American University of Beirut

REEF: Rural Empowerment and Entrepreneurship Forum

Rural Empowerment & Entrepreneurship Forum (REEF)

The Rural Empowerment & Entrepreneurship Forum, REEF, launched by the Environment and Sustainable Development Unit (ESDU) at the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FAFS) at the American University of Beirut (AUB), aims at building a mutual platform among all developmental actors of the rural areas in Lebanon. The REEF network is an innovative framework to promote knowledge sharing, mobilization of resources and establishment of new partnerships among all stakeholders of the different sectors.

Aim Of The Project

The REEF network will provide an innovative framework for: sharing knowledge and tracing linkages between developmental actors; mobilizing and sharing resources: institutional, funds, visibility, partnerships, etc.; establishing partnerships with key stakeholders including public and private sector; promoting applied research for methodological improvement of developmental projects–establishment of lessons learned, bottlenecks/challenges, and successful models for economic development; harmonizing development and humanitarian interventions with a contextualized developmental strategy; developing specific collective developmental plans; building the capacity of local actors; and offering rural citizens (family farmers, women, and youth) opportunities for access to finance, market, and information. 

The “Youth in Rural Development” workshop that was organized by the Environment and Sustainable Development Unit ESDU on the 19th of January 2018 was an occasion to launch the REEF network. During this workshop, ESDU partnered with Arcenciel , Economic and Social Fund for Development (ESFD) , Action Contre la Faim (ACF) , and Cooperation without Borders (CWB) to discuss the REEF network and its objectives. 


The REEF network will include four sub-networks among others: 
  • Climate REEF - aims to sustainably improve the skills and capacities of local youth, women and farmers on climate-smart practices hence enhancing their livelihood opportunities. Currently, under this subnetwork, a Food for Training project funded by the German Cooperation through WFP, is being implemented by ESDU in partnership with Cooperation Without Borders (CWB) targeting 700 direct participants in Northeast Baalbeck and West Bekaa building the capacities of women, youth and farmers (individuals and cooperatives) on sustainable agricultural practices and climate smart food processing.  
  • Food REEF - promotes nutrition and food security by improving access to knowledge and healthy food as well as rural income generating activities. 
  • Eco REEF - focuses on the nascent organic agriculture sector in Lebanon to offer communities reliable organic food and encourage farmers on adopting organic agricultural practices hence contributing to food security and environmental sustainability. 
  • Clean REEF - focuses on composting, sorting and recycling. 
  • Waqf REEF - focuses on sustainable use of “Waqf” land. 
  • Tour REEF - focuses on sustainable rural tourism. 

We invite you to visit REEF dedicated website for further details through the following Link

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