In 2017, USAID is supporting Bcharre municipality to improve its ecotourism sector by rehabilitating a safe hiking trail of 780 meters leading to the famous Qadisha Grotto overlooking the Qadisha valley, a World Heritage site. The trail will be equipped with solar lighting. The project will also entail the rehabilitation of the visitors’ restrooms and the installation of a wastewater treatment unit.
On the 22nd of February, RMF BALADI organized a public participation session at the Bcharre municipal hall to introduce the project’s environmental impact assessment study (EIA) to the community and raise awareness on the potential impacts and proper environmental management.
Lead by RMF subcontractor, MORES s.a.r.l, a consulting firm specialized in resources management and environmental solutions, the session tackled the EIA objectives, the institutional framework, the project’s surrounding environment, the impact identification assessment, the project alternatives, the mitigations measures and the monitoring and management plan of the project. The session was attended by representatives of the Lebanese Ministry of Environment, municipal officials, and community members. In total, 37 people attended the workshop including 13 women.
The USAID-supported rural development project in Bcharre will benefit economically 120 MSMEs located around the trail and 250 scout members. The project will also generate 6 long term jobs, and seasonal jobs as tour guides for 50 volunteers from the Maronite Scout in Bcharre.