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. Since 2017, we have been working together with our partner associations to ensure that the migratory routes of our birds become a little safer again. Even if there is still a long way to end the poaching, initial successes have already been achieved:
- Within the framework of our previous operations in the Lebanon Mountains and in the Bekaa plain, dozens of poachers have already been arrested and several huge bird-trapping facilities have been shut down. These actions have deterred many perpetrators, which has also led to a localised reduction in the number of illegalities in our core operational areas.
- The conditions documented during our operations have triggered a storm of indignation worldwide, as a result of which the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) have intensified their controls during the hunting season and announced a zero tolerance policy towards convicted poachers.
- The Lebanese hunting law passed in 2017 is an important set of rules on the basis of which the authorities can now take concrete enforcement action against poaching for the first time. Even though the law still has some gaps - such as possession and marketing bans - it is a solid step in the right direction.
- Following a protest action by CABS and SPNL, one of the country's largest supermarket chains decided to remove frozen wild birds from its product range.
- With the financial support of the German Embassy in Beirut, employees of our partner association ABCL are conducting teaching seminars in schools to inspire the pupils with the wonders of bird migration and at the same time draw attention to the negative consequences of poaching.
- Another extremely positive aspect is the campaign initiated by SPNL to create so-called 'Himas', which in Arabic means "protected area". Since 2004, more than 24 communities and villages have joined the campaign, which together with the country's 15 national parks now form a chain of "safe havens" for migratory birds in Lebanon.