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BIRD MORATORIUM Print E-mail
The extensive bird hunting and decimation of populations of resident birds imbalanced natural systems and disturbed ecological processes. This led to the manifestation of diseases, overpopulation of pests, weakening of natural system, etc. Besides enhancing public awareness to the impact of bird hunting through lectures, media and others, Ricardus lobbied with international organizations concerned with bird protection and conservation of natural heritage in Europe to pressure the Lebanese government to control bird hunting.
Letters were sent from major organizations to the president of Lebanon and the relevant authorities demanding a control over the hunting of the birds of Europe. Follow up in Lebanon took place in the media and with the public, Ricardus wrote several articles in newspapers and magazines, conducted lectures and direct contacts with local authorities. The campaign resulted in a better enforcement of the existing hunting laws, but the impact would wane with time. So, the campaign was repeated several times.

In 1997, Lebanon was receiving a generous fund of 2 million dollars from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) for the management of nature reserves, where Ricardus had created the fertile grounds and the initiating precedence. The activist ecologist and naturalist recognized another opportunity to act on behalf of the avian heritage of earth; particularly that the skies of Lebanon composed one of the main migratory routes between the northern and southern hemispheres. Now that the world was funding Lebanon for the protection of its biodiversity, the world could request the protection of its avian heritage. Lobbying with international organizations started anew. Ricardus wrote, spoke and sent letters investing his precious time and mind for the embetterment of the survival of migratory birds on their flight journeys. The campaign succeeded at conditioning the fund with the implementation of a 5-year moratorium to protect Europe’s migratory birds on their passing over Lebanon. Lebanon responded by approving and implementing; the responsibility of the control on the ground was handed to the Lebanese army who executed to excellence. Riffles were confiscated in the field and word spread that this time the ban was serious. Migratory and resident birds enjoyed a time of peace. Nature and bird lovers sensed the impact; new species of birds grew familiar to our sight. Birds functioning in their natural compartment, practicing their ecological role became an obvious and familiar scene; they could be seen feeding, hopping around peacefully spending time in our surrounding, some nesting, etc.

Needless to mention, the 5 years ended. Ricardus proved that it was doable, Lebanon could change from a zone of bird carnage to a bird watching country benefiting from all the touristic and economic revenue that this sports provides if Lebanon wants !!!!!!!!!
 
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