The Lebanon Mountain Trail Association (LMTA) is developing and protecting the first long-distance trail in Lebanon to promote a socially responsible tourism that safeguards the natural, cultural, and historical heritage along the trailside. The LMTA programs are geared towards improving economic opportunities of rural and often marginalized communities. The project is conducted in close coordination with more than 60 municipalities and 80 communities, the Directorate General of Urbanism (DGU), Ministry of Social Affairs, and the local community. The project is being implemented through the Employment Intensive Infrastructure Program (EIIP) which is funded by Germany through the German Development Bank KfW.
The project aims at leveraging maintenance of the main and side trails, expanding the LMT trail network, and bringing economic benefits to local communities. The intervention will cover the whole LMT in addition to new side network trails for a total of approximately 590 km of trails, stretching North to South throughout Lebanon, extending into 4different regions. The total number of sections is 33 including: 26 sections out of the 27 existing sections of the main trail, 4 existing side trails, and3 new side network trails. The work is carefully crafted considering weather constraints in certain seasons with a certain level of flexibility of mobilization between regions.
The LMTA are the implementing partners for this project and are well trained on the LRBT approach. Additionally, close support and follow-up from the EIIP team is being extended. The intervention provides short-term employment to approx. 1,350 skilled and unskilled local workers (men and women and persons with disabilities, as well as Lebanese and Syrian),reaching more than 54,000 worker days. In addition to the workdays, this project is keen on providing its beneficiaries with needed capacity building on trail management and maintenance and empower local key actors to become LMT stewards for more sustainable results.