Under the auspices of Lebanese Ministries of Tourism and Environment, the UN Information Centre (UNIC) in Beirut and Believe in Lebanon NGO have organized a sports and environmental awareness event entitled, “Walk for the Love of Lebanon and Nature” to raise awareness on SDGs 3 and 13: Good Health and well-being and climate action respectively.
Around 300 participants of all age groups walked approximately a distance of 3.6 kilometers crossing three villages in Aley, eastern Lebanon, with the aim to stress the benefits of walking on the overall human health and to enjoy nature while underscoring the need to preserve a clean environment and breathe clean air.
The walk was also an occasion to shed light on the importance of recycling waste in Lebanon whereby all participants, mostly youth and children, were trained by members of Believe in Lebanon NGO on how to sort their waste. Participants were provided with non-organic waste, including plastic, paper and metal, to dump in specific containers placed alongside the track in all three villages.
Trees were also planted in all three villages in a show of support to the preservation of green spaces in Lebanon.
UNIC Beirut Director Margo Helou commended the ongoing collaboration with Believe in Lebanon specifically on promoting the SDGs. She said that ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing for all at all ages is important to building prosperous societies, since healthy people are the foundation for healthy economies. Helou added that the Centre is keen on sensitizing people in Lebanon on the need to preserve the environment and breathe clean air. “Through our activities and campaigns, we are teaching people that change starts from within and that small steps they take will lead to a big impact on the environment and economy. Changing our own lifestyles and reconnecting our values with the biosphere is crucial to combat climate change and limit its detrimental effects on our lives and planet.”
The walk culminated in a traditional village festival at St. George’s Church in Kfarmatta. The festival featured short statements by the organizers and the ministry of environment and included recreational activities, folkloric dances, music by the official Lebanese army’s band and food stands.