AN INITIATIVE to encourage children in Lebanon to think about the ecological future of their country has been taken by the Church Mission Society (CMS), with the British Embassy.
Two CMS mission partners, the Revd David and Amy Roche, joined with the Lebanon’s largest nature reserve to run an essay-writing competition that asked children in 110 schools from different faith communities to imagine the future of an ecologically sustainable Lebanon.
Lebanon is coping with a huge influx of refugees from the Syrian conflict, and its Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, said that the small country was close to “breaking-point”. One third of its six million population are refugees.
CMSSuccess: the Revd David Roche with award winners
The Al Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve, which is home to trees 2000 years old, hosted the winners of the essay competition for a day of actitivies, including planting new trees.
Mr Roche said: “Following the presentation of awards, the children had the opportunity to walk the Queen Elizabeth II Trail and take part in an interactive workshop led by staff from the Cedar Reserve Staff, before planting trees themselves, to represent new life and a better future.
“The Lebanese national curriculum does not currently include a component to do with caring for the environment, but the team at the Biosphere Reserve were so excited by this new initiative they are planning to turn this eco-project into an annual event.”