On the occasion of World Environment Day, the Benta’el Nature Reserve and Lebanon Reforestation Initiative inaugurated new walking trails in the reserve, under the patronage of the president of the National Commission for Lebanese Women, Claudine Aoun Roukoz.
In addition to Mrs. Claudine, the inauguration was attended by the head of the ecosystem department of the Ministry of Environment, Lara Samaha, representing the Ministry, as well as the director of Lebanon Reforestation Initiative Maya Nehme, the head of the Benta’el Nature Reserve Committee Raymond Khoury, the mayor of Edde Pierre Edde, and members of the committee of the Nature Reserve and many others.
In her opening speech, Mrs. Rokouz stressed that the mountain trails embody our identity, the history of our forefathers, and the nature of our land, and that our 15 nature reserves are our natural, cultural and touristic treasure as well as one of the cornerstones of rural development policy.
Speaking about the inauguration of the new walking trails at the reserve, she said, “The opening of new trails in the Benta’el Reserve is a positive step into the protection and sustainability of natural resources and biodiversity. It’s an initiative for the preservation and sustainability of the environment[…]”
Mrs. Claudine concluded quoting President Michael Aoun’s words: “Nature is a balanced living world with three interrelated dimensions: Human, animal, and plant. This is the desire of the wisdom of the Creator and so it will remain, and by maintaining these dimensions, life is preserved and its course is organized.”
During the inauguration of the trails, other speeches were delivered, praising the efforts of Benta’el Nature Reserve in implementing this project and cleaning the sides of the road.
It is worth mentioning that the Lebanon Reforestation Initiative has helped in cleaning up to 87,227 square meters of roads in Benta’el and its surroundings. That in addition to employing around 190 workers over four months.
The amenities of these trails will afford people an enjoyable and safe exploration of the reserve. They will also protect the forest from burning down in case of fire as they would impede fire spreading. They will also ensure that the firefighters reach quickly the site of the fire and extinguish it.