Solution Provider: Al Hima System a mean of Women Empowerment

Solution: Al Hima System a mean of Women
Presented by Jamal Hamzeh
 Who is SPNL?
 Al Hima Approach
 Why Al Hima Approach?
 Partnership with the UN Women Fund for Gender Equality; How & Why?
 Al Hima System: A Mean of Women Empowerment
 What Makes This Solution Different?
 Sustainability & Equity in Sharing the Benefits
 Relevance to South-South Countries
 What Did We Do to Optimize on SSC?
 What Can we do More?
 Role of International Actors
• The Society for The Protection of Nature (SPNL) is one of the
oldest environmental NGOs in Lebanon
• It was established in 1983 and licensed by the government in
• The national partner for BirdLife International working on “IBAs
of Lebanon”
• Lead NGO on the Revival of the Hima “ ‫ ” الحمى‬approach
• SPNL aims at protecting nature, birds and biodiversity in
Lebanon and to promote sustainable use of natural resources
with people through reviving the Hima concept
Al Hima Approach
• Hima means a protected area in Arabic
• It is a community based approach used for the conservation of sites,
species, habitats, and people in order to achieve the sustainable use
of natural resources.
• It originated more than 1,500 years ago in the Arabian Peninsula.
• It was initiated before Islam, when
tribes conserved certain areas for a
period of time allowing them to
regenerate in order to retain their
livelihood in harsh environment.
• Islam added to the Hima practice
values, such as equity & benefit to
Al Hima Approach
• SPNL is reviving the Hima approach in collaboration with
municipalities in order to promote the conservation of
IBAs/KBAs, conserve the sustainable use of natural resources,
and empower local communities.
Al Hima Approach?
• Women were responsible for Hima management since more
than 1000 years
- Water use
- Medicinal & edible plants
- Controlled grazing
- Taking care of livestock
- Wood collection for
household fire & cooking
- Agriculture & farming
Partnership with the
UN Women Fund for Gender
Equality; How & Why?
• How?
After the alert from BirdLife International about the call of the UN Women
Fund for Gender Equality. SPNL applied to the call for proposals through
the Fund grant making cycle of 2011-2012, and was selected given the
novelty of the project.
• Why?
Through its work in promoting community management of Important Bird
Areas, SPNL has realized the diminished role of women in decision
making within the Hima sites. So, we applied in order to highlight the
direct relation between women & natural resources and to embody well
designed approaches to support women’s access to resources and
assuming their own accountability for the management of those
resources. Thus, empowering them politically & economically .
Al Hima System A
Mean of Women Empowerment
Programme Country: Lebanon
Grant Amount: US $280,000
Thematic Area: Political/Social & Economic Empowerment
Duration: 3 years (2013-2015)
5 involved sites: Aanjar, Kfar Zabad, el-Fekha, Qoleileh, & Al
• Main Aim: To enhance the livelihood
of rural women through the revival of
the Hima approach in the IBAs of
Al Hima System: A
Mean of Women Empowerment
- Supporting women in raising their voices and being part of
the management of the different Hima sites. Political/Social
- supporting women self-dependence and sense of ownership
for those natural resources.
- Improving their well-being (better access to food, medicinal
plants, wood, clean water,...).
- Reducing poverty levels and improving women livelihood
through creating new income generating activities for them
within the Hima sites
What Makes This
Solution Different?
• The Programme came to build on the global adoption of the
Hima concept by more than 2,000 people representing
different countries all over the world, through the submitted
Motion at the IUCN 2012 Congress held in Jeju, Korea.
• The reappearance of Globally
Threatened Species within 3 of
the sites (Syrian Serin Bird, Common
Otter & sea turtles), and the use
of sustainable practices such as
sustainable fishing, farming, hunting,
and grazing with a basic influential
role for women in spreading
awareness and advocating conservation.
• Leading on the revival of sustainable cultural practices by women
for optimizing on local resources & improved livelihoods, such as
grazing, water canal systems, collection of medicinal & edible
plants, weaving handmade carpets from natural wool & natural
dye, needlework, & mouneh processing.
• More than 300 women with proactive role in natural resources
sustainable use.
• Sensitizing more than 85 women on their rights and CEDAW & for
the strengthened leadership decision making, and group work
• More than 50 women and 35 decision makers with positive
perception on the key role that women play in natural resources
• A first time initiation of an environmental committee in Hima
Aanjar with the majority of women
members presented with leadership
• Creating income for women especially through identifying new
income generating activities within the sites, providing trainings on
the needed skills for these activities, procurement of the needed
equipment, developing ecotourism &marketing plans to
institutionalize planning and provide business opportunities, &
organizing festivals.
• Participatory approach: action plan for Hima
Sustainability &
Equity in Sharing the Benefits
• Bottom up approach where nothing is imposed on people to abide
with. Underprivileged groups including women are empowered to
participate in the vision and management of their natural resources.
• Even after the end of any project, SPNL keeps on monitoring and
following up on the different sites.
• Making partnerships with local organizations in every site.
• Contacting several municipal members and focal points from
different religious affiliations and social groups in every site.
• Economic empowerment is done on group basis and not individual
basis, whereby the establishment of cooperatives for rural women
ensures the equity in sharing benefits and profits.
Relevance for
South-South Countries
• Lebanon & the WANA Region countries share the same
challenges & problems:
- Development
- Modernization
- Harsh political situation
- Urban sprawl
- Centralized management
of natural resources
Modification of natural
Wildlife species extinction
Habitat destruction
Tragedy of the common
Relevance for
South-South Countries
- Women’s Lack of access
to natural resources & lack
of involvement in managing
those resources
- Growing fundamentalism
- loss of rights
- Deterioration in their
livelihood, health, & income
earning capacities
• Further, the WANA region countries being located surrounding
the Mediterranean Basin indicates the presence of similar
weather, climate, threats, practices, and way of living.
What Did We Do to
optimize on SSC?
• The Establishment of the Hima Fund in Qatar, under the
patronage of her Royal Highness Sheikha Jawaher, which
highlights the value of Hima revival in the WANA region and
supports its projects.
• A study on the site support group (SSG) in the West- Asian
region has been done.
• Regional meetings on the revival of
the Hima approach between BirdLife
partners in the West Asian and
Gulf region have been done.
• In Jordan, the IUCN ROWA in collaboration with the Ministry of
Agriculture and the Arab Women Organization, has revived the
Hima approach for grazing management in four Jordanian
villages managed by the Bedouin community.
• In Syria, SPNL organized trainings on the Hima Approach for
some of the municipal members and local people, which led to
the declaration of Hima Akroum, with the approval of the
Ministry of Agriculture.
• In Iraq a Hima was established recently for the conservation of
the Mosbatianian Marshlands and the support of local
What Can We Do More?
• Specific expertise in the assessment of the site ecological
importance, to know whether it is an
IBA/KBA/KPA/Ramsar/conserved site in order to go further and
know if the site can be declared as a Hima site.
Institutional setups such as developing
site support groups (SSG), environmental
committees, cooperatives, etc…
What Can We Do More?
• Participatory skills and approaches used in strategic planning
and management of the sites, such as group work, focus
groups, stakeholder identification and analysis, SWOT analysis,
rich pictures, problem tree/analysis, objectives analysis, matrix
analysis, development of local action plans, etc…
Role of International Actors
• Adopting the Hima concept in their strategies
• Funding the solution to be adopted in other countries
• Supporting in expertise, knowledge, and success stories
Thank you

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