The community of Ainata gathered on the 21st of September to celebrate the successful planting of 26,000 cedar and juniper trees on the hills above the town.. The reforestation effort was marked as a clear achievement for the community considering the challenging planting conditions of the area. It was made possible only by the hard work and commitment of the Ainata community and its planting team of more than 20 local men and women.
The reforestation project is a collaboration of the Ainata municipality, the Center for Development, Democracy and Governance (CDDG), and the Lebanon Reforestation Initiative, a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by the United States Forest Service (USFS).
Surrounded by Ainata’s majestic mountains, the ceremony started with a welcoming folkloric performance by a local dance troupe that delighted the more than 100 attendees of Ainata and neighboring villages. A documentary was screened highlighting the importance and benefits of forests and detailing Ainata’s reforestation effort including its challenges and achievements.
“We are gathered here today not only to plant trees on those majestic mountains, we are gathered to promise we will offer whatever it takes to protect and care for our forests for them to grow and become a national environmental treasure that is an integral part of our country’s long history, “said Mr. Fawze Rahme, head of the Ainata Municipality. Mr. Rahme also offered his full support for the environmental projects in Aineta and declared the urgent need to protect its endangered natural heritage. “
Dr. Wissam Raji, president of CDDG, presented the group’s latest achievements in Ainata and other Lebanese communities. “We hope to continue the journey that we started with the Ainata Municipality to restore Ainata’s forests and draw attention to the scenic beauty and biodiversity of Ainata, and so contribute to the sustainable development of this community”, said Raji. “The commitment to the environment and the contribution to the development and support of the community are reflected in CDDG principles and values”, he added.
The Center for Development Democracy and Governance aims to excel in community development in order to promote better societies. The mission of CDDG is to promote sustainable development and democratic practices at the local level with a focus on environment, rural development, health, education and culture.
CDDG aims at working towards achieving this ideal by interpreting through action and awareness the eight characteristics of good governance: participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and follows the rule of law. CDDG aims as well at minimizing corruption and defending the rights of minorities and the most vulnerable.