A trail leading to a hidden waterfall; a small Roman ruin overgrown with weeds; a local bakery for delectable manakish; there are hundreds of little-known natural and cultural treasures along the back roads of Lebanon's rich and diverse countryside.
Many explorers would like to find them and make this knowledge accessible, and Daskara is a new app from AUB's Nature Conservation Center (NCC) that does exactly that.
As part of its mission to help people become guardians of their nature, NCC has partnered with Fondation Diane to create a unique and exciting new mobile application that aims to locate these hidden gems of Lebanon and make them accessible to the public, ultimately helping in preserving them for future generations.
Daskara app is designed as a free digital platform intended to grow and expand via crowdsourcing. The app is built to serve as a repository of insider information on the plethora of natural and cultural sites in Lebanon.
With their community-driven approach, NCC has partnered with local citizens throughout Lebanon, collaborating with and inviting them to work collectively on improving the sustainability of their villages and on encouraging smart tourism.
Local residents and experts are contributing to expanding the Daskara database, while local experts manage the content of contributors, from which travelers can then learn from and share with these local communities.
Daskara also serves as a tool for those who want to actively engage in nature conservation and heritage preservation, like many of the Lebanese Diaspora. With the touch of a button, users will be able to donate their time or money to sustainable development projects in the hometowns and villages they hold dear. How it All Began
How it all began
Since 2010, AUB-NCC has partnered with local municipalities, schools, informal organizations, and government ministries to advance conservation in Lebanon. Using community-based mapping as a tool for conservation planning, AUB-NCC has formed a great number of local councils across Lebanon who are truly representative of their communities.
These councils mapped the assets of their villages with a focus on community sites, activities, and traditions deserving public promotion and conservation. The maps of village assets developed by the local councils were turned into explanatory foldouts and placed at the municipality for tourists.
However, hard copy maps are not interactive and difficult to distribute. In sought of increasing accessibility, making the maps more user-friendly, and thinking lucidly into the future, Daskara was born.
Driven by Passion
We are a team of passionate faculty members and employees affiliated with the Nature Conservation Center at the American University of Beirut (AUB-NCC) in Lebanon.
We work from our hearts and minds to conserve natural and cultural heritage in line with the best available practices and science. At the core of our approach is the belief that people should become the guardians and benefactors of their nature and culture.
Our multidisciplinary team consists of nature loving people including experts in cultural ecosystem conservation, landscape architecture, community engagement, GIS mapping, reforestation, agriculture, ecosystem management, psychology, graphic design and skillful artists.
GET ANSWERS TO ALL YOUR QUESTIONS!
WHAT IS DASKARA FOR?
WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THE INFORMATION?
WHY SHOULD I CONTRIBUTE?
DO WE HAVE TO PAY ANYTHING?
WHO WILL APPROVE THE INFORMATION TO MAKE SURE IT IS ACCURATE?
HOW DOES DASKARA HELP?
- It highlights the nature and heritage sites of the village
- It connects the village with the rest of Lebanon and the world
- It promotes local businesses by placing them on the map and supporting the with information about the people that run them and the services they offer
- It helps young generations learn about their village and Lebanon
- It transforms natural and heritage landmarks that are unknown and improperly utilized to assets that have a known value and are conserved through awareness and accessibility
- It is a platform for villages to post project opportunities for nature and heritage conservation and a way for people interested in providing funds to engage in and support such projects
- It helps travelers to plan, visit, and share their trips
- It consolidates information from different fields
- It lays the foundation to become a basis for local development projects
- It allows users to promote their eco-business by hosting and planning events on the platform