For over two decades, the Council of Environment has been at the forefront of environmental conservation efforts in Akkar, as the first environmental NGO in the region. Our primary goal is to safeguard the natural resources of the area, including forests, through fire prevention, while also promoting eco-tourism, local development, and the intersection of rural life with culture and the arts.
One of our greatest achievements has been the construction of a fire-watching tower in a highly vulnerable area, resulting in a 90% reduction in forest fires. Since 1993, we have been pioneering eco-tourism and using it to raise ecological awareness among locals, training them to serve as mountain and culinary guides. This initiative has not only helped spread environmental awareness and reveal historical sites in Akkar, but has also generated income for the local community and attracted tourists to the region.
Moreover, we have helped to create economic opportunities in the environmental sector by establishing accommodations, restaurants, and promoting various outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, biking, and snowshoeing, all of which take place amidst the beautiful forests and natural surroundings.
Additionally, since 2018, the Council has organized REEF – Rural Encounters on Environment and Film, the first-ever festival of its kind in Lebanon and the Arab world. This festival focuses on two major themes of importance to Akkar - cinema and the environment - and has helped to alter negative perceptions of the region, highlighting it as an eco-touristic destination and drawing visitors from all over the world.
Through our work, we have successfully integrated environmental, social, and economic concerns, making sustainable development a reality for Akkar.