“Trail Development Workshop for Bentael Nature Reserve” as part of the Reserve’s “Ecotouristic Park” Project in Edde, Jbeil
On July 26, 2014, RMF/BALADI team organized a training workshop that aimed at introducing the Bentael Natural ReserveCommittee, and Bentael young volunteers to the essential guidelines for trail development,which were customized ahead for the Bentael Nature Reserve as part of the ‘Ecotouristic Park’ Project.
The workshop was led by RMF sub grantee Beyond Beirut (BB), targeting stakeholders and newly joint volunteers involved in the development of the Bentael Nature Reserve. The workshop was held at the Bentael Nature Reserve premises in Bentael, Jbeil. A total of twenty four people participated in the workshop including two members from the Edde municipality Community Project Committee (CPC) and 22 young volunteers from the Bentael Scout; out of which 29% were females and 92 % were youth.
Prior to this workshop, the Bentael Natural Reserve Committee worked closely with RMF/BALADI team to create a network of young volunteers from Bentael and its surrounding villages to ensure the sustainability of all future efforts that will be employed under Baladi municipal project. 150 persons, seventeen to twenty four year old, were assigned as members in the youth network. This initiative helped in raising awareness among the young community of the rural cluster of Bentael and its surrounding villages. Not to mention, it has enhanced the volunteering spirit of the youth in committing passionately to their land, and its conservation. The young volunteers will be responsible for starting the eco-touristic activities in Bentael Natural Reserve along with the activities planned for the Bentael surrounding villages. Following the development and implementation of the Eco touristic activities, many of those volunteers might be offered full time jobs and/or short time jobs, such as paid touristic guides, guards, etc. Out of the 150 newly joined volunteers, 22 were selected to attend RMF/Baladi workshop.
BB Eco-tourism Consultant, provided essential guidelines on how to construct trails within the Bentael Nature Reserve and covered topics like 1) Trail Design, 2) Scouting the Route in the Field, 3) Trail Specifications, 4) Surface Water Control, 5) Precautions to avoid Natural disasters, 6) Tracking system of visitors locations, 7) Reading maps. The training also included details of trail construction, trail management and Maintenance. One more session is planned before the start-up of trail construction. The session will include a guided trail construction trial on site in the presence of the newly joined volunteers and representatives of the Natural Reserve Committee.