Our successes in Lebanon
The shooting of migratory birds is widespread in Lebanon and one of the main factors threatening the population of Lesser Spotted Eagles and other endangered migratory birds in Europe. Together with our partner associations, we have been working on the ground since 2017 to make the migration routes of our birds a little safer. Even though there is still a long way to go before we can put an end to poaching, we have already achieved some initial successes:
During our previous bird protection camps in the Lebanon Mountains and the Bekaa Plain, dozens of poachers have already been convicted and several huge bird trapping sites have been shut down. These actions have deterred many perpetrators, which has already led to a decrease in shooting, at least locally.
The conditions documented during our operations have triggered a storm of world wide indignation, as a result of which the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) have intensified their patrols during the hunting season and announced a zero-tolerance policy towards convicted poachers.
The Lebanese hunting law was enacted in 2017 and is an important set of regulatory rules on the basis of which the authorities can now take concrete action against poaching for the first time. Even if the law still has some gaps - such as a lack of bans on possession and marketing - it is a step in the right direction.
After a protest action by the CABS the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL), one of the country's largest supermarket chains - Spinneys' - agreed to remove frozen wild birds from its range.
With financial support from the German Embassy in Beirut, staff of our partner association the Association for Bird Conservation in Lebanon (ABCL) conduct teaching sessions in schools to inspire pupils about the wonders of bird migration and at the same time raise awareness about the consequences of poaching.
The campaign initiated by SPNL to create so-called 'Hima's', which roughly means "protected area" in Arabic, is also extremely positive. Since 2004, more than 24 communities and villages have already joined, which together with the country's 15 or so national parks now form a chain of "safe havens" for migratory birds in Lebanon.