President of Lebanon Embraces the LMT
On Thursday, March 28, Lebanese President H.E. General Michel Aoun hosted an event at the Presidential Palace in Baabda during which he publicly voiced his support for the Lebanon Mountain Trail (LMT) and its protection. The event was attended by ECODIT President Joseph Karam and colleagues from ECODIT LLC and ECODIT Liban, several ministers and parliamentarians, representatives of foreign embassies and agencies, and a large number of members, supporters and beneficiaries of the Lebanon Mountain Trail Association (LMTA). 

The LMT was established in 2007 by ECODIT, with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); it is 470 kilometers long, spanning the length of Lebanon from north to south. The LMTA is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that was set up at project conclusion more than 10 years ago to ensure the LMT’s sustainability. Mr. Karam’s inspiration for establishing the LMT came from the Appalachian Trail in the U.S., and from memorable childhood walks with his father in his Lebanese hometown of Baskinta.  

For years, supporters of the LMT have advocated for  official protection of the trail, to prevent it from being damaged by unregulated development. In his opening remarks at the event, Mr. Karam emphasized the state’s responsibility towards protecting the LMT and noted that President Aoun’s support “breathes new energy and renews hope for a Lebanon that is brighter for our children and for generations to come.”  For his part, President Aoun appropriately summed up the LMT’s journey, stating that ““everything starts with a dream, and the dream turns into a word that is heard by people with initiative and determination, who then make the dream a reality.”