As part of a micro-project funded by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM), and coordinated by Tour du Valat, the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL) organized a training session on “composting for limiting pollution inputs to Ammiq Ramsar Site”.
The main objective of the project is to reduce or stop the practice of dumping cow manure into waterways leading to Ammiq wetland through teaching local dairy farmers how they can use thermal composting to turn the cow manure into grade A compost free of weed seeds and harmful pathogens.
In the villages of Ghazza and Mansoura, near the Ammiq wetland (Lebanon’s major Ramsar Site), more than 50 dairy cattle farms are dumping their runoff and cow manure directly into the Litani river and waterways surrounding the wetland. The farmers in that area refrain from using the cow manure on their agricultural lands for fear of weed seeds and bacterial contamination, and they prefer to use chemical fertilizers.
Fourteen persons attended the training, held on 28th May 2020 in the newly established Homat el Hima International Center in West Bekaa. The session was conducted by Maher Osta, the SPNL’s wetland expert, project initiator and manager.
Based on the pilot results at Taha farm, this session was the first of a series of four training sessions on the importance of wetland preservation and how to transform raw cow manure into grade A compost, targeting dairy cattle farmers nearest to Ammiq and the Litani River.
Christian PERENNOU – Mediterranean Wetland Obervatory (MWO) Project Leader – Tour du Valat
Maher Osta – SPNL