce posters and brochures: Recommendation for Responsible Eco-Tourism (English and French), Date with Nature (Booklet for children) • Secure financing sources as an income and support
The Committee organized a Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop for teachers, administrative staffs and parents from 30 new schools on February 20-22, 2004 . The attendees (60 persons) were trained, by committee members, on the School Nutrition concept and were encouraged to initiate such a program in their schools. In addition, educational materials including a booklet (Little Green Eating Healthy) and a poster (food pyramid) were distributed to the attendance.
• Maowaad Maa El Tabiaa – A Date with nature (Children Booklet) – download pdf:
• Recommendations for Responsible Eco-tourism (Brochures) - download pdf files: