Sin El Fil, April 16th, 2016 – A two-day training workshop on the “Facilitation and Organizational Skills and Project Cycle Management” was organized by the Lebanon Reforestation Initiative (LRI), a program funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by the United States Forest Service (USFS) for municipal environmental committees on April 15-16, 2016.
The community training workshops are part of LRI’s capacity development and social stability objectives aimed at bringing diverse communities together to provide stewardship over their shared social and environmental corridors and to promote mentorship between their neighboring communities.
Municipalities that attended the trainings are those participating in LRI’s twinning program launched in January 2015. Selection of these municipalities was based on pre-defined criteria, including sectarian differences, Syrian refugee pressure, community commitment, and linkages to identified social and environmental corridors. In the North and Rachaiya, the town of Ain Aarab (Rachaiya) will partner with Aanjar (Bekaa), Kfar Denis (Rachaiya) with Rachaiya (Rachiaya), Yammoune (Bekaa) with Ainata (Bekaa), and Hasroun (North) will partner with Bcharre (North). Partnerships between municipalities will enable them to promote inter-sectarian dialogue, share best practices on reforestation and natural resources management, and further build the capacity of their environmental committees (ECs) established with the support of LRI. This workshop equipped the ECs of the eight municipalities mentioned above with a set of skills and tools to be able to better manage their projects and enhance their capacities in knowledge sharing.
LRI has planted more than half-a-million native trees throughout Lebanon since 2011. This project promotes a community-led approach to reforestation, bringing together diverse committed municipalities, community stakeholders, Lebanese civil society organizations, and other actors such as the private sector, to restore and replant degraded community lands.