“The environment is everything that isn’t me…. “, is one of the famous quotes by the great physicist Albert Einstein. It basically means that the environment is everything around us.
The Environment is the key for existence of life on Earth. It is the air that we breathe, the water that we drink, the food that we eat … it is our health, our economy, our technology, our spirituality….it is EVERYTHING!
However, the entire world is facing major environmental challenges, and a report by the United Nations Office in April 2022 warned that over the next two decades the world will witness hundreds of environmental disasters! The need is more urgent today than ever to enhance the environmental sense and raise the level of environmental commitment in all societies.
“Empowering a Better Tomorrow” is a slogan adopted by Makhzoumi Foundation for more than 25 years in its various programs, and because the better tomorrow is closely related to the environment, attention to it has been one of the main goals of the foundation since its establishment in 1997 through the Environment and Development Program, and it addresses through its activities and projects tackles 14 out of the 17 SDGs.
More Than One Million And Two Hundred Thousand Implants From Makhzoumi Foundation Nursery In Akkar
As the world races to stop climate change, trees are receiving more attention for the role they play in cooling the climate, absorbing massive amounts of carbon and releasing oxygen back into the atmosphere. Forests are ecosystems abounding with biodiversity, hosting most of the world’s plant and animal species.
In 2001, MF founded a plant nursery in Akkar producing ornamental and fruit trees as well as herbs and roses. To date, it has distributed more than one million and 200,000 plants countrywide.
In 2022, trees were offered to both, the National Commission for Lebanese Women for Hammana and to the Ministry of Agriculture for the villages in Akkar that were affected by the forest fires in 2021.
Green Spaces And Encouragement Of Environmental Activity
Within this domain, EDP established two green areas in the villages of Izza and Irkay South Lebanon within two projects funded by the European Union (EU). To date, presentations and tree planting activities about the importance of reforestation, have been organized with the participation of around 13,000 students. Most recently, a group of volunteers joined the campaign for cleansing Horsh Beirut after the fire that erupted in June 2022.
On another topic, the Foundation had started activities in the field of renewable energy since 2009 thru projects that included technical trainings to science teachers and workshops to rural women on making solar cookers and the installation of a total of 62 solar street lighting poles in the South and the Bekaa and 30 solar thermal heaters in the Bekaa. In 2022, 565 solar street lamps were installed in Beirut, illuminating several dark regions due to the power crisis in the country!
Green Demo Room To Support Education
In the educational domain, The Green Demonstration Room project was launched in 2017 comprising a scientific demonstration space which welcomes students to get them acquainted with the concept of green buildings and other environmental issues.
“Yalla Nefroz”: A Special Initiative!
After waste crisis in the country, MF launched “Yalla Nefroz “initiative in 2016 to sort non-organic solid household wastes in Beirut and transfer them for recycling, this project is expanding and includes pharmacies, schools, shops …etc.
Since 1999, upcycling workshops are being held for thousands of ladies countrywide. To help them market their products and play an important role in society, Handy by MF was established: a channel to display and sell their local handmade products online and at markets and exhibitions. Presentations about waste management along with upcycling workshops have targeted around 7,000 students to date.
Environmental And Economic Activity
Honeybees are the world’s most important pollinators of food crops. Since beekeeping provides a sustainable environment friendly income generating activity, EDP has been implementing projects in partnership with International Organizations and Embassies on beekeeping skills training, targeting women and youth then providing them with hives and bee colonies to start their production. A total of 582 beneficiaries have benefited from those projects in Akkar, Bekaa and the South.
Education About Sustainable Development
Challenges for Sustainability are growing, the need for education is always crucial as it empowers learners with knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to take informed decisions. Hence comes the importance of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) which is a key enabler of all Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) is also a main component of ESD.
The Foundation participated at the World conferences on ESD in Nagoya and Berlin in 2014 and 2022 respectively and implemented several ESD related projects. Some of the main activities of those projects were:
– Holding workshops to teachers on ESD.
– Production and distribution of an educational toolkit on ESD to all schools in Lebanon.
– Production of a documentary with recommendations and hints about simple daily changes to live a more sustainable life.
– Production and diffusion on TV and social media of a spot-on reduction of single use plastic bags.
– Production of textile bags to decrease the use of plastic bags.
Since the establishment of the Foundation, environmental activities targeting children and youth are carried out each year: shore cleansing, seed collection, nationwide contests on the importance of reforestation, renewable energy, sustainable consumption, upcycling and Sustainable Development. In 2022 the contest is entitled “My Sustainable Beirut in 2030“.
Due to our commitment and our drive to keep up to date with global advancements in Sustainable Development, we have participated at more than 50 regional and international conferences where sometimes MF was the only representative from Lebanon such as the Eleventh World Congress on Forestry in Antalya-Turkey and the World Conference on ESD in Aichi-Nagoya, Japan.
In light of the Foundation’s vast array of environmental and sustainable activities and projects, the Foundation is a member of the following bodies:
– An Accredited member of UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification)
– Member of The Arab Network for Environment and Development (RAED)
– Strategic partner of The Mediterranean Information Office for the Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE)
– A Council and Board member at Global Contact Network Lebanon (GCNL)
Notably, Makhzoumi Foundation is the First NGO in Lebanon to receive certificate of greenhouse gas audit from V4 company and Ministry of Environment.
The natural environment is a free gift to us and we need to conserve it for a healthy living of human beings. Without it, there can be no life on Earth …and Earth is the only home that humans have!
Check our activities’ report