HIC-HLRN was invited to participate to the Learning Journey on Local Solidarity Partnerships for Agroecology in Lebanon from 22 to 25 November 2017, organized by Urgenci, the international network for community supported agriculture with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
The Learning Journey to Lebanon it is the second of the Learning journeys for the Urgenci Mediterranean network to develop a Mediterranean network of Local and Solidarity Partnerships for Agroecology, where members of national networks and associations around the Mediterranean Basin carried out field trips to Turkey and Lebanon to gain a deeper understanding of the realities and challenges of the networks in these countries, share ideas, and compare agroecological practices. The outcomes of the trips and discussions will support the organization of capacity-building tools and the Mediterranean network plan for 2018.
The field trip to Lebanon gathered food sovereignty activists and agroecology practitioners coming from 11 Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Tunisia, Turkey, Syria). The hosting organization was Soils - Permaculture Association Lebanon, which facilitates teaching, training and sharing of skills and resources related to sustainable and environment-friendly practices, mainly on permaculture, beekeeping and general sustainable agriculture. The four days trip’s visits and exchanges enabled participants to have an overview of the food systems in Lebanon and some of the local work of agroecology activists and practitioners.
The participants had the opportunity to visit SOILS work in Saidoun (future bekeeping center, aromatic garden), the Graines et Cinema seed bank and the educational farm of in Taanayel (Bekaa) and its Fares refugee-led garden and educational center and, lastly, the agroecological farm Racines du Ciel in Lassa and the urban garden Samen Eco Garden in Fanar. Moreover, the participants toured the market of Souk El Tayeb, the Saturday farmer to costumer market in a high-income area of down-town Beirut, and discussed the other related initiatives developing local food market and economy in Lebanon with the founder. During the last afternoon of the trip the participants discussed and exchange experiences and ideas to build the Mediterranean network work plan of 2018, mainly discussing participants’s organisations and networks needs and potential contributions.
Habitat International Coalition, as well as its reference centre Housing and Land Rights Network, is compromised with rights related to habitat and land and food sovereignty and can contribute to the Mediterranean Network for agroecology with human rights expertise, general support of the network and training manual production, as well as networking and diffusion.
Urgenci press release: Arabic, English and French.