Through the dedication, forceful lobbying and influential works of Dr. Ricardus Haber, the founding father of Friends of Nature, FON contributed the establishment of the first nature reserves by concept and practice legally, communally and effectively to set the national precedence and the prototype.

·      Ehden Forest Nature Reserve – the First Cedar Forest declared a Nature Reserve

o    6 years of fieldwork researching the biodiversity at the nature forest of Ehden proved the significance of the natural system at maintaining its assets under the immense threats.

o    FON launched an awareness campaign targeting various components of the social structure: teachers, students, elders, youth, university students, farmers, herdsmen, politicians, etc.

o    In parallel, activities safeguarding the forest and reducing anthropogenic pressures were executed with local volunteers.


·      Palm Island Nature Reserve – The first Marine Protected Area

o    In collaboration with the Environment Protection Committee NGO in Tripoli, FON worked on uncovering the biodiversity riches of the Palm Islands archipelago comprising 3 Islands: Sannani, Nakhel & Ramkeen.

o    Field research revealed the importance of the islands as the last resort to many of the coastal floral species and the struggle of these species for survival under intense pressures.

o    FON conducted an awareness campaign directed to local community of Mina-Tripoli, similar to Ehden

o    A series of activities were implemented to reduce the pressures off the islands


·      First Law of Conservation of Nature Sites in the Republic of Lebanon

o    FON drafted a conservation law and prepared a portfolio for each of Ehden and Palm Islands including biodiversity assessment, state of threats, significance of ecosystems, and landmarks as national assets.

o    The portfolio was presented to the Ministry of Justice for processing.

o    FON lobbied for the passing of the law for a year and a half, first with through the government, followed by the parliament

o    The law was passed without major change and ratified by the Lebanese parliament to be the first law of conservation of a nature site in the Republic of Lebanon. Law 121, March 1992 achieved the precedence for nature conservation.


·      International Platform - Rio Biodiversity Convention

o    Lebanon was one of rare developing countries that achieved nature conservation before to the Biodiversity Convention.

o    Owing to the efforts of FON, Lebanon went to Rio having accomplished a prototype of local and legal conservation.

o    Owing to the efforts of FON, Lebanon and the Ministry of Environment acquired huge funds for the conservation of biodiversity.









In 2005, BIG JUMP ( started a movement to appreciate local rivers and recognize their significance through dedicating a day for activities with rivers especially jumping into them. They carry out this activity annually on global scale broadening and enlarging ever since.

This year, FON registered with BIG JUMP as local participant and organizer.

On 9 July 2017, we celebrated healthy clean beautiful rivers for Lebanon, on the same day as millions celebrated around the globe. We walked by the river side under the shade of water loving trees to reach the upper ponds and dipped in the waters of Ayoun el Samak, Dannieh paying respect.

This was the first time that Lebanon joined this movement, our participation featured on BIG JUMP website in a welcome note and the posting of our activity (

FON will continue every year, insisting on giving respect to our rivers, voicing their importance and advocating the preservation of these habitats for biodiversity protected from pollution and degradation. We will plan a bigger and far-reaching participation for 2018 and thereafter.



Published in ECOTOURISM
Wednesday, 26 July 2017 14:24

Ecotourism with Local Community

A main vocation of the ecotourism activities of the Friends of Nature is to support local communities with alternative income from nature-based activities, in order to

  1. engage them in the chain of beneficiaries and supporters of ecotourism,

  2. make them local advocates for preservation of natural assets and resources,

  3. help maintain them in the countryside and help them not to abandon and migrate to the cities after their livelihoods, so the mountains of Lebanon would remain alive with their original communities and not the wealthy few who would buy all our cultural heritage for pennies at times of scarcities.






Charbel - goat shepherd in Adonis valley & high mountains                                                                


Naim - a retired public schoolteacher


Fady - an apple farmer

Milad - head of Deir Dourit municipality




"IM TONI" village breakfast in family business                                           


Violette - village lady making a living


Drinking milk and yogurt directly from shepherd tent


Savoring and purchasing fresh fruits locally


Local economic establishments - local tavern





Published in ECOTOURISM
Wednesday, 26 July 2017 10:46

Ecotourism in Fatri


is a project funded by USAID through Rene Mouawad Foundation program BALADI.

The goals of the Friends of Nature to initiate and develop ecotourism in the legendary Adonis valley met with the aspirations of the Adonis valley (private food company)

and worked together on the building of a project to start ecotourism in Fatri village where we are both based.

The project grew to include the municipality of Fatri and another local NGO - Aie Confience.


The project is under implementation and it includes the following components:

- USAID funds the construction of a center on municipal land; Fatri municipality will be responsible for the management of the center where the Friends of Nature will conduct activities on awareness to nature, biodiversity, environmental problems to the local and general public.

- The old footpaths will be cleaned and rehabilitated so the Friends of Nature manages and executes under its Shepherds Routes Hiking program visitation and hikes on the trails, thus bringing visitors to the village.

In the guided tours, the visitors will be directed to visit important village sites and to benefit from the local produce purchased directly from the farmers.

- A camping area will be developed by the project and remains under the responsibility of the municipality, it will be managed by Aie Confience NGO.

- The private sector represented by the local food industry Adonis Valley is supported to broaden the development of its organically based food products and thus indirectly support farmers to sell their produce. The Adonis Valley has adopted the 100%renewable energy policy and full treatment of its refuse.


USAID and BALADI have installed three street panels to commemorate the project.

Friends of Nature initiated its ecotourism activities with the hike named DARB EL CHIR under the beautiful cliffs of Alita-Fatri. More will be coming.












Published in ECOTOURISM