Eco-tourism is "Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment
and improves the well-being of local people."
It is about connecting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel.
One of the basic tenets of ecotourism is to engage local communities so they benefit from conservation, economic development and education. While nearby inhabitants are those most directly affected by the establishment of eco tourism initiatives, they also stand to profit the most by their conservation. By bringing residents into the business of ecotourism, not only can local people meet their economic needs, but they also can maintain and enhance the "sense of place" that is critical for guaranteeing long-term conservation.
AFDC works closely with other local groups to establish community businesses, provide tourism training and marketing assistance, and develop compatible economic activities such as eco tourism planning production and tour guiding. This focus on people reflects AFDC’s commitment to work across landscapes, incorporating a concern for human populations as well as for the natural world they inhabit.
AFDC’s work in ecotourism is another way the organization builds a connection between communities and the environment. In developing ecotourism projects, AFDC contributes to the conservation of the natural and cultural heritage while providing local communities' incentives in generating income from the eco-tourism activities. This way, local communities themselves also appreciate the role their environment plays in their lives and adopt conservation habits in their activities.
AFDC assists beneficiaries in producing eco tourism management plans that consider location and construction of environmental friendly buildings and infrastructure for outdoor activities, in addition to capacity building and guidelines for visitation.
Eco tourism program objectives:
Over the long term, the future of ecotourism destinations depends on their ability to be financially self-sustaining. Funds are needed for the management and conservation of lands as well as for ensuring the health and well-being of nearby populations. AFDC helps targeted groups to design and implement a range of financial mechanisms that support on-site management and provide incentives for landscape and national level conservation.
Through consultations with park service staff, conservation organizations, communities and tourists, we work with stakeholders to develop strategies for using ecotourism as a source of funding for conservation. Hiking fees, guiding and monitoring fees and ecotourism activities charges are examples of revenue-generating strategies that are proving successful. As a critical complement to developing these initiatives, AFDC works with partners to ensure that the funds are well managed supporting key conservation objectives
Ongoing Activities & Projects:
Offered eco tourism services in major sites (Ramlieh, Dmit, Andkit, qrnayel)
Guided hiking tours: explore nature; walk on old trails with eco guides, or on your own.
Enjoy amazing natural views. Hiking trails are of different difficulty levels; choose your appropriate one.
Explore cultural, historic, and traditional sites to know more about Lebanese old traditions, agricultural industries and ancient lifestyles.
High ropes activities
Rappelling at different heights: if you are an adventure lover, try our adrenaline rushers… hung up with a rope, pass over 12 to 50
meters high rocky cliffs. Hike your way out to the top of the mountain, then go down rappelling!
More adventures with sky walking at more than 12 meters high, monitored by professionals to guarantee your safety. Walk the high circuit, pass over high swinging bridges, and then to the ground with a flying elevator.
Corporate Team Building (limited to Ramlieh):
Our events and programs have been carefully designed and tailored to address the specific needs.
Our team consists of capable and experienced professionals who provide you with pioneer activities that can cover everything from fun and motivational activities to substantial team and management development.
As such, we use a multitude of Indoor and outdoor courses, activities and metaphors to build up both team building and personal development skills and abilities.
Enjoy camping at tremendous natural sites; Fire nights, Barbecue, and other camping activities.
The Association for Youth Hostels and Enviroenmnt (member of the HI Hostels international organization manages AFDC’s hostels and eco activities in the villages of Ramlieh and Dmit.